League Two Club Ownership Thread

shoddycollins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
10,943
Reaction score
3,344
Points
113
Location
In the Paul Simpson wonderland
Supports
Carlisle United
Thought we could do with a general thread about club ownership, since we're one of a few clubs with issues that probably don't really warrant their own thread, and overall it's just the sort of thing that could benefit from a general thread.

Following the collapse of takeover talks, that I don't think any of the fans even knew were at an advanced stage there's been a bit of hearsay and conjecture over what the situation actually is as boardroom level.

The party looking to take over the club was the shady Purepay Ltd, a company that emerged out of the ashes of the collapse of Edinburgh Woolen Mill and basically bought out all of EWM's assets, including Carlisle United's debt. A lot of the same people are involved with Purepay as were involved with EWM, and this likely also includes Cumbria's richest man, billionaire Philip Day.

Day has been hovering around the club for a couple of years now, ever since making an unsecured loan which, so we're told, saved us from going into administration. He's a bit of a shadowy figure though, he has been seen on the odd occasion in the director's box and has close connections with David Holsworth for some reason. EWM also paid Holsworth's salary when he first joined as our Director of Football but I presume the club are paying it now. Apparently though Day has never communicated with anyone at the club directly, not even with CEO Nigel Clibbens (Clibbens is a salaried employee of the club rather that a part-owner), instead he only issues statements though intermediaries.

Officially Day is not connected in any way with Purepay, however one of the owners of Purepay is a holding company based in Abu Dhabi, coincidentally where Day apparently lives, and where companies aren't required to name their directors. The directors of the Abu Dhabi company aren't named. It seems like a safe guess that this company is actually Philip Day, but that's speculation.

Fans are a bit split on whether they want Day around. On the one hand, our current owners, the custodians, are very unpopular, they're old-fashioned, unambitious and secretive and have overseen a drop in league position from regularly finishing in the top half of League One to constantly battling against relegation from League Two. They bought the club on the cheap basically because nobody else was interested and presented themselves as interim owners, long-time club officials who wanted to get better investment in, that was almost 15 years ago. They don't seem to have the wherewithal to get us out of the National League if we do go down and there is no transparency at the club at all. For some fans, any change in ownership must be welcomed and Day is a billionaire so they perhaps hope that some of his vast wealth will be used to transform us into a much more ambitious and competitive outfit.

On the other hand there are fans who see red flags when they look at Philip Day. His association with Holsworth, lack of communication that is little different to the current custodians and how much we really want to stake our future on a man who has just overseen the collapse of a national retailer, and the redundancies in the city and financial difficulties for suppliers that brought, yet apparently has managed to emerge from it with his wealth and ownership of Edinburgh Woolen Mill intact. He also once said he wasn't even interested in football and only made the loan to save the club because many of his staff were United supporters and something about staff morale.

The prospective new owners in the collapsed takeover apparently failed the EFL's fit and proper person test. Nobody who knows is at liberty to say what the reasons for that are (no surprise there) or even confirm that Purepay were the prospective owners, however the official supporters club have said that the EFL's requirements were reasonable. If it is Purepay then I presume the EFL won't have been happy with one of the owners being anonymous. The Official Supporters Club also weren't willing to dilute their share in the club, which currently stands at 25.1%
 

Casey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
2,215
Reaction score
553
Points
113
Location
Creepy
Supports
Creepy
Crawley Town is owned by Ziya Eren.

He is Turkish and made his money from the steel business.

We see him about five or six times a season and he seems to be a decent bloke but he doesn't speak English so it's a bit awkward to have a lengthy conversation with him. He is not drowning in cash so don't expect us to buy our way to the title anytime soon.

Quite what he gets from owning us I have no idea.

Casey
 

Indian Dan

‘Absolute calamity!’
Joined
Jan 18, 2015
Messages
8,710
Reaction score
2,718
Points
113
Location
Kefalonia
Supports
Swindon
That’s the big question of all lower league owners. Unfortunately, there are many nefarious ways of making money from even the most static of football clubs.
 

kieran_vale

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
5,686
Reaction score
1,238
Points
113
Supports
Vale / New England Patriots
Just my impressions on this and might well be wide of the mark but I think in L2 there's a decent enough number of clubs you'd say are run well including but not limited to ourselves, Tranmere, Exeter, Mansfield and Orient. That's not to say any are without fault. In Carol Shanahans case she did let things drift on for a while after sacking Askey last season for example and gave the impression she was biding time to appoint Pugh until he ultimately said he didn't want it. I will say for her probably the best thing she's done is admit she didn't have enough football people or expertise around her in the boardroom hence appointing Flitcroft as DOF. That has been very important in us turning things round.

There is then another small group which are probably happy with their owners as they pretty much prop them up financially and given their support base completely unsustainably which is Salford and Harrogate.

You then have a group of clubs such as Bradford, Colchester and Carlisle which probably could do with a fresh start as they seem to be stagnating a little even if you can't say they have been run terribly.

Obviously there are also the basket case types which is clearly Oldham and maybe Scunny?
 

shoddycollins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
10,943
Reaction score
3,344
Points
113
Location
In the Paul Simpson wonderland
Supports
Carlisle United
Just my impressions on this and might well be wide of the mark but I think in L2 there's a decent enough number of clubs you'd say are run well including but not limited to ourselves, Tranmere, Exeter, Mansfield and Orient. That's not to say any are without fault. In Carol Shanahans case she did let things drift on for a while after sacking Askey last season for example and gave the impression she was biding time to appoint Pugh until he ultimately said he didn't want it. I will say for her probably the best thing she's done is admit she didn't have enough football people or expertise around her in the boardroom hence appointing Flitcroft as DOF. That has been very important in us turning things round.

There is then another small group which are probably happy with their owners as they pretty much prop them up financially and given their support base completely unsustainably which is Salford and Harrogate.

You then have a group of clubs such as Bradford, Colchester and Carlisle which probably could do with a fresh start as they seem to be stagnating a little even if you can't say they have been run terribly.

Obviously there are also the basket case types which is clearly Oldham and maybe Scunny?
Harrogate are a strange one since there seem to be a sizable number of their fans who don't approve of their ownership one little bit. There's one on this site who still posts in the non-league thread which is one more than the number of Harrogate fans posting regularly on thier own fans forum.
 

AdamStag

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
8,057
Reaction score
1,553
Points
113
Supports
Mansfield Town
Mansfield couldn’t possibly ask for better owners, they’re not without fault but they’re fantastic and we’ve really lucked out with them.
 

saddler78

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
641
Reaction score
161
Points
43
Location
walsall
Supports
walsall
Leigh Pomlett decent guy but not wealthy enough to take us forward and tells a few porkies.
 

BarraMatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
1,220
Points
113
Location
Barrow
Supports
Barrow AFC
We've a team of local businessmen who have overseen some success that we could have never have dreamed of but we've still got a few teething issues that they struggle to sort off the pitch.
 

shoddycollins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
10,943
Reaction score
3,344
Points
113
Location
In the Paul Simpson wonderland
Supports
Carlisle United
I was gonna class them all into the Good the Bad and the Ugly, but should probably add a couple more categories. So I give you, the Good, the OK, the Bad, the Ugly and the It's Complicated. I will update it as people post

GOOD
FGR
Port Vale
Mansfield
Tranmere
Orient
Exeter

OK
Walsall
Crawley
Barrow

BAD
Carlisle
Bradford
Colchester

UGLY
Oldham
Scunthorpe

IT'S COMPLICATED
Harrogate
Salford
Rochdale

(Updated)

I've put us Colchester and Bradford together as per kieran_vale 's comments, but I've also put Scunny in there and left Oldham along in the ugly section for now. From what I can tell from the comments of Scunny fans here, Swann is a bit like our owners in that the club is run pretty poorly, at times embarrasingly so, but he's not quite a crook or basket case just not really very good at running a football club kind of like Grimsby under Fenty or Port Vale when they were under Smurthwaite. They can pose a threat to the long-term future of their clubs and clubs do sometimes go under with these kind of owner, but it's mostly a slow slide and they can hang around for decades.

The ugly category is for the likes of Oyston at Blackpool, Dale at Bury, Bechetti at Orient, or going back a bit further, Knighton at Carlisle and Reynolds at Darlo and it would seem so far, Lemasgem at Oldham. These are the ones who are crazy, egomaniacal sometimes outright criminal and have the ability to drive a perfectly solvent and functioning football club into administration with hair-brained schemes or theft. Unlike the bad category, they usually don't last long since they either get ousted dramatically or the clubs under their control go under.
 
Last edited:

Bottega Don

Lenging Man Down
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
4,964
Reaction score
1,645
Points
113
Supports
Scunthorpe United
I was gonna class them all into the Good the Bad and the Ugly, but should probably add a couple more categories. So I give you, the Good, the OK, the Bad, the Ugly and the It's Complicated. I will update it as people post

GOOD
FGR
Port Vale
Mansfield
Tranmere
Orient
Exeter

OK
Walsall
Crawley
Barrow

BAD
Carlisle
Bradford
Colchester
Scunthorpe

UGLY
Oldham

IT'S COMPLICATED
Harrogate
Salford
Rochdale

I've put us Colchester and Bradford together as per kieran_vale 's comments, but I've also put Scunny in there and left Oldham along in the ugly section for now. From what I can tell from the comments of Scunny fans here, Swann is a bit like our owners in that the club is run pretty poorly, at times embarrasingly so, but he's not quite a crook or basket case just not really very good at running a football club kind of like Grimsby under Fenty or Port Vale when they were under Smurthwaite. They can pose a threat to the long-term future of their clubs and clubs do sometimes go under with these kind of owner, but it's mostly a slow slide and they can hang around for decades.

The ugly category is for the likes of Oyston at Blackpool, Dale at Bury, Bechetti at Orient, or going back a bit further, Knighton at Carlisle and Reynolds at Darlo and it would seem so far, Lemasgem at Oldham. These are the ones who are crazy, egomaniacal sometimes outright criminal and have the ability to drive a perfectly solvent and functioning football club into administration with hair-brained schemes or theft. Unlike the bad category, they usually don't last long since they either get ousted dramatically or the clubs under their control go under.
Swann is a crook, no doubt about it. He just had a large amount of our fans (me included as I was one of his biggest supporters) convinced that he was a man with good intentions who just made mistakes. It was clear he never was. He overspends his wifes money and then acts like the club owes it to him, he hires all of his family members. Our chief scout is his son, a man with zero real scouting experience before he was appointed our chief scout.

He's a terrible owner, he's banned our local press and a couple of fans that have spoken out about him. He went as far as suing a fan that slandered him on twitter. He's like Oldham's owner he's just not as outlandish about it which means we generally fly under the radar a lot more. Not many clubs have fallen as far as we have in recent years, from the brink of promotion to the Championship to not being a FL shortly.
 

shoddycollins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
10,943
Reaction score
3,344
Points
113
Location
In the Paul Simpson wonderland
Supports
Carlisle United
Swann is a crook, no doubt about it. He just had a large amount of our fans (me included as I was one of his biggest supporters) convinced that he was a man with good intentions who just made mistakes. It was clear he never was. He overspends his wifes money and then acts like the club owes it to him, he hires all of his family members. Our chief scout is his son, a man with zero real scouting experience before he was appointed our chief scout.

He's a terrible owner, he's banned our local press and a couple of fans that have spoken out about him. He went as far as suing a fan that slandered him on twitter. He's like Oldham's owner he's just not as outlandish about it which means we generally fly under the radar a lot more. Not many clubs have fallen as far as we have in recent years, from the brink of promotion to the Championship to not being a FL shortly.
I have duly moved you into the ugly section
 

Uncle Pastuzo

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
45
Points
28
Supports
Newport
How much of the land Brunton Park stands on does the club own? It must be worth a fortune halfway between the town centre and the motorway, or is the flood threat too great?
 

shoddycollins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
10,943
Reaction score
3,344
Points
113
Location
In the Paul Simpson wonderland
Supports
Carlisle United
How much of the land Brunton Park stands on does the club own? It must be worth a fortune halfway between the town centre and the motorway, or is the flood threat too great?
The club owns quite a lot of land, when you include the training pitches and car park, the whole site is pretty huge. They even own a house or two... Its pretty much worthless though due to the flood risk. Michael Knighton wanted the land for housing but that was before flooding became a regular ocurrance, I suppose we're at least safe from that sort of predatory owner who just wants to get hold of the land lol.
 

JaredSUFC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2015
Messages
2,459
Reaction score
912
Points
113
Location
Swansea
Supports
Sutton United FC
Twitter
@suttonjared
We don’t have a single owner, just loads of different shareholders, mostly local business people, but some randoms from across the world.

Our board of directors are pretty much all long-term supporters. The Chairman, Bruce Elliot, has been in position since 1996, and the majority of board members are involved in volunteering on match days and it’s fair to say they’re all pretty much appreciated by the supporters.
 

Ninety Per Cent

Active Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
543
Reaction score
99
Points
28
Location
South Lincs
Supports
Scunthorpe till we die
Swann is a crook, no doubt about it. He just had a large amount of our fans (me included as I was one of his biggest supporters) convinced that he was a man with good intentions who just made mistakes. It was clear he never was. He overspends his wifes money and then acts like the club owes it to him, he hires all of his family members. Our chief scout is his son, a man with zero real scouting experience before he was appointed our chief scout.

He's a terrible owner, he's banned our local press and a couple of fans that have spoken out about him. He went as far as suing a fan that slandered him on twitter. He's like Oldham's owner he's just not as outlandish about it which means we generally fly under the radar a lot more. Not many clubs have fallen as far as we have in recent years, from the brink of promotion to the Championship to not being a FL shortly.
And we come to the attention of the National Media he talks his way round it.

Thing is we have a fickle support and i wouldn't be surprised to see a decent crowd on Wednesday v Northampton when the rest of us have found other things to do (Bar away games).

Personally, i'd start again instead of bombing around the Conference in the next few years.
 

Soup Ladle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
4,090
Reaction score
2,196
Points
113
Supports
Hartlepool
We're owned by Raj Singh who has a care home 'empire' and property investments on a decent scale. He is the bloke responsible for Darlow going pop.

Quite a number of fans think the sun shines out his ring piece because he saved us from going bust. That much I guess is true. It also depends which fan group you're in. He favours certain groups that champion him at every turn.

On the flipside he is a massive Tory and snidey c*** who has no problem sacking people and refusing to pay their dues. You just have to watch him in interviews, the arrogance just oozes out of every orifice.

He's also allegedly desperately unpopular with anyone who works with him (can't leave quick enough) can't take criticism and is a control freak. This is evidenced by people willing to invest but then they get nowt in return. No say, nothing. All allegedly, of course it is.

He also appears to be a massive skinflint who seemingly breaks promises to managers, will spend the absolute bear minimum on the team. Will not repair anything in the ground as by the look of it wants to take us away from the Vic and get his hands on town centre land. Trying to force the council's hand.

I do not trust him at all.
 

Roger Stone

Active Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
671
Reaction score
191
Points
43
Location
Newport
Supports
Newport County
Club still fan-owned and would appear to be doing well all things considered. Club is expecting a profit to be made in 20/21. Net assets of £811k as of June 2021. Cup runs and player sales largely responsible for the profit, as we were running at about a £300k loss per season. Main issue to resolve is that of the ground share as our existing agreement runs out in 2023 - all in hand according to the Board.

Club accounts since fans takeover:

15/16: £339,522 profit
16/17: £351,456 loss
17/18: £82,680 profit
18/19: £967,208 profit
19/20: £307,875 profit
 

Brox

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
397
Reaction score
87
Points
28
Supports
Stevenage
I'd file Phil Wallace under the good owner section. Saved the club from going under, has spent many seasons making up the short fall whenever the club spent beyond it's means, has over seen improvements to the ground, training facilities and the youth setup as well as getting the club into the the Football League.

Unfortunately the last few years on the pitch have been poor, it's leading to some fans to lose patience. Unless I've read the room wrong, I don't think there are many calling for change at the very top but he's facing more questions now than he has at any other time.

Wallace has spoken about wanting the club to be more sustainable over the past few years, combine this with questionable recruitment and poor managerial appointments and we're trending downwards. Truth is, a sustainably run Stevenage is a middling to bottom end League Two club which is where we're at.

I look at some other clubs and I count my blessings with Wallace in control, he's not everyone's cup of tea but we're professionally run, stable and debt free.
 

Uncle Pastuzo

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
45
Points
28
Supports
Newport
Newport's ground tenure has gone quiet in public for a while which can only be a good thing. The original rugby club, now in sadly reduced circumstances, has been eased out to play nearly all its games at Spytty Park which we left for Rodney Parade.

With every year that passes the town seems to show less and less interest in the Dragons, who have the playing status but little public affection and must need us more than ever to cover the costs including the new pitch. By keeping it all so low-key our owners have played a blinder.
 

BarraMatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
1,220
Points
113
Location
Barrow
Supports
Barrow AFC
They're towards the bottom end of the attendance table I noticed following our game on Saturday, have they always been lesser supported than other clubs at this level or are they staying away while that apparent tosser is at the helm? Obviously they've not much to shout about at the moment but a smallish crowd in comparison to the stadium size didn't make for a good atmosphere at all on the highlights I've watched.
 

kieran_vale

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
5,686
Reaction score
1,238
Points
113
Supports
Vale / New England Patriots
They're towards the bottom end of the attendance table I noticed following our game on Saturday, have they always been lesser supported than other clubs at this level or are they staying away while that apparent tosser is at the helm? Obviously they've not much to shout about at the moment but a smallish crowd in comparison to the stadium size didn't make for a good atmosphere at all on the highlights I've watched.

I don’t think Colchester have ever been the biggest supported club but they have brought in a ticket policy for games this season that is almost like they are going out their way to discourage people from going to the games. This is a club which has really stagnated and whether it’s this season or next can only see a drop to the conference sooner than later.
 

valefan16

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
12,021
Reaction score
1,685
Points
113
Supports
Port Vale
What's the ticket policy?
You have to set up some sort of "bubble" to sit with people, basically its all very December 2020 when tiers/having to sit with householdy type of stuff.
 

Firthy_BCAFC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
3,012
Reaction score
620
Points
113
Supports
The Bantams
I don’t think Colchester have ever been the biggest supported club but they have brought in a ticket policy for games this season that is almost like they are going out their way to discourage people from going to the games. This is a club which has really stagnated and whether it’s this season or next can only see a drop to the conference sooner than later.

D7C402F9-F452-453F-B8C7-F256A9B1F7D0.jpeg
 

Forum statistics

Threads
16,021
Messages
1,101,733
Members
6,799
Latest member
tim785
Top