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31 minutes ago, MCT Team said:

Dear Member,

Thank you to those of you who are currently attending our webinar. 

For all our members, please find below the historic press release outlining tonight's announcement:

Morton Club Together (MCT) have tonight announced to their members that an agreement in principle has been reached with Golden Casket, the current owners of Greenock Morton, to take over majority shareholding of the club with effect from the summer of 2021.

The agreement reached with Golden Casket, headed up by current club Chairman Crawford Rae, will see the club sold to MCT for a nominal sum.  As part of the deal, Golden Casket will also write off the club’s debt in its entirety while retaining ownership of Cappielow to rent it to Morton at a nominal fee. 

This will mean that MCT will own approximately 90% of the shareholding in the club and in time for the 2021/22 season, Morton will join the growing list of community-owned clubs in Scotland.

Speaking about the announcement, MCT Founder and Director, Graham McLennan said, “Our goal has been clear from the outset – we want to move Morton forward. 

“We want a better team on the pitch. We want a better match day experience for everyone attending Cappielow.  We want to listen to the fans and to communicate effectively with all fans, stakeholders, and partners.

“We are all Morton supporters; we all want what is best for the club and now is our chance to be that best for the club through community ownership.

“In April 2019, MCT was just an idea.  Now, with 440 members, we have achieved so much and have an exciting future ahead of us.  We would like to thank every single one of our members who has supported us so far.

“As we have always said, we encourage Morton fans from everywhere to join us on this journey, and we hope this announcement will encourage many more to come on board.”

Over the coming nine months or so, MCT will be working closely with the existing board members and key club personnel to better learn the business of the club and fully understand its operations. 

MCT Director Stewart Farmer added, “This is a magnificent achievement in a very short period. MCT was formed in April 2019 and has already made significant contributions, both financially and increasingly on an administrative basis, into Morton. 

“Over the last 14 months, we have had a team of dedicated, hard-working and extremely capable volunteers working around the clock to get us to where we are now.” 

The agreement is also conditional on both parties, MCT and Golden Casket, agreeing in March 2021 that MCT are in a financial position to run the club in a viable manner.

In recent months, negotiations had been ongoing between a third party and Golden Casket, with involvement from MCT, around a purchase of the football club. 

Despite the terms of that deal being much more financially beneficial to Golden Casket and the Rae family, an offer from the third party was rejected in favour of facilitating community ownership through MCT.

Current Greenock Morton Chairman, Crawford Rae, said, “The Rae family’s final act of devotion to the club is to hand it over to the fans, marking their last involvement in the financial responsibility and stewardship at GMFC.”

MCT Director Gordon Ritchie also added, “The faith that Golden Casket and the Rae family have shown in all of us cannot be underestimated and we thank them for that.  20 years ago the Rae family saved the club, and now their legacy will be a club at the heart of Inverclyde, owned by the people who love it most, the fans.”

To all our members, thank you for all your continued support, without you, none of this would be possible. 

Should you wish to ask any questions, or provide feedback, please email us at mortonclubtogether@gmail.com.

Thanks,
MCT Team
 

The bit in bold, am I the only one who doesn't think that this is a good deal?

The supporters get the benefit of the club and it's liabilities without retaining it's key assets?  This is similar to a deal which led Leeds United being shafted for many years, when they lost the freehold of Elland Road.

What about ground improvements?  Who will take responsibility over these?

I've got a feeling this is the road to the Airdrie-isation of our once proud club.


You know I hate every pop star that I ever met.

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Hoppy & Davie McKinnon wanted the Youth academy closed down to save money... But its now being run separate from the club...

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11 minutes ago, TRVMP said:

If and when they start supporting non-UK bank accounts, I'll be joining. I'm not opening a UK bank account for this.

You don't have to, I am in Canada and support via Paypal.  Just write to MCT.  

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There's clearly been a lot of work and thought put into this and fair play to Rae for being true to his work and writing off the debt and handing over shares. 

Having thought about it a bit more though, my 4 biggest concerns are:

1. MCT stated that the current board are responsible for any losses in the coming season (and the following one if MCT aren't in a position to take over by March). This means we're likely to go with the lowest budget possible for up to two seasons since GC shareholders presumably won't support covering anything more than that. The focus will only really be to keep the lights on during the transition and the current board won't have much interest in increasing revenue so what kind of position will we be in when/ if MCT take over (or worse - if they can't/ don't)?

2. Can large, yearly individual contributions really be considered part of a sustainable business model? The current smaller, monthly contributions are likely to be more steady since they are for lower amounts so a drop in these are less of a risk although these need to be considered too. 

3. It's been well known that the stadium maintenance costs are high so there's a big challenge to make sure any investment in it gives value since it will have a third party owner. What are the plans for this? 

4. What happens if Golden Casket go under or there's a change of ownership? 

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On further thought, I had concerns about how MCT bridges the gap in funding, but when they came on board, Golden Casket had already cut their contributions are were not going to put any more of their own money into the club, or so they said at that meeting at the Gamble Halls. 

To me, and I know it's simplistic in the extreme to say, that would mean that any increase in the current contributions to MCT would only put us in a stronger position than we are currently.

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4 minutes ago, GiGi said:

And I see no reason why more people shouldn't get involved, finances allowing. As Matt said earlier it's in no one's interest for MCT ownership to fail.

Oh I’m sure a few people will find reasons to boycott it don’t worry. 

Only other thing on my mind at the minute is. If we ever moved stadium, a large part of that would be funded by the sale of Cappielow’s land. Would we see none of that under the current situation?

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3 minutes ago, GiGi said:

And I see no reason why more people shouldn't get involved, finances allowing. As Matt said earlier it's in no one's interest for MCT ownership to fail.

Aye this is the main thing. 

There was a good point made that community owned doesn't necessarily mean community run so if they get the structure right, good staff recruited and can answer the questions asked at this stage so fans are on board then it could work well. 

Early days though and the more I think about it the more I want to know about the transition year(s) as that could set us back quite a bit. 

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1 minute ago, TheGoon said:

Oh I’m sure a few people will find reasons to boycott it don’t worry. 

Only other thing on my mind at the minute is. If we ever moved stadium, a large part of that would be funded by the sale of Cappielow’s land. Would we see none of that under the current situation?

They did say Morton will play at Cappielow as long as MCT own the club.

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


onsP5NR.jpg

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Just now, TheGoon said:

Oh I’m sure a few people will find reasons to boycott it don’t worry. 

Only other thing on my mind at the minute is. If we ever moved stadium, a large part of that would be funded by the sale of Cappielow’s land. Would we see none of that under the current situation?

Probably wouldn't have before either. Any profit from a sale would have went to the GC debt. 

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2 minutes ago, GiGi said:

They did say Morton will play at Cappielow as long as MCT own the club.

That goes back to one of my concerns as well though. If some of the patron members choose to withdraw funding and were forced into administration, what happens? We're left as a club with no stadium and no assets relying on whoever owns GC at the time to come to an agreement over Cappielow. 

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I wouldn't get too hung up on the patron thing. We've needed to diversify our sponsorship for decades now. Yes, it's better than it used to be, but there's a long way to go. 


Now before Gavin goes, I'd like to ask him one more question.


Do you like Abba?

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35 minutes ago, irnbru said:

 

3. It's been well known that the stadium maintenance costs are high so there's a big challenge to make sure any investment in it gives value since it will have a third party owner. What are the plans for this? 

Did they not say that they were looking for people with "certain skills" to volunteer and help out around the ground, no matter how small the contribution.

I know that's going back to the same pot that they are looking to get money from, but it's a start.

Only problem with that is, if a jobs not done right or to a poor standard, it's difficult to go back to the volunteer and complain. That's why Dougie stopped fans helping out when he took over.

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2 minutes ago, TRVMP said:

I wouldn't get too hung up on the patron thing. We've needed to diversify our sponsorship for decades now. Yes, it's better than it used to be, but there's a long way to go. 

To be fair they mentioned sponsorship and marketing so revenue could be made up in other ways. My point was really just based on what they said as it was mentioned a few times they'd be looking at 2 or 3 people like this with a figure of 25k being mentioned so it would be a big part of the budget. 

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1 minute ago, The Bewilderedbeast said:

Did they not say that they were looking for people with "certain skills" to volunteer and help out around the ground, no matter how small the contribution.

I know that's going back to the same pot that they are looking to get money from, but it's a start.

Only problem with that is, if a jobs not done right or to a poor standard, it's difficult to go back to the volunteer and complain. That's why Dougie stopped fans helping out when he took over.

General maintenance is only really a small part of it though - the stadium needs investment so it can bring in revenue as well which won't be cheap. 

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Yeah I get that, but, as I said, it's a start.

Not something I'd like to see, but given the level of the Golden Casket cooperation I don't think they'd be adverse to sponsorship of the stadium and it's renaming.

Arnold Clark arena?

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Was there any talk of the third party that were rejected? Had been hearing for ages from a decent source that the Easdale’s were a stick on and was a matter of when not if. Seems a surprise for all they’ve invested in the club that we’ve gone the opposite way from them. 

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7 minutes ago, Scott said:

Was there any talk of the third party that were rejected? Had been hearing for ages from a decent source that the Easdale’s were a stick on and was a matter of when not if. Seems a surprise for all they’ve invested in the club that we’ve gone the opposite way from them. 

Aye without actually naming any names, they more or less confirmed that it was not the Easdales.

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Hope MCT have sent a begging letter to that James Anderson guy who is throwing money around and is particularly keen on 'community' initiative.

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