As you may be aware, since submitting our increased investment proposal of £500,000, David Ward has changed sides and the Tamplin consortium has submitted its final increased offer. These changes in circumstances have caused us to re-evaluate our position.
Before we comment further, we should remind you of the background, which is as follows:
1. At an informal half yearly full members meeting held on 15 June, the Board, without warning, presented the members with an offer from an unknown individual to secure an instant 80 per cent of the Club in exchange for five equal instalments of £250,000 with no guarantee for any payment after the first. This had received the "unanimous backing of your board"
2. We quickly became aware that many members and supporters were extremely concerned by this action, which appeared to be promoting the sale without due consideration and information. We always felt that the proposal was insufficient financially and lacked appropriate safeguards
3. It was for this reason that we formed our consortium and our first offer was submitted to the board on 22 June.
4. We have always made it clear that whilst we were prepared to accept responsibility by owning a substantial stake in the Club between us and driving it forward, this was never our prime motivation. Our consortium was formed purely to provide members and supporters with an alternative to the insufficient offer then being pushed through by the board, from a group of like-minded people with a longstanding association with the Club and an understanding of its ethos and values, both on and off the field. This became even more important after the Board's public statement of 27 June, when they "were more than happy to recommend Glen Tamplin's offer to its members"
5. At the meeting with members held on 22 August, it was suggested that both parties should seek to work together. However, the proposals we made were rejected by Glenn Tamplin due to our conditions that he should not have immediate control and that he should provide legally binding guarantees for any future payments. We are pleased to see that he has now incorporated these conditions (subject to our further comments below) into his revised consortium offer.
6. Both parties have submitted further and higher offers culminating in our proposal of 12 September and Glenn Tamplin's some 10 days later. It is important to compare the Tamplin final offer to the original one advised by the board on 15 June and the main features of both are set out below:
Original Offer | Current Offer
Initial Payment £250,000 | £600,000
Total Payment | £1,250,000 | £1,225,000
Number of Payments | 5 | 3
Tamplin shareholding | 80% | 43% *
Control | Yes | No *
Number of shareholders (excluding members) | 1 | 10
Guarantees for future payments | No | Yes **
Identity of Purchaser | No | Yes
* See 1 below
** See 2 below
It is quite clear that the current offer is substantially better for the Club than the initial one recommended unanimously by the board. These improvements overcome most of our initial concerns.
We have also sensed that since the announcement of this substantially improved offer with some additional influential members in the Tamplin consortium, many members and supporters have been persuaded by its merits, especially after a favourable interview which also influenced opinion. We also feel that whilst we still have support, it seems clear that our involvement is less required now than initially, due to these changed circumstances.
Having taken the above into account and despite being about to publish our future plans, we have after very careful consideration decided to withdraw our proposal. This should enable the members to take a simple decision - to retain the status quo as a members Club or to seek outside investment from the Glenn Tamplin consortium. These alternatives are not currently being considered; we believe that members should have this option and we hope and trust that the board will now put these alternatives to them.
However for the avoidance of doubt, you should not presume that our withdrawal indicates our support for the remaining offer on the table.
We trust you will appreciate that all along we sought only to act in the Club’s best interests, with no personal ambition, and we hope that our withdrawal now emphasises that point. We believe the current proposal is far better than the initial one, due to our involvement, and the offer is one we feel the Board should have attempted to achieve initially.
Our final request is to urge members to require the Board to obtain and provide the following information, whether legally documented, (1 and 2 below) discussed and answered at the General Meeting (3, 4 and 5 below) or arranged without delay (6 below).
1 Details of any safeguards to ensure that no board member can gain control by buying another’s shares;
2 Confirmation of the type of guarantees to be given to ensure that future funds will be forthcoming;
3 A breakdown of the individual payments in each of the three stages;
4 Confirmation to the members of all the detailed due diligence undertaken on Glenn Tamplin;
5 The provision of full information on and CVs of the three new members of the consortium; and
6 Arranging at short notice a fans forum before the vote.
Finally we must thank the many members and supporters who have been so supportive of us. The support has been much appreciated as this has been a very difficult journey. Everything that we have done has been because of to our commitment to the Club and to the many fantastic people who make it so special to us all.
Whilst our concerns about the general process have been clearly documented, (not helped by the Board’s continuing refusal to allow us to carry out due diligence before the vote, despite two requests) now is the time to try and unite the Club, irrespective of differing views. We hope that whatever decision is made is the best one for the Club, as we may be about to take a step into the unknown. In conclusion, we all hope that we can get back to the happier days of the past and time will tell if this can be achieved.
11 October 2016
John East - Brian East - John Goodwin - Lee Goodwin - Graham Bramley