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Venkys London Ltd accounts


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If only they had tuned up on day one and told John Williams and Tom Finn that they were going to invest £250 million pounds over the next 7 years (in addition to all the TV income) and charged them wi

Stuart is right.  This is like what happened with Bolton, we are not in debt to any financial institution but we are in debt to Venky's and if they decide to recall that debt then we will be in big tr

It would have been cheaper to keep Allardyce 

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1 hour ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

As they did not sell the club to Ali Syed I don't see your point

Was it a knock down price ? What bigger offers were there ? I think you fail to understand that the financial crisis from 2008 onwards put a severe strain on businesses and continually underwriting a football club could no longer be justified when they had to look after business interests like an airline. I am afraid that really that was the fault of Jack Walker who in putting the club in the same stable as proper businesses forgot the old line "Never mix business with pleasure"

They weren't underwriting it though Barclays and the sale of players was.  Their contribution finished a while earlier apart from a loan of 3 million which was due to be paid back.

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Just now, tomphil said:

They weren't underwriting it though Barclays and the sale of players was.  Their contribution finished a while earlier apart from a loan of 3 million which was due to be paid back.

They had put in £3m a year. After the crash the point is that the demands from other businesses in the Walker "empire" meant that there was no realistic prospect of that resuming and they decided to sell - it took 18 months to 2 years to do so. As you probably know there was a court case in which the beneficiaries of the trust sued the trustees for putting too much money in to the club. The trustees had no choice but to bail out.

I'm afraid Jack Walker messed up. He should have put the club in to a trust separate from the other family interests with £30m to £50m in cash to help it - the board should have been much the same but maybe with a couple of representatives from the supporters plus the journo from the LET to make sure that the club was run  in the way he would have wanted.

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2 hours ago, JHRover said:

And you think handing over Jack Walker's club at a knock down price to Indian poultry tycoons with no interest in football or past experience of sports ventures nor any successful business in Europe who were being heavily led by a well known agent was the behaviour of people who cared about the club?

How do you explain the Ali Syed fiasco? It took Goldberg at the BBC a matter of days to discover he was a con man. Any due diligence by the Trust would have found the same skeletons. Truth is they hoped it could all go through quickly and smoothly before trouble began. Remember Sky Sports cameras outside the BBE when they were getting out of the minibus and going inside to 'view the books'. Wonder who arranged for the cameras to be there rolling at the right time. I guess the same bloke as has been well in with Sky and Talksport from the word go.

Didn't The Trust also deal with Anderson? ( wasn't he working for both sides?)

This was well after concerns in the football world about his dealings with Shinawatra's Man City. Even I had heard of him by then...

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2 hours ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

They had put in £3m a year. After the crash the point is that the demands from other businesses in the Walker "empire" meant that there was no realistic prospect of that resuming and they decided to sell - it took 18 months to 2 years to do so. As you probably know there was a court case in which the beneficiaries of the trust sued the trustees for putting too much money in to the club. The trustees had no choice but to bail out.

I'm afraid Jack Walker messed up. He should have put the club in to a trust separate from the other family interests with £30m to £50m in cash to help it - the board should have been much the same but maybe with a couple of representatives from the supporters plus the journo from the LET to make sure that the club was run  in the way he would have wanted.

Was there any actual evidence that the likes of Ross etc were suing the Trust chairman for miss distribution of funds because they'd lavished it on the club ?

 

Edited by tomphil
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Just now, tomphil said:

Was there any actual evidence that the likes of Ross etc were suing the Trust chairman for miss distribution of funds because they'd lavished it on the club ?

Wasn't he a guy who took over later on ?

I remember Vinjay - inevitably - putting up the transcript of some case in Jersey about this but to be honest I am a bit hazy about the actual detail

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1 hour ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

I was referring to criminal behaviour - as far as I know employing a twerp from Malaysian TV is not yet a crime

You actually said "dodgy" which doesn't necessarily mean criminal. It wasn't against the law to have a spiv football agent effectively running the club, but it was certainly unethical.

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Just now, Mashed Potatoes said:

I remember Vinjay - inevitably - putting up the transcript of some case in Jersey about this but to be honest I am a bit hazy about the actual detail

That's probably because there wasn't really any i'm sure Vinjay will confirm it's difficult to find info about what goes on in Jersey. There was also a hearing before the sale to Venkys which would probably make interesting reading.

Edited by tomphil
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Just now, Amo said:

You actually said "dodgy" which doesn't necessarily mean criminal. It wasn't against the law to have a spiv football agent effectively running the club, but it was certainly unethical.

I was trying to avoid potentially libellous statements. I would agree with you that employing the agent you may or may not have in mind was a serious mistake but in relation to the judgement of the Walker Trust in selling the club to Venkys I am of the opinion that they could not have anticipated that Venkys would go down that route to the degree that they did when as most of us knew it was clearly not in Venkys own interests.

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1 hour ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

They had put in £3m a year. After the crash the point is that the demands from other businesses in the Walker "empire" meant that there was no realistic prospect of that resuming and they decided to sell - it took 18 months to 2 years to do so. As you probably know there was a court case in which the beneficiaries of the trust sued the trustees for putting too much money in to the club. The trustees had no choice but to bail out.

I'm afraid Jack Walker messed up. He should have put the club in to a trust separate from the other family interests with £30m to £50m in cash to help it - the board should have been much the same but maybe with a couple of representatives from the supporters plus the journo from the LET to make sure that the club was run  in the way he would have wanted.

I think it was a legal obligation that they had to subsidise the club through profits from other areas as per instructions from Jack Walker. It wasn't an 'opt in' if you fancy doing arrangement.

I think blaming the economic crash of 2008 is off point slightly. Whilst it may have contributed to their urgency in trying to get rid they were after selling the club before the economic downturn began.

They never really wanted the club and didn't have any interest in it. I get that. Unfortunately there was the inconvenient matter of their obligations and duties under the trust fund which made their personal preferences irrelevant.

Jack Walker didn't 'mess up'. He was far too astute and clever to make such a simple error. This is a guy who years before he died paid the best lawyers and advisers around to get his affairs in order and ensure there was continuity after his death. The arrangements he put in place were done properly. It was the execution of them that came up short I believe because the people responsible for doing it had other ideas. 

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2 hours ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

They had put in £3m a year. After the crash the point is that the demands from other businesses in the Walker "empire" meant that there was no realistic prospect of that resuming and they decided to sell - it took 18 months to 2 years to do so. As you probably know there was a court case in which the beneficiaries of the trust sued the trustees for putting too much money in to the club. The trustees had no choice but to bail out.

I'm afraid Jack Walker messed up. He should have put the club in to a trust separate from the other family interests with £30m to £50m in cash to help it - the board should have been much the same but maybe with a couple of representatives from the supporters plus the journo from the LET to make sure that the club was run  in the way he would have wanted.

Tax issue I expect. Lumped them in together because Rovers lost money. Therefore overall tax bill came down.

 

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Exactly, Jack wasn't daft he wasn't going to put his trust fund or his family's futures in jeopardy. What he had in place was to protect all his and their interests. He was an unbelievable business man always ahead of the game and having Rovers in there with the annual donation was probably a great tool to offset some profits etc.

Nobody saw the crash coming but then it was down to those steering the ship to guide it through the choppy waters that come along now and again in the economic cycle.  Jacks businesses will have seen their way through many a recession and stock market crisis etc. They'd drawn their horns in before all that anyway in terms of the club but even if they had to for a while so be it the new tv deals where around the corner. Club had a few assets to sell and so did the Trust so everything would have been fine for a while longer.

In reallity what you probably had was a very large expanding expensive to keep family needing funding and a lot maybe wanting different shares of the pot. As well as other shareholders viewing other businesses in the portfolio as more important than the club.

It wasn't really costing them anything at that point but it was an asset they could draw a huge pot of cash in from if they could wangle out the legalities and get shut !

Edited by tomphil
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55 minutes ago, JHRover said:

I think it was a legal obligation that they had to subsidise the club through profits from other areas as per instructions from Jack Walker. It wasn't an 'opt in' if you fancy doing arrangement.

I think blaming the economic crash of 2008 is off point slightly. Whilst it may have contributed to their urgency in trying to get rid they were after selling the club before the economic downturn began.

They never really wanted the club and didn't have any interest in it. I get that. Unfortunately there was the inconvenient matter of their obligations and duties under the trust fund which made their personal preferences irrelevant.

Jack Walker didn't 'mess up'. He was far too astute and clever to make such a simple error. This is a guy who years before he died paid the best lawyers and advisers around to get his affairs in order and ensure there was continuity after his death. The arrangements he put in place were done properly. It was the execution of them that came up short I believe because the people responsible for doing it had other ideas. 

The trustees will have had to operate the trust in accordance with Walker's wishes as set out in the trust deed. As far as I know none of us have seen that but on the basis of what happened from 2001 onwards approx £3m a year came in to the club from other businesses in the trust - presumably that was in accordance with the terms of the trust but to put in cash there has to be available cash generated by those other businesses and with the credit crunch from 2007-8 I am not sure that the football club could really be considered as a priority - an airline for example could have required significant cash funding. I don't know how many people on this board own the book "The Club That Jack Built" by Charles Lambert published in 2001 but on page 230 there are the statements "A downturn in the trading climate of other Walker companies would have an adverse impact on the funding available for Rovers" and "Whether the trustees will be as indulgent if the club continues to trade at a loss is a question that only time will answer " - prophetic words in my view.

Jack Walker was of course a brilliant businessman - but he wasn't infallible because none of us are. In the end he spent £100m on a football club which was in the second tier of English football when he bought it and was back there when he died.

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The Walker heirs completely destabilised the running of their own Trust and indeed frustrated Jack's dreams in many ways when he was alive. There have been two law suits relating to the Trust in the period 2007-2012 I am aware of.

The financial crash inevitably impacted the Trust but it was large and we'll managed enough to have sailed through. It was the legal challenge which totally upset the apple cart and that was primarily over Flybe which under Trust management in the early 2000s had grown to become a disproportionately large part of the asset base. An airline worth £500m at the peak was recently sold to Virgin for £1.

There was the Australian bidder for Rovers which was serious back in 2010 which was undermined by people within the club whose loyalties lay elsewhere plus the Qataris twice looked but not in 2010. So it is not true to say there weren't other wealthy serious bidders who know their way around top level international sports management.

Because of the structure and location of the debt today I am not overly worried that it represents a short term existential threat to Rovers. If Rovers were an established Premier League club it could become a big issue on a sale as valuation of such clubs now start around £300m. 

The actions and support of Venky's has been exemplary since the dismissal of Coyle. It is over to the Ewood on and off field management to deliver their side of the bargain.

Edited by philipl
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I also seem to remember a story doing the rounds that the guy who bought Leicester being refused the chance to look at the books by the people employed to sell the club.

Just out of interest how have all the other companies that the Walker Trust were involved in done?

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3 hours ago, philipl said:

The Walker heirs completely destabilised the running of their own Trust and indeed frustrated Jack's dreams in many ways when he was alive. There have been two law suits relating to the Trust in the period 2007-2012 I am aware of.

The financial crash inevitably impacted the Trust but it was large and we'll managed enough to have sailed through. It was the legal challenge which totally upset the apple cart and that was primarily over Flybe which under Trust management in the early 2000s had grown to become a disproportionately large part of the asset base. An airline worth £500m at the peak was recently sold to Virgin for £1.

There was the Australian bidder for Rovers which was serious back in 2010 which was undermined by people within the club whose loyalties lay elsewhere plus the Qataris twice looked but not in 2010. So it is not true to say there weren't other wealthy serious bidders who know their way around top level international sports management.

Because of the structure and location of the debt today I am not overly worried that it represents a short term existential threat to Rovers. If Rovers were an established Premier League club it could become a big issue on a sale as valuation of such clubs now start around £300m. 

The actions and support of Venky's has been exemplary since the dismissal of Coyle. It is over to the Ewood on and off field management to deliver their side of the bargain.

I thought the Qataris emerged after Venkys bought the club ?

As for the Australian was that the character called Dan something where it was never clear whether there were actually funds in place ?

I agree with you that the debt is now effectively irrelevant. It is now so large that there is no prospect of it being paid off by the club's operations so it only comes in to play on a sale

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Just now, Mashed Potatoes said:

I thought the Qataris emerged after Venkys bought the club ?

As for the Australian was that the character called Dan something where it was never clear whether there were actually funds in place ?

I agree with you that the debt is now effectively irrelevant. It is now so large that there is no prospect of it being paid off by the club's operations so it only comes in to play on a sale

A disgraceful state of affairs. Shameful way to run a club. 

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On 04/11/2019 at 14:56, Mattyblue said:

Interview with Michael Appleton in today’s Times. Touches on Rovers...

’It was a mess. I was there two months, never met Shebby Singh. Yet, I turn up one day to find an envelope on my desk, just saying my services are no longer required due to poor results. It was a shock. We were still in a healthy position on the league (18th), which was my remit, I was reducing the wage bill. We had 18 players injured’.

 

Really has been a decade horribilis...

Healthy league position? 18 injured players? 

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Just now, Mashed Potatoes said:

I thought the Qataris emerged after Venkys bought the club ?

As for the Australian was that the character called Dan something where it was never clear whether there were actually funds in place ?

I agree with you that the debt is now effectively irrelevant. It is now so large that there is no prospect of it being paid off by the club's operations so it only comes in to play on a sale

"Dan" was, at best knowledge was anglo/american.

The "Australian" connection was, to the best of my knowledge, far more (how should I put it) richer, and had the available funds, possibly more so than the Indians.

Oh and they had/still have an interest in football.

It would have been a far better alternative to what we have now, but that's in the past.....

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Just now, Mashed Potatoes said:

I thought the Qataris emerged after Venkys bought the club ?

As for the Australian was that the character called Dan something where it was never clear whether there were actually funds in place ? I also have a vague recollection he either tried or did get involved in that lot down the M65.

I agree with you that the debt is now effectively irrelevant. It is now so large that there is no prospect of it being paid off by the club's operations so it only comes in to play on a sale

Was he Dan Williams who originated from Blackpool but made his money in America? I seem to remember he claimed to be from a family of Rovers fans. I also have a vague recollection that he either tried or did get involved with that lot down the M65.

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