A local club that is close to my heart and I am not going to mention the club directly. Over the years this club have faced some of the most serious financial problems and on a couple of separate occasions were in real danger of closing. Since turning things around and achieving promotion in 2015, the club have since failed to ramp things up in order to get to the top tier of English football. As it is widely understood in the game, the owner is planning his exit. I recently spoke with the owner’s advisor. He told me that although the club wasn’t then publicly up for sale at that time, that “everything has it’s price” and if any buyers want to put in an offer, that they would not be disregarded.
After personally auditing the club externally, I have uncovered a vast number of key areas showing room for improvement and I have found solutions to many of those problems and believe when the club goes live on sale with an asking price we can get back to making the club a focus point again for interested investors. As it stood, no investors were prepared to throw a figure at the club without having confirmation of what the actual asking price was. For me to have the cost figure ready for investors, the club would have had to tell me it was up for grabs. However there were rumours going around, that conversations had been had and around £60 million was mentioned as an unofficial asking price. I asked myself if this could be a realistic price for investors and the conclusion was that this is the sort of figure you would expect from a poor performing club in the Championship who also say at the same time that they are not actually up for sale. This makes me keen to look at the clubs real evaluation as soon as it goes up for sale with a confirmed price tag. If you can first understand from an investor’s perspective, why they come to me to help them with the buying process. Not only is my job as an agent to deliver and interact with the availability of clubs being put on the market across the football leagues, but from the buyers viewpoint I also help them make sure their target offers are sensible and realistic for what they are buying– since as added value to my clients, I also personally take into account pre-evaluations from both the club for sale in question, as well as our own third-party club auditors before I can advise any offers are put forward.
If you put yourself in the shoes of an investor, you want to invest large amounts of money into sizeable assets that have room to grow. It makes the most sense to first prioritize the isolated clubs who might be either under-performing or are in some form of distress. This is where you decide if a club is worthy of investment. After that, you want it. Most successful purchases are down to good timing for the sake of both parties involved. By looking after buyers, we naturally deliver these prospects to clubs. Since we are attracting, helping and servicing buyers with the search to find and acquire a football club, available clubs on the market like the fact that we are driving them interest. It’s a marketing arm for football clubs who have decided now is the best time to sell. As well as delivering prospects, we also work by advising, prepping and developing clubs, highlighting areas of improvement and assessing how we can turn any undervalued assets into carrots of incentives that buyers can add to their “reasons to buy” check-list.
If the clubs phone isn’t ringing often enough with interested parties, perhaps they will want to discuss and confirm a strategy. In the meantime I will keep my ears and eyes open for signs that this club has in fact gone up for sale and then see if there is any new interest for a serious offer from one of my buyers. Scott