Very confused - what is GI's game?

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Very confused - what is GI's game?

Post by PhilGull » 21 Sep 2017, 09:33

Chris_F wrote:
21 Sep 2017, 07:26
Morning all from a regular viewer but infrequent poster. I have a few thoughts and they are nothing more than that....

Personal, and company taxes can be a real pain - ask Harry Redknap.... I think that with various business assets that GI have their tax bill might well be higher than they feel comfortable with.
Effectively they won TUFC in a lottery, anyone else could have come in for the club ahead of them at any time, it cost them very little and the attitude was if they got it, they got it, if they didn't they didn't.
Now they do have it, they have a problem - what to do with it.
Everything is open to speculation and their track record isn't great for the likes of Bristol Rovers etc.
However, and these are just my thoughts, I think they may well be using the club as a kind of tax loophole. Personally, I have a couple of businesses and when one is doing well then I put money into tax-deductible ventures such as training programmes - or I pay a directors loan into another business.
GI may well have got the club for a pittance, BUT they have put a lot of money into the club so far, increased budget, paying off the old management, paying Bath City, new signings etc
This money has come from somewhere and presumably, it's not from the money fairy but from their own companies and other investors, my guess is that the thinking is similar to mine (but with much larger numbers) inasmuch as 40% of their profits have to go somewhere!
Either: 1 the government gets the dosh or, 2 it gets invested in the hope of it showing a return in the future - option 1 is dead money (as far as they're concerned) option 2 it's a gamble but the ROI could be very worthwhile.
Personally, I would put energy into a new project but if it didn't yield a return within a set period of time then I'd walk away so long as I didn't spend more than I would have paid elsewhere - as in paying a higher rate tax.
I may be totally wrong, and I am often am, but it's a possibility?
Less possibility, more probability in my opinion.
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Post by westyorkshiregull » 21 Sep 2017, 09:56

Torquay DNA ,to be honest I'm not bothered if you are Harrop of not. It's not a agenda to find out and it's actually bit of fun poking that stick at you. It's free speech in here and everyone has the chance to say whatever they want. If for example we have 1000 hard-core supporters , you will get people with view from across the spectrum and there will be people PRO GI or in the middle ect.

Thank you mellow , I refrain a bit from repeating negative things and personal insults. I'm a fan of 30 years and I'm just frustrated. That post from CHRIS F , well I'm not a businessman , but clearly osborne and associates are very clever in business. Well I'm just a fan of Torquay United and if our owners don't share that singular interest and we are just a small part of there business puzzle then there is going to be a difference of priority I guess. I was always a fan of Mike bateson, very much so. Some people at that time didn't like that. But I very much so remember a quote he said years ago which stuck with me. That a owner of the club could "work full time and take a salary of 35000 grand a year " . Seemed such a modest way of selling the club , not like a" new owner could bulldoze the ground and build houses on it ".
Maybe I'm just selfish or old fashioned but I want owners who really want the best for our club and fans , im not at all convinced yet. Not one bit. I don't even feel that gratfull for saving our club , it was consequence of other people selfish and incompetence acts from before.

Anyhow I'll plug my YouTube channel i think....im still hoping for some rare footage, I was in process of some footage from plainmoor 1978 v Grimsby being posted but I keep being let down by the archive people. I'm hoping it will still happen, actually today I'm going to get back on the case.
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Post by Dave_Pougher » 24 Sep 2017, 08:15

Anyone still confused?
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Post by merse btpir » 07 Nov 2017, 09:23

TorquayDNA wrote:
13 Sep 2017, 10:55

Lots of questions in my head right now but the most prominent is this: What is GI's intention in buying and investing in TUFC? I'm trying to reason it all out but really struggling
No apologies for bringing this very important thread back to the top of the agenda but I want everyone to be aware of the 'slow burner' nature of the developer and what happens when they get their hooks into a sporting entity.......and development is the eye popping standout reason why Gaming International hung out the bait of a £100,000 plus injection into Torquay United's funds when the previous regime were struggling to run it without either a business pan or the financial wherewithal to sustain it and under the Svengali influence of Peter Masters who eschewed the potential involvement with the trust and community at large as a sustainable future because (in his eyes) that would necessitate the sort of substantial financial commitment to keeping the wheels on the cart such as GI are doing at the moment.

Torquay DNA then went on to outline his scepticism as to why a property development project should be interested in Plainmoor.....
TorquayDNA wrote:
13 Sep 2017, 10:55
Development: This has been covered so many times, but I'm at a loss. I know GI have tried their hand at this more than once, but I'm really struggling to see why on earth they'd want to go through all this hassle and cost in return for a small piece of land in an area where house prices are below average. Surely there is almost no way they can make a good amount of money out of this as a development project? So, there you have it: open for sensible, reasoned discussion! I just cannot work out why GI have bothered to waste their time on this project. It doesn't seem to stack up on any level. However, if they could make their intentions clear then I'm sure it would help a lot!
The 'small piece of land' of course has much juicier links with land at Quinta which any potential developer would want to link in a joint parcel with the borough in exchange for building that 'stadium by 2002' in exchange for the Plainmoor freehold. Development is notorious for the slow burning approach and stealth like persual of public asset for private gain; now read this carefully about a semi professional football club who also sit on desired real estate and see how it illustrates their modus operandi:

Dulwich Hamlet "will be forced to close in the near future" following the withdrawal of support by the development firm that has been bankrolling them in recent seasons. One of non-league football's best supported and high-profile teams, Hamlet went six points clear at the top of the Isthmian (Bostik) Premier League, the seventh tier, this weekend but find themselves in the middle of a complicated dispute between Meadow Residential and Southwark Council. Meadow owns the south London club's Champion Hill ground and wants to build houses on that site and some adjoining land. As part of that development, which is worth an estimated £80million, the firm has promised to build the club a new 4,000-capacity venue and help it move into fan-ownership, free of debt.

......and as messrs Dave Phillips, Merv Balsdon, Harry Kerslake and their wives know only too well 'free of debt' is a very loose term as they found out when Thea Bristow bailed out leaving an insurmountable mountain of commitment behind her.

The council, however, believes Meadow's plans do not provide enough affordable housing ~ a minimum of 35 per cent of the development has to included to come within current legislation ~ and has taken court action to block its progress. The most recent move was to refuse Dulwich Hamlet's request to renew a lease on some land next to Champion Hill, which is currently occupied by an old style floodlit astroturf pitch on which the football club train but is crucial to Meadow's plan.

In a statement released on the club's website yesterday, Dulwich Hamlet's football committee said Meadow has told them it was no longer willing to subsidise the costs of the team. It said it has been told by Meadow it can have the net profit from match days but as "we have no say in the management, pricing or efficiency of the match-day operations, our profit is dictated to us". I know the chairman Liam Hickey well enough to chat to and he told me that for instance the admission pricing policy is as laid down by the owner and not the club management; leaving them with a rapidly deteriorating ground in which grandstand seats that have been ripped out and stolen by vandals are not replaced to the ever increasing detriment of facility in the stadium because the owner will not release capital to carry out that very essential maintenance.

The committee claims it sent a "large list of concerns and urgent questions" to Meadow last week but has not yet received full answers. Meadow, however, disputes this account and says it cannot be blamed for no longer wishing to pour £170,000 a year into a club it does not own. In a statement of their own, Meadow point out it bought Champion Hill from the liquidators of a previous failed development plan that had left Dulwich Hamlet homeless. Subsequently, Meadow has managed and refurbished the stadium, provided free professional support and funded the team's relatively high wage bill of over £8,000 a week before tax. The developers say this has been part of their plan to find "a solution that wipes out Dulwich Hamlet's substantial debts and provides a new stadium that can sustain a growing club".

On the wage bill, it said: "We have not sought to 'run' the footballing side of the club. We do not own Dulwich Hamlet and our interest has been focused on the planning opportunity, rather than tackling the many operational issues that give rise to the club's unstable finances."
Meadow admits it was perhaps, "with the benefit of hindsight, unwise" to let the budget go beyond £8,000, including a "generous bonus structure" and a commitment to pay the players' fines, but its investors can no longer justify that expense without a deal on the development and a chance to recoup the "very substantial sums" already invested. The statement concludes by saying Meadow is "actively seeking to work" with the club and council on a way out of this "very difficult situation", as without Meadow's support Dulwich Hamlet "will be forced to close in the near future", and without the council's support the development plan is dead in the water.

Take note: development companies are not benevolent societies; they are in it to make money and whilst GI might to capitalise and run Torquay United in the short term, we can all see what their long term (slow burner) aim is!

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Post by Southampton Gull » 07 Nov 2017, 10:27

Nicely laid out, Merse. Sorry to hear about Dulwich, I've played them before and they seemed a very welcoming club.
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Post by merse btpir » 07 Nov 2017, 11:15

A fantastic club; with an old school heritage and a modernistic playing and development ethos........they know how to pull the crowds in too!


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Post by westyorkshiregull » 07 Nov 2017, 11:50

So merse in effect the situation is almost the same. I can't see what positive outcome we can have , if your pro plainmoor that is. Perhaps if we had the made the 3rd round fa cup away to man Utd or sold a player for 250000 upwards I wonder gi would then consider it a bad job and and least walk away with a minimum of money back. I do say minimum , they are a business but I can't work out if they regret this transaction or they know something we don't.
Really interesting post merse about Dulwich and there troubles. It's all sad state of affairs.


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Post by merse btpir » 07 Nov 2017, 12:42

In speaking to Sky Sports about greyhound racing around a year ago; one of the GI directors ~ Bill Glass; who has been seen in and around Plainmoor ascertaining the 'entertainment potential' of the property ~ did say that the company sought to preserve the sporting heritage of a site until it was no longer viable and therefor made it quite transparent that they were ultimately in it for development reasons.

Apply those words to places like Eastville, MK greyhounds, Oxford, Reading and Swindon; and you can clearly see what he means. Maintaining the sporting heritage is not their overriding aim; maximising the development value of the land is, Be under no illusion about that!


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Post by Yorkieandy » 07 Nov 2017, 13:27

I'm all in favour of demolishing greyhound stadia so in that respect i like Osborne. If you want to race greyhounds then fine, just make sure once they can't earn you anymore money that you look after them and don't pass them on. As nobody does this then yes, go Clarke! Right behind you man! I'd rather make money out of property than animals and there's me thinking Clarke has no conscience.

There is one charity that shouldn't need to exist and it's called the Retired Greyhound Trust.


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Post by merse btpir » 07 Nov 2017, 13:53

Don't imagine for one nano-second that Osborne's involvement with greyhound racing has been for altruistic reasons......all to do with property acquisition, sitting on an asset then converting into the most profitable asset it is possible to do.

It's not peculiar to Clarke Osborne and has been at the heart of erecting cheap structures on initially invaluable land for more than a century. Take an interest in the sites of the three former stadiums in and around Park Royal in London NW10, the footprint of the old dog tracks at Wandsworth, Walthamstow, Wimbledon, Catford, Hackney Wick, West Ham and Haringay~ all gone to development as (mainly) retail parks or housing and not one new greyhound racing venue built to replace even one of them!

Did you know that a greyhound track was constructed in Kingskerswell in 1932 on the east side of the Great Western Railway Torquay branch line and the west side of the Torquay Road. The name The Halfway Racetrack derived from the Half Way Cottages and Half Way Inn that were located on its east side. The track opened during February 1933 and traded through the war. The racing was independent (not affiliated to the sports governing body the National Greyhound Racing Club) or a 'flapping track' as they were colloquially known....I spent a few evenings there unknown to my parents as a boy!

The venue was listed as being able to hold 500 spectators and in 1947 had a totalisator turnover of £157,233 which was a large turnover for a small track. In the 1960s the track was all-grass and raced five dog races over 220 and 530 yards and had an inside rail hare system.

The track raced until November 1971 with the land being sold for redevelopment. The housing on the site today is called Stadium Drive and the Halfway Inn is now a private house and has been superseded by the much more spacious and modern pub called the Hare and Hounds right across the road from where it was.


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Post by Neal » 07 Nov 2017, 16:58

Interesting history about the greyhound track in Kerswell.

My drinking buddies in the Nelson (my local when I'm down there) have mentioned it a few times but I didn't know exactly where it was.

What with the proposal for development on Green field sites and on basically anything that can give a profit, god knows what the country will look like in 5O years time. But any local amenity will have to be fought for to keep it, but I think in the long run its all a losing battle, and thast a shame, but money is king in the end.
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Post by budegull1954 » 07 Nov 2017, 17:05

Now that this G.I. thread has been revived, it's worth pointing out that there is still no 'local board' at TUFC as promised. By September! Maybe they were thinking September 2018, 2019...zzzzzz


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Post by tomogull » 07 Nov 2017, 17:21

westyorkshiregull wrote:
07 Nov 2017, 11:50
So merse in effect the situation is almost the same. I can't see what positive outcome we can have , if your pro plainmoor that is. Perhaps if we had the made the 3rd round fa cup away to man Utd or sold a player for 250000 upwards I wonder gi would then consider it a bad job and and least walk away with a minimum of money back. I do say minimum , they are a business but I can't work out if they regret this transaction or they know something we don't.
Really interesting post merse about Dulwich and there troubles. It's all sad state of affairs.
The situation is similar, but there is a major difference. According to Merse's post, Meadow Residential (what a cynical name for a development company!) own the Dulwich Hamlet ground - G.I. (or Riviera International) don't own Plainmoor. We must all be vigilant and ready to lobby Torbay Council if ever we get a whiff of either Mayor Gordon Oliver or the Council buckling to G.I'. pressure. As Merse points out, G.I. are no doubt biding their time ...... Fortunately, both our MP, Kevin Foster, and his pre-decessor, Adrian Sanders, are well aware of G.I's 'interests'.


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Post by merse btpir » 07 Nov 2017, 17:29

Therefore it is essential that the freehold remains in the public domain!

The original owners of the freehold was Kings College London who developed a sporting complex there in 1912 and the Hamlet started paying there immediately. When the football club suffered financial problems in the nineteen eighties, much of the land they owned was sold for development of a Sainsbury's supermarket. As a result, a new stadium was built on the site of the old Champion Hill stadium, and the Sainsburys supermarket was built on what had been the training pitch before the 1980s. The 'new' stadium was opened in 1992. The club's record attendance at the new ground is 3,000, set for an Isthmian League Premier Division game against Maidstone United on 18 April 2015.

The ground was also used by Corinthian-Casuals from 1963 until 1968, Fisher Athletic from 2004 until they folded in 2009, and then by the new Fisher club between their formation in 2009 and 2016 when they moved to their own ground on Salter Road back in Rotherhithe where their spiritual home is. The Champion Hill ground It is listed by Southwark London Borough Council as an asset of community value

The Supporters’ Trust’s long term aim has been for the club to have stable ownership with healthy, transparent finances leading to success on the pitch. When the Trust was first formed it’s objective was to raise money which would be invested in the club for the benefit of supporters, whilst also at the same time acquiring a significant shareholding that would enable it to have a meaningful influence on behalf of supporters in the way the club was run.  Since Hadley Property Group (HPG) took over control of the club in February 2014 the Trust’s objectives have evolved to include an ownership model that fully involves supporters.

Dulwich Hamlet FC Limited is a private company, which changed ownership in the mid-2000’s when the vast majority of its 300,000 shares were acquired by Nick McCormack. As well as the Football Club itself there are related businesses of the Health Club and the five-a-side pitches on Greendales behind the ground. At the current time, Champion Hill Stadium and Dulwich Hamlet FC Ltd (DHFC Ltd) are separate legal entities.  Greendale Property Company Limited (Greendale) owns the freehold of the Champion Hill Stadium and surrounding locale, and has an exclusive option, through its associated company Hadley Property Group, to purchase the majority holding of the issued shares in DHFC Ltd (the legal entity that runs the football club) from the Football Club’s current owner, Nick McCormack.  Since obtaining the option Greendale, through HPG, has invested considerable financial resources in DHFC Ltd and effectively runs the Football Club.  If HPG obtains planning permission for its proposed new development of the site, then they have committed to exercise this option in full and purchase DHFC Ltd, with the ultimate aim of transferring ownership to the Trust.

The Trust has set up a fan-ownership sub-committee to engage with HPG and fans to develop a model for the Club to be fully fan-owned in the future. The Club’s present position means that they are in a unique position to plan, consult and prepare for a managed transition to a fan owned club.

In January 2015 they held an open “Ask the Experts” meeting with representatives from 4 fan-owned clubs to give fans an opportunity to ask questions of those who have a wealth of experience of both the transition to fan ownership and running a football club. They have established links with key personnel at fan owned clubs ~ Enfield Town, Portsmouth, Fisher, AFC Wimbledon and Lewes ~ who have all been very supportive and generous with their knowledge and advice.

They have worked closely with Supporters’ Direct, particularly with James Mathie, in relation to all aspects of fan ownership.  As well as advice and guidance on the process, they provide model documents for the transition to owning the club, carry out due diligence on the club prior to taking over, and provide training for board members in relation to running the club in the future.

They have had a series of meetings with HPG focusing on the issues surrounding the progression to fan ownership.  In April 2015 HPG issued a public statement confirming their intention to hand the club over to the fans if their planning application is successful.  Further they announced the appointment of Kevin Rye, formerly of SD, as a consultant to deal and the person who gave myself and the other three instigators of what became TUST professional assistance and presentation assistance when we brought the concept of forming a Torquay United Supporters Trust down to Torquay all those years ago. 

The fan ownership model is to ensure the club is run sustainably and democratic control is retained.  It enables the maximum profit to be ploughed back into the club and prevents the shares being used as a vehicle for profit.  Given the value of the Champion Hill ground itself and the recent history of property speculation around the Club, protecting the Club from this in the future is one of the Trust’s main aims.  HPG’s plan is to hand the Club over as a sustainable operation with a business plan in place, without the need for large capital sums to be raised.  For these reasons the Trust has always been working towards the Club becoming a CBS which is 100% owned by DHFC Ltd. Now they are being used as a pawn in a game of poker between the developers and the local authority who are unwilling to reduce their demand for the percentage of social and affordable hosing within the development and quite rightly so in my opinion!

Fan ownership of a professional football club is very desirable and ethical but so is sufficient affordable and social housing within any urban development and that is the conundrum!
 


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Post by nickbrod » 07 Nov 2017, 18:26

budegull1954 wrote:
07 Nov 2017, 17:05
Now that this G.I. thread has been revived, it's worth pointing out that there is still no 'local board' at TUFC as promised. By September! Maybe they were thinking September 2018, 2019...zzzzzz
Probably more likely September 2020 to co-incide with the opening of the new stadium!!

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