CAST was present at the Fans Forum meeting on Wednesday evening at which Roland Duchatelet's representative Lieven de Turck (LDT) gave an update on the situation and answered questions from fan representatives.
Before the meeting we asked for supporters to send us questions they would like to have put to LDT. Thank you to all those who responded. We received over forty questions, although there was some overlap which reduced the number of question areas.
A summary of the state of play with various interested parties has been produced by the club and you can see it here:
There followed a question and answer session in which many of your questions were addressed. The club has agreed to post a record of this as soon as possible and we will publish a link to it when it appears on the club website. Here is a brief list of the main topics covered:
- RD is still keen to sell the club and now is a good time because of the transfer window
- In the meantime the club is run as normal - ie not being run down. Promotion is still the aim.
- RD is prepared to continue funding the loss (c.£0.5m per month) until a sale can be achieved. He wouldn't think himself foolish for doing so.
- LDT does not doubt the credibility of the Australian/USA group (AU group) even though after 22 months they have not been able to complete the deal.
- Agreement on price with the AU group and the British group does not mean that another group could not overtake them at a lower price if they were in a position to complete.
- LDT did not quote a price of £72m to a Middle-Eastern group before Christmas. He would not quote a price without an NDA in place.
- LDT did not agree that the current bidders were not serious people
- Lee Bowyer is kept updated but not about every detail.
- Richard Murray knows the British group but is not part of it.
- Former Director loans are not an issue in the delay of a sale being concluded.
- Steve Gallen is working on the issue of players who are out of contract at the end of the season and will give an update at the next Fans Forum.
The meeting ran out of time before all the submitted questions could be asked. It was agreed that CAST would put these to LDT in the next few days.
Our summary of the current situation is that LDT is still expressing confidence that the main two interested parties are both serious players who have sufficient funds to complete a deal at a price which has been agreed since last year. He is adamant that price is not the barrier to progress. He maintained this position despite repeated concerns from some of us attending the meeting that the length of time being taken to make progress suggested that sufficient funds (or at least the ready availability of sufficient funds) must be a problem. He didn't accept the argument that the price agreed with the two parties was an illusory one which gave a false impression of the value which serious bidders would place on the club.