At a meeting of the Fans Forum on Tuesday Roland Duchatelet's right hand man Lieven de Turck gave an update and answered questions about the sale of the club. In order to offer supporters information as soon as possible a brief report of the position with regard to negotiations with interested parties was published immediately after the meeting as follows:
CAST representatives were at the meeting and we would like to offer the following observations:
We raised the point that agreement on price was meaningless if the parties who had agreed the price were subsequently unable, for whatever reason, to deliver a purchase. Furthermore, we questioned whether such theoretical agreement on price allowed the owner to believe that the price in question was achievable and to refuse lower, but perhaps more realistic and achievable offers. Lieven de Turck responded that the owner did indeed have a price in mind but that he (L de T) was open to exploring all offers from credible parties.
L de T also stressed that "price" could not be tied down to a simple figure. For example, negotiations with the first two parties had included the possibility of add-ons. Also, there was the matter of mechanisms to deal with subsequent player sales (eg Konsa). Although he was unwilling to elaborate on this we suspect that it might be the source of the variance in some of the figures that have been the basis of speculation in recent months.
L de T was conscious of the fact that there is little advantage for any party to proceed with a purchase at the moment because, with the transfer window closed, there is no opportunity to invest in the playing squad. He was also aware that monthly losses of £500k or more are eating into any price that might be achieved in the future. He stressed that exclusivity had not been granted to any party so that delays risked opening the door to new offers.
He is clearly disappointed that the Australians (now known as "the Australians and groups linked to the Australians") have not been able to supply the necessary documentation to the EFL to satisfy the Owners & Directors Test (ODT). We assume that his references to their "complexity" must mean that the number of people involved makes it difficult for agreements to be reached and / or for ratification to be established, particularly if the consortium members have changed over time. The addition of "groups linked to the Australians" suggests that things are not about to become much simpler. He confirmed that only the Australians had reached the stage of submitting any documentation to the EFL.
There was a discussion about the difficulties of valuing a football club. L de T had done some research into the recent sale of Aston Villa but said that, without the full detail of any sale, he didn't think it was possible to make very meaningful comparisons.
L de T was informed that recent statements on the club website had alienated fans and were detrimental to the club's image. He also confirmed that no meeting had yet been held between the club and the EFL. He claimed that it would happen and that Duchatelet would attend it.