Thursday, 10 January 2019

Are we anywhere near closer?

Predictably, the optimistic Jim White calls of "48/72 hours" and "Monday or Tuesday" have come and gone with the club still in the grip of the Dark Lord. Jim White has been getting the pelters he deserves and has been trying to distance himself from the inevitability of a deal now going through. There was talk of a "meeting this evening" on Tuesday that promised to "unlock the money." That sounded like a load of old pony but reliable Henry Irving notes from last night's Fans Forum would appear to have shed more supportive light on the events of the last ten days as well as some of the specific comments which give me hope as I get realistic again on whether it will happen or how long it may take.

Lieven De Turck may be Roland's man on the ground but he has a brief to sell the club and his update from last night is promising in a number of areas. He gave a status update of the five groups still competing in the mad rush to replace Roland. Predictably it's still the "Aussies (with US now) and the Brits" front-runners but he continued the masquerade of other groups which must be wishful thinking. He also acknowledged a couple of key facts that have driven Rick Everitt's own information eg that he did show an Aussie investor around on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year and that there was now an America investor element to that consortium. He denied quoting a £70m+ price to another prospective party but he didn't do so convincingly after initially trying to dodge the issue by suggesting he hadn't signed the NDA (I assume he meant to say he had signed the NDA, but never mind). In the circumstances, I think Everitt was spot on and as reliable as he usually is once prepared to commit to sharing anything - I can never understand why some people love to give him a hard time - the idea that he's motivated primarily by VOTV sales is absolutely laughable. He has been a loyal supporter since the 1970's and his record of success developing the club during its' halcyon days of the Premiership deserves far more respect.

LDT also acknowledged the evening meeting that Jim White had thrown out on Monday when trying to save the integrity of his initial story. That also suggests that Jim has been telling it as presented and may only have been let down by unfolding events. Interestingly, De Turck also made the bold statement that the prospective buyers have been told to make clear on completion the reason for the interminable delay in getting the deal done. This suggests Roland and De Turck are confident the issue isn't with them - but if so, what?

The key question for all of us, concerns the price, because that is the logical issue preventing a deal and Roland's desperation to save face on the final position which has had him thinking they could be upsides here if we avoid relegation/get promoted etc. LDT appears to have been very clear that price is not the issue and said it had been agreed. At Roland's pre-Christmas heart-to-heart with White, when he admitted he had made a big mistake because he wasn't really interested enough in football, he had also said he will lose money on the club, so perhaps the issue on price may just be factoring and the continuing delay is due to something else - but what?

There are several possibles being touted here; the first is that whilst the price has been agreed, 'unlocking the money' is proving time-consuming. This may be  true of Aussie-American bid but would that also be holding up the Brits? LDT appears to have acknowledged that the leaking of the closeness of the current takeover story was done to pressure the competitors and he also said it had done that. If getting the dosh together was the issue, what's now the hold-up given everything else we are told is in place?

The second possible sticking point may be something Roland failed to undercover when he bought the club. He didn't bother with Due Diligence as we know and given that The Spivs were selling and the murky Kevin Cash was also involved, it's highly possible that there is a considerable fly yet in the ointment that needs to be qualified out or otherwise dealt with. Remember the court case against the Spivs by Darius Khakshouri whereby he was claiming monies owed because of an agreement to tie him in to any eventual Peninsula move? Could there be a similar smoking gun here?

Thirdly, as is gaining ground on CL at the moment, what about the possibility that the British buyer is very keen and willing to do the deal but has a third party holding issue? That would fit a scenario whereby someone like Mike Ashley  would be a capable buyer (a whole new nightmare?) but would need to be shot of his existing millstone, before he could complete a deal. 

Finally, if a deal is really closer, you might expect Lee Bowyer to be cut a bit of slack in the window and the acquisition of needed left-back Ben Purrington on loan from Rotherham on the back of taking goalie Chris Maxwell from Preston and having signed Joniesta might just suggest that's happening. We just don't need to see a major player outgoing before the window closes......


  1. Good analysis, but the thing about De Turk (or someone near the deal) letting news of an imminent takeover slip out to Jim White for a public airing in order to get the other parties moving doesn't quite ring true. If that is what happened, why did he then admit it to the fans fórum mere days after? Did one of the other parties leap so far back into the picture there was no need to continue the charade? Because that isn't the tone of his comments at the meeting, where he listed all the supposed interested parties and the bits they are missing. All of them seemed more or less as they were at the previous meeting.
    In the end, especially as he vaguely admitted using their parties to get information out into the open (stand up Jum White, baby you been had!), you have to wonder at the value of anything that was said there. The man uses meetings to difuse the things he wants others to hear. Doesn't make them true. In the end, we should be happy the team are rising above all of this, and playing some nice football, given the never ending injuries.

  2. Good summary, to add to Henry Irving's debrief. Fingers crossed it's closer but it feels like Zen's Paradox - ie that motion is an illusion.


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