As we outlined in last weeks members update we have been looking at our policies and procedures over the past few months. One of the more striking issues is that we do not have a mandate to sell more than 49% of the club.
However we do receive enquiries from time to time about the Football Club the latest of these enquiries coming fairly recently. It is only right that we gauge our Members opinions on a potential sale of the club.
We have never been asked to sell the club and so our position is that the club is not for sale. However if we received a genuine and credible offer then we would need to react in a way that reflects the wishes of the ownership.
We hope we can come out of this process with a framework that does so accurately. We have not covered everything here and we hope that you use the comments boxes to expand on your thoughts.
We also need to point out that we may not be able to control potential negotiations to deliver every outcome that we would want.
Finally, to be clear, this is a request for feedback and constructive opinions and not a statement that the club is up for sale.
Our constitution states that we must maintain a majority holding in the club. Would you be in favour of selling a majority holding if the offer was acceptable ? Any sale of the club would require a 75% majority vote.
In the event of a sale would you be happy/prefer to see the fans retain a stake in the club ?
Would you like to see the club valued in order to help set a price for the club ?
Should the Trust always appoint professional advisors to negotiate on our behalf ?
Should all of our reasonable costs be met by the purchaser ? These would include appointed advisors,due diligence , costs of the EGM process and any other related expenses.
Should costs be met on an ongoing basis as the sale progresses?
What aspects of the club would need to be guaranteed under a change of ownership ? This could include the clubs name, colours, badge, stadium, nickname. These are just suggestions so please take a moment and list the things that matter to you.
Following the sale of the club members will need to decide on whether to continue the WST or wind it up. Under our constitution our assets would be distributed to local charities if the WST should be wound up.
However the other option is to continue the Trust as a supportive body helping the new owners and working with them to move the club forward.
Once again, we also need to point out that we may not be able to control potential negotiations to deliver every outcome that we would want.
There are many different ways of doing this but most importantly we need to do all we can to protect the long term future of our club. Owners come and go but fans do not.
Should WST remain as a body to support the club and its new owners ?
Should WST retain the lease of the Racecourse and any future acquisitions such as the proposed Groves training centre?
In the event of a further sale by the new owners should the WST have some sort of veto on the new owners ? For example if undesirable characters came forward ?
What would that look like ?