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BWFC Guest Post: Cha-Ching!

BWFC Guest Post: Cha-Ching!

I thought I'd honour Mike's passion and concern for the financial situation of Bolton Wanderers by posting his comment on the subject.
If you want to continue talking 'money', I'll make this article 'sticky' so you can carry on the conversation...

I won`t harp on about the debt for fear of upsetting my co writers, but I note that 2 blokes who could not be trusted to manage the family shopping bill, or organise a knees up in the brewery- enter our chairman and owner- are very well looked after.

I previously claimed Mr Gartside took 500,000 a year from the club - well I was wrong. In 2010, Gartside paid himself 740,000 and our owner`s takeaway was only the cost of a round of drinks behind him - they even had the brass nerve to pay each other a 170,000 bonus! For what?

It seems an easy task to place figures on the official accounts, I am personally more interested in knowing what a forensic audit of the accounts would show- as the figures themselves always look dodgy. Eddie Davies does not emerge smelling of roses. He takes 5 million a year in interest alone, while the debt owed to him magically increases at an alarming rate each year with little if any explanation given.
If I did not know better, which I don't, I fear the duo are screwing this club while patronising supporters in the meantime.

Eddie and Phil seem to be lining their pockets while displaying reckless financial management year on year. Prudence and astute football mindedness does not appear on their radar - give them 60 million a year and they spend 80 million; even my granny knows to put a little away for a rainy day. Well the rain clouds have truly gathered and we await the storm. But what the heck - we cannot change anything, the new season beckons, lets forget our financial troubles, there are much easier things to talk about - then again, I am not a paid up member of the Bolton Wanderers` gravy train, nor do I wish to be.

Writer:aussie mike
Date:Thursday July 25 2013
Time: 6:53PM


based on the 2010 accounts the chairman & chief executive each received 500,000 plus bonuses at 170,000 a piece, while E, Davies received 5 million interest payments. With interest payments pro rata with debt, which has now risen by circa 40%, current interest payments to ED will be 6.5 million this year, hence these 3 individuals alone will be paid 8 - 9 million this year, out of a total club generated income around 20 million plus Sky TV monies, which have collapsed and will literally dry up in the next 24 months. Gartside is happy to slash players wages and make staff redundant, but he and Duckworth continue to truly milk the club, while our ' saviour' Big Eddie has been paid the best part of 20 million in the last 4 years, and the stranglehold debt he wraps over the club keeps on getting bigger - not surprising when these men pay themselves these obscene amounts, including bonuses for making losses - that's the comedy bit that sticks in the throat - the financial management has screwed up yet again, no profits just another huge loss and more debt for which any other chairman and C.E. would be sacked , but they still pay themselves jackpot sized bonuses !! 2 men guilty of utter financial failure and incompetence over several years pay themselves 5 x more than a prime minister who runs a country ! In essence the 450 million of free money from Sky in the last decade was seen as nothing more than a licence to make themselves, players and a select group extremely rich. That money belonged to the club which in turn belongs to the supporters - we received nothing and neither did our beloved club - every penny and another 130 million besides has walked out of the door. We should have an independent forensic audit to expose where the club monies have actually gone, how much money exactly has Davies put into the club during his ownership ? ( he originally bought a controlling stake for 2.5 million) and why the debt mountain rises as it does ? Finally on the issue of ' saviour' we know E.D. charges interest around ( 5 %) when commercial bank rates are much less, he has given nothing to the club and has not written off any of his loans, we currently owe him around 120 million, in contrast Al Fayed has pumped 200 million into Fulham and does not receive or demand a single penny in interest - now that guy probably deserves being called a saviour.
aussie mike
26/07/2013 00:32:00
Knew something seemed dodgy about our massively rising debts, but this is truly shocking! If all this info is correct (not doubting you Mike), then Gartside and EddieDavies is riding this cash cow all the way to ruin. If this is the case why has nobody brought it to light until now and why is nobody doing anything about it. Surely the fans representative should be bringing this to the table and asking for a thorough explanation?! Gartside is a parasite and Eddie Davies has found a very good pie to stick his finger in by the looks of it!
26/07/2013 10:21:00
Eddie Davies wholly owns the holding company to whom the debt is owed. He doesn't actually have enough money to have lent us what we've borrowed from him, and as such a majority (probably around 4 of the 5 per cent) will be servicing the holding company's debts. The bank would pull the plug on him if the interest payments dried up. We are fortunate to have him, because if he wasn't there, we'd have been relegated from the Premiership much sooner and would no doubt by now be in League One following a 10 point penalty in the Championship after entering administration and a fire sale of players and assets. We wouldn't own the hotel (not that it makes much money in reality) and we'd be paying rent on the Reebok. The salaries of the executive members of the board are relatively small compared to the several million normally paid to Premiership executives (which we were in during 2010) and we can only hope we get promoted again soon, as the debt is manageable at the moment whilst we have a hope of a return and we continue to receive parachute payments, but an extended stay in the lower echelons of English football could be fatal for our finances.
26/07/2013 10:39:00
So football is risky and banks won't lend to them, so Eddie takes a debt @ 4% asks for a premium for the risk of 1%. This is the price of risk to Eddie. This I understand and is fair. It's not necessarily a kind offer, ie helping a club he loves, but I see it more as a business decision that has the benefit of supporting a club he loves. Of course he could take his money elsewhere for similar returns, so for him not doing that I am grateful. The issue for me is the mounting year on year of the debt, and as pointed out already, as soon a PL revenues dry up we are up the creek without our trusty paddle...GULP. That is why it is important to see how our finances finish this season, if debt racks up even more I will start to become very worried.
26/07/2013 13:39:00
Thanks for the financial thread Mr Ecky !!
26/07/2013 13:40:00
One would imagine that he will be taking the 5m every year until the point where he wants to get out. His children have stated previously that they do not share their fathers love of the club and wouldn't continue a similare arrangement. I'm guessing, he'll be taking the 5m and when the time is right will convert the debt to equity (in the same way that Abramovich did with Chelski), leaving us only with the 10m debt to the bank, a ground we own, a youth academy we own and leaving us rosey for the long term. Mr Davies intends to leave the Whites in good shape long after he has left this earth
26/07/2013 16:57:00
Not sure I have this right. ED has bankrolled the club for a good few years, keeping us afloat. In that time he has syphoned off a good return. Which is presumably why he got involved in the first place. Let's face it, most owners do not get involved because they are fans of either the club or the sport; the money is the magnet. So it's probably unfair to a greater or lesser degree to totally ctiticise ED. And like Yardinhio says, chances are he will sail away with BWFC in a decent state. PG appears to be a very different animal who is happy to suck a very healthy salary out of the club in return for a less than competent performance as chief exec and as a non-fan and self aggrandiser in terms of greasy pole climbing. We have debt. I don't know enough to say whether it is small or calamitous. The rest of you clearly know more than I. I know that the parachute payments are going to dwindle pretty soon and we do need to get promoted asap. What I do see is a club with a progressive manager who seems to be persuing a positive recruitment / removal policy with a view to a serious challenge starting next weekend with a balanced squad. I am one of life's greatest procratinators and so am prepared to head into the new season with the financial "uncertainties" remaining in the background and hope for the best on the field. And yes Fred is back in the building!
27/07/2013 17:45:00
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