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Kafka's head would be spinning at this. You're arguing that these proposals are designed to 'shield the stadium from creditors' when they consist of either the stadium being used as security for

Well this statement is not ageing particularly well, given that in spite of receiving a £500k taxpayer's grant for literally fuck-all, the current custodians of GMFC have in the following six weeks:

Before getting into the lengthy wrongs and wrongs of this on GC's part, on a simple matter of fact, why are they talking about £2M being the figure of debt? As I understood it the debt was £2.5M when

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10 minutes ago, dunning1874 said:

Kafka's head would be spinning at this.

You're arguing that these proposals are designed to 'shield the stadium from creditors' when they consist of either the stadium being used as security for a debt to a creditor, or just directly giving the stadium to a creditor.

Why are you utterly convinced that Golden Casket only have good intentions towards the club and can be viewed as a neutral or even benevolent third party protecting us from malicious ones? They are the creditor that the stadium needs to be shielded from.

I’d credit Kafka with more intelligence than that. I’m not utterly convinced of anything here. Hence why I think it’s important to know more about how GC can be bound - in law - to restrictive terms relating to any lease or standard security. On the basis of what is in the public domain so far (no more than that) my opinion (no more than that) is that the short term risk with regard to MCT’s potential position with regard to working capital outweighs the longer term risks that have been pointed out throughout the thread - IF, for example with option A, any lease is robust against GC (or their successors’) whim.

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7 minutes ago, cmdc said:

I’d credit Kafka with more intelligence than that. I’m not utterly convinced of anything here. Hence why I think it’s important to know more about how GC can be bound - in law - to restrictive terms relating to any lease or standard security. On the basis of what is in the public domain so far (no more than that) my opinion (no more than that) is that the short term risk with regard to MCT’s potential position with regard to working capital outweighs the longer term risks that have been pointed out throughout the thread - IF, for example with option A, any lease is robust against GC (or their successors’) whim.

Okay great, we can officially file this pearl of wisdom, 'aye but, naw but' contribution alongside your 'the Raes spend £900k a year maintaining Cappielow' greatest hit. 

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The site is supposed to be a place for the extended 'family' of Morton supporters - having an affinity with people that you don't know, because you share a love of your local football club. It's not supposed to be about point scoring and showing how 'clever' or 'funny' you are, or just being downright rude and offensive to people you don't know, because you can get away with it. Unfortunately, it seems the classic case of people who have little standing/presence in real life, use this forum as a way of making themselves feel as if they are something. It's sad, and I've said that before..

 

So, having been on Morton forums for about 15 years I guess, I've had enough... well done t*ssers, another Morton supporter driven away. You can all feel happy at how 'clever' you are

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1 hour ago, vikingTON said:

Okay great, we can officially file this pearl of wisdom, 'aye but, naw but' contribution alongside your 'the Raes spend £900k a year maintaining Cappielow' greatest hit. 

I'm quite happy to stand by the position that the details really matter here and that real risks attach to all of these options that have to be better understood and balanced, and in your recurring stadium costs example I'm also quite happy - as was the case then - to correct myself where I make an error. So I can live with your filing system.

I happen to think that of the two options on the table it is likely that - detaching the emotion from it - the first option (a robust long lease along the lines of 175 years, at peppercorn rate, with no break clause, biting on GC's successors but that might be reliant on GC's own financial health) entails less risk than the second (ownership but with a standard security that might be triggered in, and complicated by, a number of different scenarios). It remains to be seen how these options are pursued or if other options come on to the table (the idea of (MCT's) Morton protecting the stadium behind a property company is probably workable on its own terms - but it is not without risks (one, for example, might be any value attached to the asset at the point of transfer) and there looks to be a long way from the present position to there).

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Hopefully the fact that Rae is likely to land MCT in the seaside leagues, completely gimping their budget and starting position in the process, forms part of ongoing negotiations. To leave us back where we started but with a large debt and/or no stadium/car park into the mix cannot be acceptable.

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Peter Weatherson is the greatest player since Ritchie, and should be assigned 'chairman for life' 


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5 minutes ago, GiGi said:

Hopefully the fact that Rae is likely to land MCT in the seaside leagues, completely gimping their budget and starting position in the process, forms part of ongoing negotiations. To leave us back where we started but with a large debt and/or no stadium/car park into the mix cannot be acceptable.

Yeah, as it stands both options on the table propose to have Golden Casket handing over GMFC in a worse position than it was in on day one of their ownership.

No one should be flippant about the situation we were in prior to that and the contribution made to avert the very real threat of liquidation, but the fact is that on day one of Morton being owned by Golden Casket we were a debt free club with full ownership of the stadium. If the takeover goes ahead with the club in debt or not owning the stadium as a result, then all their 20 year legacy will amount to is either asset-stripping the club or saddling it with an unsustainable debt.

The only area they could even attempt to argue we'd be better off in is on the pitch, where they inherited a third tier club and now have a second tier one, but it's looking increasingly likely that they've sabotaged that as well.

 

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Brian Wake my Lord, Brian Wake

Brian Wake my Lord, Brian Wake

Brian Wake my Lord, Brian Wake

Oh Lord, Brian Wake

 

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21 minutes ago, SpoonTon said:

Do the people behind the balance of decision making power at GC really care about Morton? While Crawford might have some sentiment for the club, and a desire not to see his father's legacy be tarnished too much, how much can that be said of GC as a whole? How did they come to a decision that they want to safeguard the future of the club? Why are the so silent on the issue?

There are too many nagging questions, but even MCT hardly give a glowing assessment of the options. There are some real worries in the outline of their points, for example:

  • It may also be possible to build in a clause that would give us first option to buy, should Golden Casket ever decide to sell the stadium, and this detail would be included in the lawyer discussions.
  • The argument for this arrangement from Golden Casket is that if Morton experience financial difficulties going forward, the stadium would be safe from creditors or administrators.

What does it mean by 'should Golden Casket ever decide to sell the stadium'? Does this mean that they could end the lease to sell the stadium and would a first option simply mean to buy at whatever the land might be valued at? How are we supposed to read 'the argument for...from Golden Casket'? It doesn't sound like MCT are convinced that this is also their own argument for this.  

And on option two, why separate the ground from the stadium? Is this because they want to keep the option open of selling the car park land? And is the point here not that what they really want is some of the GC money which Dougie spent on the club, so that if anyone with money ever wanted to buy the club or if the land ever became more valuable then they would get their cut? In either scenario is seems like GC want something more than securing the future of the club, indeed, it's easy to read a hint of bitterness that so much of 'their' money was spent on Morton over the years. 

I know there are many questions on the details, but there are more fundamental unanswered questions about intention. 

On the specific question about the lease - a robust lease would survive the sale of the stadium. The question would (or should) then be whether Morton have first option to buy it outright (or are able to compete with other prospective buyers if not) or whether they would have new landlords for the duration of the lease.

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4 hours ago, vikingTON said:

Okay great, we can officially file this pearl of wisdom, 'aye but, naw but' contribution alongside your 'the Raes spend £900k a year maintaining Cappielow' greatest hit. 

If the even spent 100k a season since DDF passed on the stadium I would be very surprised.

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2 hours ago, cmdc said:

On the specific question about the lease - a robust lease would survive the sale of the stadium. The question would (or should) then be whether Morton have first option to buy it outright (or are able to compete with other prospective buyers if not) or whether they would have new landlords for the duration of the lease.

So this is like a safeguard to safeguard us against those who are meant to be safeguarding us? So that they don't sell us out to some longer term land investor/speculator for an appropriate fee in the event that they decide not to care about us anymore?

But not the car park, because they don't see this as the same thing?

 

 

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12 minutes ago, SpoonTon said:

So this is like a safeguard to safeguard us against those who are meant to be safeguarding us? So that they don't sell us out to some longer term land investor/speculator for an appropriate fee in the event that they decide not to care about us anymore?

But not the car park, because they don't see this as the same thing?

 

 

I guess so. It would - depending on the lease terms - safeguard us against a change of motivation/intent by GC (i.e. this is the opposite of assuming good intentions always on the part of GC), a change in ownership of GC, or sale of the stadium/car park. 
 

On the car park - as I understand it that would be leased back under both options so it is possible (but, like I keep  saying - details!) to protect that in the same way (ie long term, peppercorn rate, no break clause) whether we go for lease or ownership of Cappielow itself. 

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One man and his “yacht”

A chap once purchased a yacht in the south of France that he bought off some shyster who was selling it because he got into debt and could no longer afford to run it. The shyster tried to sink it to claim the insurance but decided that that wouldn’t work.  

He found somebody who just loved this particular yacht and wanted to buy it no matter its condition, and buy it he did for £450k.

He spent a lot of money, not on the yacht itself to improve its value, but on lavish parties and travelling because that was his thing. He treated the yacht as you would a hobby spending money so that he and his friends could have a good time. This kind of pissed off his family as they could see their inheritance being frittered away while he enjoyed his yacht and his hobby.

But in the course of all this he decided to no longer invest in the yacht and the parties but take out loans to cover his spending on the parties and travelling around. This pissed off his family even more as they were picking up the tab.  Especially when he said he would write off those loans whenever somebody took on the yacht after he was gone. Because even he knew that although he had spent vast amounts on his hobby he hadn’t really improved the yachts condition since he bought it. But it was his hobby and he had had some wonderful times with his yacht, as had his friends, and hadn’t minded spending the money. After all it was his money to spend.

Now when it came to pass that he passed on some 17 years later his family decided to recoup the money he had spent on his hobby by inflating the price of the yacht to cover the debt he had accumulated, without any real improvements to the value of the yacht other than inflation, and hoping that they in turn would find an owner who loved the yacht as much as the old man had.

And they did, but you would hope that not having improved the yachts facilities or it’s standing in the marina that the new owners would only pay what the old man paid taking inflation into consideration. That would make the yacht worth around £750k and all the money spend on the hobby would be written off which is what the old man wanted.  

You would hope that the new owners, who were buying a pig in a poke, would be sensible enough to either get themselves a good deal or walk away from the deal until the family seen some sense.     

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54 minutes ago, 9 Strathblane Crescent said:

One man and his “yacht”

 

 

A chap once purchased a yacht in the south of France that he bought off some shyster who was selling it because he got into debt and could no longer afford to run it. The shyster tried to sink it to claim the insurance but decided that that wouldn’t work.  

 

 

He found somebody who just loved this particular yacht and wanted to buy it no matter its condition, and buy it he did for £450k.

 

 

He spent a lot of money, not on the yacht itself to improve its value, but on lavish parties and travelling because that was his thing. He treated the yacht as you would a hobby spending money so that he and his friends could have a good time. This kind of pissed off his family as they could see their inheritance being frittered away while he enjoyed his yacht and his hobby.

 

 

But in the course of all this he decided to no longer invest in the yacht and the parties but take out loans to cover his spending on the parties and travelling around. This pissed off his family even more as they were picking up the tab.  Especially when he said he would write off those loans whenever somebody took on the yacht after he was gone. Because even he knew that although he had spent vast amounts on his hobby he hadn’t really improved the yachts condition since he bought it. But it was his hobby and he had had some wonderful times with his yacht, as had his friends, and hadn’t minded spending the money. After all it was his money to spend.

 

 

Now when it came to pass that he passed on some 17 years later his family decided to recoup the money he had spent on his hobby by inflating the price of the yacht to cover the debt he had accumulated, without any real improvements to the value of the yacht other than inflation, and hoping that they in turn would find an owner who loved the yacht as much as the old man had.

 

 

And they did, but you would hope that not having improved the yachts facilities or it’s standing in the marina that the new owners would only pay what the old man paid taking inflation into consideration. That would make the yacht worth around £750k and all the money spend on the hobby would be written off which is what the old man wanted.  

 

 

You would hope that the new owners, who were buying a pig in a poke, would be sensible enough to either get themselves a good deal or walk away from the deal until the family seen some sense.     

 

 

1* RD, DH.

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At heart, what's left, we sadly know
That we are the last truly British people you'll ever know.

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1 hour ago, 9 Strathblane Crescent said:

One man and his “yacht”

 

 

A chap once purchased a yacht in the south of France that he bought off some shyster who was selling it because he got into debt and could no longer afford to run it. The shyster tried to sink it to claim the insurance but decided that that wouldn’t work.  

 

 

He found somebody who just loved this particular yacht and wanted to buy it no matter its condition, and buy it he did for £450k.

 

 

He spent a lot of money, not on the yacht itself to improve its value, but on lavish parties and travelling because that was his thing. He treated the yacht as you would a hobby spending money so that he and his friends could have a good time. This kind of pissed off his family as they could see their inheritance being frittered away while he enjoyed his yacht and his hobby.

 

 

But in the course of all this he decided to no longer invest in the yacht and the parties but take out loans to cover his spending on the parties and travelling around. This pissed off his family even more as they were picking up the tab.  Especially when he said he would write off those loans whenever somebody took on the yacht after he was gone. Because even he knew that although he had spent vast amounts on his hobby he hadn’t really improved the yachts condition since he bought it. But it was his hobby and he had had some wonderful times with his yacht, as had his friends, and hadn’t minded spending the money. After all it was his money to spend.

 

 

Now when it came to pass that he passed on some 17 years later his family decided to recoup the money he had spent on his hobby by inflating the price of the yacht to cover the debt he had accumulated, without any real improvements to the value of the yacht other than inflation, and hoping that they in turn would find an owner who loved the yacht as much as the old man had.

 

 

And they did, but you would hope that not having improved the yachts facilities or it’s standing in the marina that the new owners would only pay what the old man paid taking inflation into consideration. That would make the yacht worth around £750k and all the money spend on the hobby would be written off which is what the old man wanted.  

 

 

You would hope that the new owners, who were buying a pig in a poke, would be sensible enough to either get themselves a good deal or walk away from the deal until the family seen some sense.     

 

 

This country...

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9 hours ago, vikingTON said:

What evidence do you have to suggest that MCT wouldn't want the stadium and the club with no strings attached?

If MCT wants to separate the ground from the club then a separate body can be set up to do that, with MCT members giving the green light to transfer that asset to a genuinely trustworthy third party. It does not need GC's input to secure the ground from creditors and they cannot in fact be trusted to do that anyway.

There is only one party that is against GMFC and the ground being a single and fully-viable package in the current negotiations and that you failed to perceive this from the most recent statement about the two options from MCT is damning, though of course entirely predictable.

I think this point is absolutely key. Once upon a time it made sense for all clubs to own their grounds forever, when the vast bulk of their business consisted of selling tickets for a game on a Saturday. (Hence some football clubs still have, in quaint language, their main business described as 'operating football stadiums.') It would be unthinkable to separate the asset that generated their revenue from the facility in question.

But occasionally things went in reverse: the stadium was built first - for dog racing, athletics, whatever - and in order to generate additional revenue, a club was formed to play in it. (This is how Chelsea got their start, incidentally: Stamford Bridge was reconstructed to host a football club, and when Fulham declined to move in, the stadium owner founded a new club to play there.) In such cases the club was often kept separate from the core business of the stadium, really as a sideshow, in case it failed to prosper. Thames AFC is a great example of this: the owners of West Ham Stadium (not to be confused with the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park) founded it as a separate entity, being unsure of its prospects of success; when the club was wound up a few years later, after a short and unsuccessful tenure in the Football League, the stadium company was left unharmed and the greyhounds continued their merry dance for decades to come.

With football being where it is now, and even clubs at our level needing revenue away from the turnstiles, it's not completely beyond the realms of reason to have a company for the stadium and a company for the league membership. It is messy, of course, and asset-shielding is a legal minefield, and it can severely limit credit facilities available to the "clumpany." But it's not something to be completely dismissed.

However, in the case of Morton, it is far from clear why Golden Casket - other than the fact that they want "their" money back - would be better custodians of the ground than anyone else. In fact it seems clear to me, given their conduct over the past couple of years, that there are massive red flags about their continued ownership of Cappielow - flags that would not exist via, say, a hypothetical third party completely unrelated to GC.

But it's a fait accompli at this point. GC have, to their immense credit, dictated the terms of the conversation. What should have happened is: MCT ask, what is the preferred ownership structure for the stadium and for the club? Then generate a list of options from that. What did happen is: GC said, here lads, we'll hold onto the deeds for you and rent it back to you for cheap, don't worry about your only fixed asset, we've got you covered. MCT rather bovinely went along with this, and only now - with the presentation of an inferior second option - is anyone getting back to first principles.

They've played a blinder, the Raes, they really have. They're clearly not daft. They talked past the sale and everyone went along with it.

I maintain that the most realistic path out of this is to withdraw from negotiations with GC and either wait for them to sell to a completely separate organization, or to call MCT back to the table. (Bear in mind last July MCT reported that FC had turned down far better terms than MCT had offered from an unnamed party. Given that MCT is paying off their debt piecemeal for very little in return, I'd be very curious as to what that offer was, and more importantly I'd wonder who was the deep-pocketed person behind it.)

The stadium was just resting in my account

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