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Club Plan To Buy Back Turf Moor and Gawthorpe

Burnley have announced plans to buy back Turf Moor and their training facility at Gawthorpe with the help of private investors.

The two sites have been owned by Longside Properties Ltd since 2006 but are set to be back in the hands of the club which will be a great relief to all concerned.

Burnley FC Co-Chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick have confirmed that the board believes it can now obtain sufficient funds to progress the 'buy back'.

The Official Site explains the restructuring and how the 'buy-back' will be achieved stating:

'After completing a proposed restructuring, it is proposed to repurchase these assets from the current owner via a new property company, Turf Moor Properties Ltd.

'This new property company will be owned by a new holding company named Burnley FC Holdings Ltd (BFCH), which is also making a recommended offer to acquire all of the issued shares in The Burnley Football & Athletic Co. Ltd (BFAC).

'Shareholders in BFAC will be invited to exchange their share(s) in BFAC for the same number of shares in BFCH.

'Once the bond issue is completed, shareholders who accept the offer will then own shares in the company which owns both the football company and the property company.'

Talking about the initiative, John B who has been the main driver of the project said:

"We are delighted to be announcing this first step in the repurchase of Turf Moor and Gawthorpe, which marks the start of a new era in our illustrious history.

"This arrangement enables us to protect Turf Moor and Gawthorpe from the uncertainties of the football industry and its finances, which we have all seen hit other clubs very hard in recent years.

"Having examined all the options, the board is confident that a bond issue represents the most cost effective finance option and enables a section of our fans to play a part in bringing our spiritual home back under the control of the club.

"In football today, it is important to maintain a progressive approach to training and development of players.

"This includes having a quality infrastructure and by re-acquiring the stadium and the training ground, we can ensure that we continue on the path to constant improvement.

"Additionally, buying both Turf Moor and Gawthorpe back makes sense financially and operationally for our long-term future plans.

"It will eventually see an end to rental payments and put the club on a firmer financial footing"

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 10 2013

Time: 12:47PM

Your Comments

Wow! That will please many!! I remember the negativity and bitterness involved when it was sold originally to pay off our debts.
turfmanphil
Also states-Indicative interest in the bond issue has been received from a selected number of Burnley Football Club supporters, each of whom will contribute a significant six figure sum.
turfmanphil
I cannot pretend to be an expert, nor to have thought about this for very long, given that it's breaking news. But these things would seem to be relevant to assessing how good this news is. First, is the interest on the bonds less then the rent? The statement would seem to suggest so. Second, is the new arrangement more robust in the event of something unexpected happening, like the death or bankruptcy of a key investor? The answer to that is almost certainly yes. Third, would the Board be more able to control any other circumstances that might arise? The answer to that is almost certainly yes too. Fourth, will fans think it's better? I hope so, and suspect so given the anxiety that had been expressed about the prior ownership arrangement, but I can only speak for myself. Fifth, will it make Burnley a more attractive club in which new people might want to invest? If the answer to the above questions is yes, it would be yes to this one too. Sixth, does this explain recent the club announcement about needing to contact all shareholders? Yes, though that may prove useful for other things in future too. Finally, was this announcement well handled? On the whole, it comes across to me as wanting to be as clear and positive as possible. I am not sure I fully understand why a new holding company is needed and would welcome a clearer explanation of that. But this does not stop me feeling that this is overall good news. Team GB, backed by Lee Hoos and the rest of the Board look very much as though they mean business. To end on a lighter note, if they can go on to do as well as the BeeGees, the future will be bright!
Couch Potato
Great news. I did not know we had sold Gawthorpe.
grimsby claret
Pleased but it should have been done with the Premiership money :/
8clarets8
Interesting news but I have a few points. Firstly, the holding company (still the "club" in essence, will own the ground, but if the bond interest plus bond capital (to be repaid at the end) is higher, as it will be, than the rent, the team may be worse off, though we then own the ground again which will make us more attractive to foreign investors (which is why I suspect they have done it). Second, the UK does not have Chapter 11, meaning that bond holders have a risk of not getting their money back, so I would guess given the perilous state of BFCs accounts that they have to get a chunky interest in order to offset this risk. In summary, it is probably bad news for the team in the short term, unless the Ruskies come in, which I am predicting the Board are gambling on. My view overall though is positive, as I see little new risk for the fans.
Crosspoolclarets
Just to clarify a little further, at the moment it is though the club are paying rent on a house, which goes on indefinately, and in the future, it will be like an interest only mortgage, where at the end of the term you have to pay the capital off. The interest will be lower than the rent, but they will need multi millions in 'x' years time to pay back the capital. I have not seen the document but that is my guess,
Crosspoolclarets
4 4 2, 4 3 3, 4 5 1 and even 4 1 4 1.... I understand, however I am pleased to announce I have read a shed load of words about this news and have not got a scooby doo what it means. I am truly happy if I am supposed to be happy!!
VinRogue
Yeah VR, I don't pretend to understand it all either. My gut instincts though tell me its gonna be better to do this than not! At least the Turf and Gawthorpe will be back under the club's stewardship which has to give some comfort.
turfmanphil
I am grateful for crosspool's input. It will be interesting to see if the club provide more details.
Couch Potato
Question 1 of many, I need very simple answers too. Is the ground & gawthorpe owned by a company that BK is a shareholder of? That company charges BFC annual rent?
VinRogue
Do you mean now VR or once the new deal has been put in place?
Couch Potato
Now Couch.
VinRogue
Not sure how much of this is true. Posted in 2009. Longside Properties has one director Michael Harrison (John Sullivan and Barry Kilby resigned as directors in March 2009), and is wholly owned by a company called Lionbridge Limited. Lionbridge Limited is jointly owned by Anthony Parmiter and Richard Hull (50% each) and these two are the two directors of the company. Anthony Parmiter is listed as a Chartered Surveyor and Richard Hull a Property Consultant. The registered office for the company is London, but that just appears to be the address of their accountants.
turfmanphil
Clarets Player chat during the Palace game was, as you'd expect, supportive of the proposed new arrangement, said it's John B who is driving it forward, and that it's expected to happen quickly, as investors have been found. The main benefit they talked about was the security of having control in whatever circumstances might arise and they cited the example of Pompey as to what can happen if club and ground are owned by different bodies. They said the current arrangement is a 100-year lease. Vin, I'm not 100% sure but as best I understand it, the organisaton that owns TM and G is controlled by Clarets. I think BK may be one of them, but I don't know for sure. But what would happen should any of those involved died or go bust would be difficult or impossible to control. It would be interesting to know what the repayment date is on the bonds. While I agree with crosspool's well explained caution, if that date is 2113, having to pay the money back then would be no worse than having to renegotiae with the current owners, whoever they might be by then. In the meantime, the annual payment on the bonds could be higher or lower than the rent. We don't know.
Couch Potato
I will await more news!!!!!!!
VinRogue
And here it is, VR! Announced at 9.10 am on Friday18 Jan that Burnley Football & Athletic Co. Ltd (BFAC) is in effect dead after holders of 90% of its shares agreed to the deal described in tmp's main story here, forcing the owners of the remaining 10% to sell too. Long live Burnley FC Holdings Ltd (BFCH)! Long live what I assume will be a wholly owned subsidiary company, Turf Moor Properties Ltd, being set up by BFCH, and which expects to have completed a purchase of TM and Gawthorpe from Longside Properties Ltd in February, with money raised by the bond issue. If we win at Millwall I will be happy. Er, with teh weather forecast, better make that if the game goes ahead and I manage to use the ticket and train ticket I have already bought, I will be happy.
Couch Potato
 

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