Should Leicester fans be content with the current ownership model?

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parafox

Well-Known Member
I agree completely BN. Whilst I appreciate they have done so much for the club I'm a little uneasy with the worship of the owners of the club when we all must realise the modern brand of business ownership of football is much less desirable than proper clubs owned and operated by the supporters (this isn't to lessen the tragedy of the helicopter crash, which was obviously heartbreaking).
 

Mike - True Blue Tinter

Well-Known Member
If the fans had been in charge at LCFC, would we have said 'spend £100+million on the best training ground in Europe'? Would we sanction £1million for a non-league player?
 

camberwell fox

Well-Known Member
Well yes, you will answer, obviously. King Power have been the custodians of Leicester City for more than a decade now. For the first few years, they poured money in rather haphazardly. In 2014, they hit the jackpot - the Premier League (PL). Vichai wrote off more than £100m turning loans into equity and we were off on a wonderful journey.

Over the last seven seasons, they have overseen us as we have invested mainly prudently and occasionally badly. We've tried and failed to live within our means because we've been ambitious to challenge the bigger boys. We are challenging those bigger boys so in that sense overreaching has worked. In 2016, we achieved an extraordinary thing. For the last two seasons, we've found a manager and playing group that have made us consistently be able to compete. It's a fabulous time to be a City fan.

But the reality is that what we're doing is totally unsustainable. Our debts are accruing at relentless rates. Once the accounts are tallied up for the end of this season, those debts could well be pushing a quarter of a billion pounds. And we want to spend potentially another fortune on the stadium and surrounding areas.

Our only realistic hope is that Top turns these massive debts we owe (largely to King Power) into equity too. There is no way we can ever pay them off. There is no way we can afford a stadium expansion. It's utter madness to even consider it. We spend more on our player salaries than we make in total revenue in every aspect of the club. If we make the Champions League, we might be able to afford to sign some players and sell one only of our main playing assets. If we don't make the Champions League, surely our market will be to sell and only sign free transfers and loans.

With the focus on the European Super League (ESL) attention has been drawn towards the ownership models of our clubs. You can't really be a PL owner and not be a billionaire. It's a very, very, rich persons play thing these days. Once a billionaire has control of your club, you are completely at their mercy. They are either good people or not. We got lucky, we got good* billionaires. Some of our competitors got unlucky. They got bad billionaires.

*when I say good, I'm referring to their role in leading Leicester City. There are some very serious and undeniably awful claims about their exploitative role in Thailand.

We also got very lucky that we had Top when Vichai died. If Leicester City was only Vichai's play thing, goodness only knows where we'd be right now. Southampton lost a billionaire to death and have been drifting now for years, for sale and surviving on selling assets. But we had Top. Top was alongside his father and could pick up the reigns and the commitment. So there was some continuity for us and we could continue almost as if nothing had happened.

But what happened on that fateful night in 2018 shows just how fickle things can be. King Power are a vulnerable company, at the whim of the Thai regime and under constant threat from protesters and legal challenges. The pandemic will have hit them as hard as any business. What if Top cannot justify the cost of maintaining Leicester City to his shareholders? What if other members of his family understandably want the family to put the English football thing in the past? If Top cannot write off another massive set of loans to us, how do we manage this debt? What happens to us without King Power propping us up?

Make no mistake about it though, King Power have made a fortune out of their purchase of Leicester City. Their investment is now worth much more than everything that they've paid out. They've also got worldwide publicity and advertising that money couldn't really buy them. It's been a phenomenal business success.

However, the ESL has brought on a government enquiry which will look into the ownership of football clubs. There are new protests going on against several billionaire owners. And that doesn't even include the dramas at clubs like Newcastle.

All this places a spotlight on clubs like ours. Clubs owned by billionaires who could do anything with 'their' club. Is it really okay that we just cross our fingers and hope that Top retains his interest and his commitment? Is that really enough? We don't have the first idea about how King Power really feel. Top never does interviews. Neither does Susan Whelan or Jon Rudkin. There is a wall of silence from everybody at Leicester City with the exception of the manager. And he isn't accountable or responsible for any of this.

We don't know what the King Power board are thinking about the debts the club is in. We don't know how they would react if a ESL took off and we were left behind. If the TV deals dry up, what happens to us? A fire sale of players?

All this talk about the ridiculous nature of football ownership in this country has made me wonder. We are so vulnerable. So dependent on one young man from the other side of the world. And it really shouldn't be this way. It is frankly absurd that our club is that vulnerable. It is less than 20 years ago that we experienced what it is really like when the money dries up. When the pain of going bust rips the heart out of the club and threatens its very existence.

A start for Leicester City would be more openness from King Power and senior executives at the club. Another good option would be a fans representative on the board of directors. An even better option would be for some element of the ownership of Leicester City to be split up a bit. Some dilution of the exposure to the whims of one man and one company would surely be welcome?

None of this is in any way a criticism of King Power and their essential role in our club developing over recent years. However, it just feels wrong to me that it is all dependent on Top signing cheques and staying committed. A major football club should have a lot more depth to it than that. The events of the last week have, yet again, proved this to be the case.
Sorry, I can’t be arsed to unpick that diatribe line by line but clearly you need to buy a glass, turn on the tap and see, just watch as it fills and tell us all, as a collective fan base how full or empty our glass is.

I like your posts BN, and sometimes I know you love to poke a stick into the hornets nest but that post is incredible in its naivety.
 

FrenchFox

Member
I love the idea that the President of Real Madrid says that he is trying to save football at the same time as paying Gareth Bale 30m per year and then loaning him out. It needs strong people at the top and history tells us that they are more corrupt than the rest. I don't have a simple answer to a very complex problem. I am now retired and have fought my battles in my time. I kind of have a que sera view on it all.
 

Lako42

Well-Known Member
I don't give a shit anymore

Football is long gone and anyone pretending otherwise is deluded.
 

Feriol

Well-Known Member
The current model of club ownership isn't ideal but the opportunity to change things has long gone. The rich owners aren't going to walk away and take massive losses and the astronomical figures are well beyond any fan groups.

The only way things change is if clubs go bust, then a sensible structure might replace it, but they won't be able to compete unless the whole of football goes bust together.
 

Micky

Well-Known Member
I would find it a little hypocritical to complain about the ownership of my club. After all, the money grabbing bastards gave me the single most incredible footballing experience that I am ever likely to witness.
 

Lako42

Well-Known Member
Yeah, posting on a football forum at 11pm on a Sunday really says I don't care...

I don't care about ownership and the bollocks going on behind the scenes, should have made it clearer.

It's all going to shit anyway. Just hope to see us win the FA Cup and get CL whilst it means something
 

popillius

Well-Known Member
Football is about entertainment. That's essentially it for the supporter. To the owner it's a business.

Why don't we boycott watching television because nearly all of the people that run it are billionaires? Or, we could decide never to go on a foreign holiday again because ****s like Michael O'Leary are making squillions out of us for shit service. Maybe stop using any supermarket at all because the owners are corrupt wankers buying themselves seats in the House of Lords. Give up listening to music as well because the arseholes running most record companies are manipulative, self-serving ****flaps.

I really could go on. We have it good, so, so good compared to other football clubs. Like I say, football is about entertainment and if we haven't entertained you during the our current owners' administration then you may as well **** off to Welford Road and see if they can do a better job.

Billionaire owners of massive businesses are nearly always going to have skeletons in the closet. If you want to criticise them for this then fine. But if it's about the running of our football club then there is no question at all that they have done a wonderful job and delivered what they promised and more. That's pretty rare in itself for any massive business.
 

parafox

Well-Known Member
Football is about entertainment. That's essentially it for the supporter. To the owner it's a business.

Why don't we boycott watching television because nearly all of the people that run it are billionaires? Or, we could decide never to go on a foreign holiday again because ****s like Michael O'Leary are making squillions out of us for shit service. Maybe stop using any supermarket at all because the owners are corrupt wankers buying themselves seats in the House of Lords. Give up listening to music as well because the arseholes running most record companies are manipulative, self-serving ****flaps.

I really could go on. We have it good, so, so good compared to other football clubs. Like I say, football is about entertainment and if we haven't entertained you during the our current owners' administration then you may as well **** off to Welford Road and see if they can do a better job.

Billionaire owners of massive businesses are nearly always going to have skeletons in the closet. If you want to criticise them for this then fine. But if it's about the running of our football club then there is no question at all that they have done a wonderful job and delivered what they promised and more. That's pretty rare in itself for any massive business.
No one is arguing we haven't enjoyed the ownership of King Power and that they've been excellent for our club. It's possible to watch entertainment whilst arguing that another model would be superior. While it's true that stupendous amounts of money have perhaps created a greater spectacle on the pitch, it has very arguably led to the downfall of the sport.

It's not "hypocritical" to engage in society like most people on earth do if you disagree with the status quo. If everyone had to go and live in the woods or become a monk instead of wanting to change society because they were afraid being called hypocritical for living in society as it exists, we'd never progress as a species.
 

popillius

Well-Known Member
No one is arguing we haven't enjoyed the ownership of King Power and that they've been excellent for our club. It's possible to watch entertainment whilst arguing that another model would be superior. While it's true that stupendous amounts of money have perhaps created a greater spectacle on the pitch, it has very arguably led to the downfall of the sport.

It's not "hypocritical" to engage in society like most people on earth do if you disagree with the status quo. If everyone had to go and live in the woods or become a monk instead of wanting to change society because they were afraid being called hypocritical for living in society as it exists, we'd never progress as a species.
The title of the thread is whether the current ownership model is satisfactory. I outlined quite clearly why it is. Argue all you like about the morality of KP as a company but that's largely irrelevant to the context of the question.

They have delivered everything they promised in terms of their ownership and running of LCFC. If your not content with the ownership model but enjoy the spoils of playing in the top flight, winning the league and playing in Europe then yes, you do need to assess your duplicity.

Newcastle fans have every right to deplore Ashley for delivering nothing whilst taking from their pockets. We can hardly argue the same. Football is damaged, on that we can agree, and the vast sums of money in the game are to blame but you need to contextualise things properly. In the wider scheme of things, our owners have been and are doing a fantastic job.
 

Volpone

Well-Known Member
I’ve followed my club passionately for over 60 years. The years since King Power invested in us have been nothing short of incredible compared to the times before.

Historically, our rivals had always been Forest, Coventry and Derby. Would you want to swap with them to languish in the depths of the Championship?

Enjoy our success for what it is and while it lasts!

Like nearly all of my generation, my fondest wish is to see us lift the FA Cup. We have a chance. I doubt we’ll beat Chelsea but if we do I’ll have seen the most fantastic progress in our history. You can’t put a price on that.
 
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