MTO | Ownership
Below is a summary of questions asked and answers given regarding the ownership of the club during the latest Meet The Owners event.
On providing resources
“Regarding funding going, in I think it’s a misnomer to think football clubs aren’t supported by the owners. I think majority are and we’re no different and I think it would be fair to say the numbers are sometimes quite terrifying to look at. We’ve always matched them and the funding from the owners has always been positive."
"I think certainly, at the time that I’ve been being associated with this club which now stretches back up into 2006. Since then I’ve actually put £12.6million into the club, and the late Dick Watson, put in £12.4million.
"That adds up to around £25million I think if my mathematics is correct and we’re in League Two. So I think the question we posed from this end is how can we invest the money more wisely? How can we put our attention into club? What do we do to make this club sustainable?
“My colleague Dick has gone now, he’s died and you know it won’t be that long before I’m due - I’m over 80 now. But I don’t want the club to die and that is sustainability. Will the club find another owner who will put in £25million? It’s a tall order."
On selling the club
"I’m not aware of that we have lots of people knocking on the door that want to buy. But we strive to make it viable and while we can, we’re doing everything to make it an attractive club. I don’t know what’s going to happen because we’re not going to give the club away.
"We want to make sure that the people, when we’re ready and have to retire, that if we can get people who can be as generous towards the club and as intelligent towards the club and respective towards of all you here tonight and the 6,000 we get, we want all that to be respected and also the city. It’s going to be a tricky one but you know life moves on and we have to be aware of that."
On protecting the club if sold
“I’m going to throw this to Martin O’Hara to answer this first of all because it’s a prime responsibility of the Supporters’ Trust, of which we’ve got a Memorandum Of Understanding
Martin O’Hara: “As the Supporters’ Trust we’re the independent part of the football club and as much as we are separate from the club, at the same time we’re a shareholder in the club, albeit a very minor shareholder
"When the question is asked about the security of the actual assets then the VSC holds an Asset of Community Value on this particular stadium. So therefore if there’s a force sale of it then, because of the ACV, then it has to be offered to the VSC first. We get six months in order to raise the money to be able to buy the stadium before anybody gets an opportunity to do it - that is the safeguard that we have in place. So if anybody does want to try and force a sale of the stadium through, they can’t without talking to the Supporters’ Trust first.”
On Club Doncaster monies
"The Dons and Belles are self-sufficient in their own right and all the money that comes into the football club goes straight into the playing budget."
On owner communication and involvement
"I come to most games and I sit with Copps and Terry at most games and Gavin as well. So we come and sit at most games and we have an opportunity to share with them our thoughts whether they are positive or negative as well but we have an opportunity. We go to the training ground as well. We may not appear in the press like some other owners do but I can assure you our commitment and enthusiasm is no less than anybody else’s.”
"You can have too many people speaking about the club. I can assure you that everybody on this top table (Gavin, James, Danny) hears plenty from David and me and that’s where we communicate, we go out and see the players and the other management. That’s where we are working very hard. We don’t like stepping on their toes - we know what they want so we do our best to provide for them.
"We could sit down for an hour and go through this. I’ve mentioned what David and I and Gavin have worked really hard on and backed up by the team. We do have a fantastic squad here today.It’s not all about football, it’s also about Jon [Warburton, chief commercial officer] getting out there to get the sponsorship, and Shaun [Lockwood] and many others who make Club Doncaster a really viable operation."
Questions asked on the night
- The presentation was fantastic. I think we can see the direction that the club want to go in. My question is more for the three gentleman (owners) beside James and Danny. What are you doing to support Danny and Copps because they clearly want a direction but it seems like they’re not getting anything from the top? You’re asking fans to put money into season tickets to get this self-sustainable model. I think it’s a good model for a foundation but I think it needs investment to help these guys achieve what they’re wanting to achieve.
- What protections are in place to ensure the club and its assets remain part of the community for future generations?
- The question is for Mr Blunt and Mr Bramall. Without using Club Doncaster, the Belles or anything - for someone in this room that earns £1,300 a month, why should I renew my season ticket solely on Doncaster Rovers when it’s everything else? Tell me why I should I renew my season ticket?
- We see things in the press from Gav. We obviously get things from Copps and Danny and we had one from Mr Lockwood. But we don’t seem to hear from from either yourself David or Terry?”
- First of all, just a point of thanks to board for the investment over the last number of years or so - a significant investment so thank you for that over the years. A very specific question to the owners - what is the future ownership strategy that you have in place? Where will you be as owners in 18 months time or five years time with the ownership strategy?
Questions submitted prior to the event
- What do you see as your long terms aim and future for the club?
Via @NettoFC on Twitter
- Are you actively looking for a buyer to takeover the club or to join as part of owner, has there been any bids received?
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