Skip to content

Minority Investment

Did the people present at the meeting last Wednesday realise by raising their hands to give authority to the board to progress talks further, appreciate they were potentially giving the trust board authority to do a deal with investors on a minority basis without trust members having a final vote? This was not made clear and I doubt anyone felt this was what they were giving authority for this but when I spoke to a trust director on Saturday about this, the response was that there did not need to be a vote on a minority stake but he would feed this back to the board as a concern raised. I said this was a huge decision and everyone could see that a minority stake would probably end up as a majority stake in a few years time and any decision for a minority stake must be put to a simple majority vote by trust members. We need to understand who these investors are, what their intentions are and then vote on any potential investment and I urge all trust members to raise this point with trust directors to ensure any potential minority stake is put to a vote not simply decided by the trust board. I for one would not want to make that decision if I was a board trust director alone and surely this should be made by the trust members to share the burden on what could be a huge decision for the club going forward. I have raised this very point myself with Trevor Stroud in writing.


  • Yes. I did realise that at the time but did wonder how many others did. It was very much billed as an informal show of hands. Simple fact is, under the constitution, I don't think they need any sort of approval for a minority investment.

    To be honest what I would clarification on is what is different to this proposal to the recent cash injections given by Howard, Beeks and Kane. Is it just shares being offered and if so what impact does that have to the running of the club?

  • My recollection was that the raising of hands was for indicative purposes only and had no 'official' purpose. Trevor made this clear at the time. The fact that the Board has powers within the constitution to proceed in the best interests of the club without a vote, only underlines the open, honest and (as far as is possible) inclusive approach of our Chairman and Board members by explaining and involving us in this process. The situation is not ideal, however as far as I can see, the Board are correctly looking to the future, predicting a problem and trying to act for the best interests of the Club. Keyboard warriors seem to leap out of the woodwork as soon as the Trust suggests something but evaporate when the actual work has to be done and to some extent I include myself in this as I have hardly done much for the club.

  • VallleyWanderer has cut through all the nonsense and come up with a perfect summary, well said sir.

  • Actually they can be rather more inclusive and open. Whether or not they are obliged to put minor investment to a vote constitutionally or not surely we all agree morally the should get member approval in principle ?

    If their strategy and overall vision has fundamentally changed since election, which is has- last election in November 2017 there was no mention of their active policy to sell all or some of the club , and directors including the FD were elected in that climate, then if they are indeed transparent aged inclusive they should announce the election of directors this coming November as being on a platform of selling up or not. Get a mandate and move on. We can hardly argue then if they sell minority stakes on the back of it l.

    The only thing that was made clear last week, all that was asked for was a show of hands to agree to let the board proceed with due diligence with a view to them returning at a later date with info and presentations from potential investors

  • I did think at the time it was only for indicative purposes only especially and I was one of these that was watching on facebook so therefore no ability to vote. I simply wanted to be reassured this would happen regardless of the constitution and I am sure most trust members would feel the same. Its not having a go at the trust board in any way, they came to us for a mandate to enter into deeper discussions and that got that but that was all and I await the outcome of those discussions so we can all hear what is being proposed.

  • The show of hands at the meeting didn't, technically/legally, change anything with regard to sale of a minority stake in the club. Regardless of whether the hands were unaninimously raised or unanimously kept low, the board could and can sell a minority stake without a vote. That's in line with the constitution, which requires a formal poll of legacy members to approve sale of a majority stake in the club but not for sale of a minority stake.

    I thought this was mentioned during the meeting, if not in the main presentation then in the Q&A, but I may be misremembering. Whether it was mentioned or not, I don't think Trust members can claim surprise as if it is a new development. Each of them could have read the constitution in advance of the meeting.

    Given that the board are running the club on behalf of the Trust membership, not on behalf of themselves, it would of course be unlikely that they would sell off part of it if there was little or no support from the membership. A positive show of hands in the meeting may have given them more confidence to do so, although that is a side effect of the show of hands and not what it was for. The real point of the show of hands, and I thought this was made clear at the meeting, was to gauge whether there was any point in the board continuing to work on proposals for sale of a majority stake in the club. If the show of hands didn't show a large majority in favour then, given that 75% of legacy members will need to vote in support of such a sale, there would have been little point in the board spending much time on something that looked to have no prospect of success.

  • The point correctly made by @HG1 is that a minority investment can very quickly morph into a majority ownership.

    Whilst the Constitution may say otherwise the Trust would be very, very foolish to attempt this without a membership vote.

    Unfortunately we have been there before in terms of the Trust making what have proved to be unwise recommendations to the membership.

    The sale of the Training ground to the then unnamed Consortium and recommendation of sale of the Club to a group of Swindon "Businessmen" both come to mind. From memory the latter even had Heads of Terms agreed.

    I felt quite uncomfortable at the unbalanced nature of the presentation from Mark Burrell, the sell was far too hard and in complete contrast to his Membership presentation of 10 months ago. Supporters are right to be cautious and not take things at face value.

    Trust Directors please take note of the above.

  • I was not at the meeting only listening in on facebook and you could not see the slides so it was very difficult to get a grip on what was actually being presented in terms of financial information. Personally, I cannot see why the Trust Directors would have an issue with putting this to a simple majority vote regardless of what the constitution says. Surely its just the right thing to do? If the argument to do this is so compelling it will go through, so why would we not do this? I am completely open minded about investment but as and when there is something to be put to the members lets hear about it and be allowed to express what we think by a vote. I just hope this is what will happen. I fully appreciate if we are talking about a majority stake then this will happen anyway but as raised earlier my concern is a minority stake can easily turn into a majority stake if we find ourselves in a financial corner.

  • May I remind all Gasroom posters to submit their feedback to last week's meeting and presentation by email to [email protected] or [email protected] within the next few days as the Trust Board will be reviewing that feedback next week.
    Not all Trust Directors have the time to follow every post on the Gasroom.

  • I’ll be interested to see if some of the more outspoken posters on this forum take the time and effort to do this.

  • A few people have mentioned that they were unable to attend the meeting or listen in to the live stream. Please remember that Trust Members may obtain copies of the presentation slides by email request to [email protected]

Sign In or Register to comment.