LCH Has destroyed Imps Community Ethos and Share Value
Although Chairman Bob Dorrian has put his hand in his pocket, he has undone any good work, as much by the creation of a holding company, as the catalogue of errors that he has attempted to put at others doors. ‘Collective responsibility’ as you may well remember. This has also, be it by circumstance or advice, continued the ‘them and us’ civil war that has persisted since the failed PLC idea. One that was shot to pieces before it ever got off the ground by the opinions of the few (the usual message boards suspects & pseudonyms) before it could be put to the votes of the many. Lack of a vote will sound familiar to Trust members, as votes on the EGM and the Great Share give-away have shown. Will the long-term supporter director even stand down when he reaches the maximum 12 years of tenure next summer?
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
In banning Keith Roe from the stadium and declining the investment offer afforded by Mike Foley the LCFC board drove out those who have the commercial and the necessary financial clout to help to take the club forward. This ensured that prejudice still persists as the club continues its sad demise. So at a time when we need togetherness, those wanting change and those who are pro club and pro board will continue to adopt curious, in reality historic party lines. The saying ‘don’t look back in anger’ could not be more pertinent could it?
A quick check at Companies house reveals that Lincoln City Holdings seems to value its 3,057.273 ordinary shares at 10p each. Just enough to secure a majority when and where it counts. That is not to say the chosen few of the Holding folk paid 305,727 for the privilege as the Trojan Horse Trust gifted them their million or so. It does make you wonder what we poor ‘supporter shareholders’ outside the pearly gates would get for our shares nowadays does it not?
Thanks to an incredible own goal on the part of the Trust – who also dotted the eyes and crossed the T’s during that fateful share affair for the Holding Company – all shares rank equally with no specific voting dividend, capital or redemption rights – further they can only be sold to other members of LCH, according to close inspection of the memerandums and articles of association.
For those unaware, the full list of shareholders within the holding company is currently as follows – Mr Robert Dorrian, Lincolnshire Co Operative Ltd, Lindum Group Ltd, The Lincoln City Supporters Trust, Mr David Andrew Parman, Mr David Charles Featherstone, Mr Kevin Cooke, Mr Roger Gordon Bates. But does anyone actually know what new money went in to plug the gap let alone what price the ring fencing of the Trust shares has effectively driven the market price down to for independent Lincoln City shareholders. The Trust remember transferred over a million shares into the new entity, choosing to leave just 70,000 behind.
It seems a very weird share set up indeed. Yet Lincoln City are more intent on continually asking fans for new cash, than they are covering existing questions. Many shareholders and fans would be more than happy to hand over £100 or more to the club we love when it needs it, but not in new shares as they are surely worthless? No one has had the decency to clarify the point or value of existing LCFC shares, let alone deliver a functioning football team, before asking us to hand over our hard earned cash in one form or another. Clearly to some, there are still far too many carts being put before horses at Lincoln City football club.
The Holding Company vehicle could have untold ramifications, pitfalls and financial costs for our beloved club. The biggest question mark clearly comes courtesy of the need for a Holding Company as part of the plan in the first place. Will Lincoln City Holdings mean we have lost the ownership of Sincil Bank, valued at millions, in exchange for a short term need back then and in the months to come? The Trust, have had little to say publicly about the matter. That goes right back to my article in March 2011 HERE warning that we should ask questions. Why do people still feel that a separate holding company, mooted 17 months ago by the Trust, will help investment. The talk then was of a concern that a new investor was welcome but that the ground may not be included as part and parcel of the football club. The Points (3 and 6) on this Trust Read and White document should have given rise for concern – download click here
This would be an interesting question for planned fans meeting with the board, another one would be: Was this a short-term fix that sees us lose out long term? Look at the track record of any club that has lost the ownership of its ground, it is a slippery slope as tenants Rotherham and Darlington will attest. Clearly little has also changed since I wrote this in December 2011 Imps Sincil Salvation would take £3 Million Or £1 plus the debt. Is another admin the risky but perhaps only alternative? Or how long will bob keep putting money in as we endure a slow death by a thousand cuts.