Thursday, 27 April 2017

AFC Site Changed Again

Apologies if someone else has picked up on this already and I’ve not seen it. But as things have gone very quiet on the mooted Australian Football Consortium bid I thought I’d have a fresh check on their website (www.australianfc.com.au). And it’s changed again. 

When we were first alerted to AFC the site – which has always amounted to a one-page tempter to encourage potential investors to get in touch – stated that the company “is in final negotiations with the current owner of the club”. Not long after that wording was dropped, which was not unreasonably taken to suggest either that any such ‘final negotiations’ had run aground, that they had never begun and AFC was getting ahead of itself, or that an actual deal was awaiting confirmation that AFC had the necessary funds.

The AFC site now outlines the same basic plan – to acquire an underperforming English football club, introduce their superior sporting know-how and invest funds, and to get that club promoted “back to the Premier League”. Do think it’s worth highlighting that the wording refers to a return to the top flight for the club acquired, which at face value would seem to rule out any club that hasn’t already been there (so we still fit the bill). But the statement now concludes with a rather ambiguous “we remain hopeful of being able to conclude a deal in due course but we will not be making any statements or comments until a deal is completed”. Does regularly changing the wording amount to a fresh statement? There is no longer any mention on the AFC site of a target for fund-raising, just two email addresses for further information. But perhaps significant for us is what has been added.

First, “a critical component of AFC’s strategy will be to invest heavily into the training facility so that the club can attract and develop local talent and provide them with the opportunity to represent their club at a senior level”. If they’d said ‘… with the opportunity to flog them on at the first available opportunity’ it might have been a statement from the regime. At least it suggests that their target club is prioritising youth development and even the completion of an as yet uncompleted training ground scheme. We tick the boxes again.

Second, “it is also important to note that AFC is keenly aware and understands the importance of the fans in English football. We are committed to our responsibility to honour and respect the history and tradition of the club and ensure that the fans are respected as key stakeholders in the process”. Now that couldn’t have come from the regime with a straight face, but would seem to reflect the issues raised in the letter sent to AFC by the Trust. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to infer from the addition of this wording that Charlton is and remains AFC’s club of choice and that it still hopes to buy us.

I’d guess that the changes overall underline that no deal is imminent but that one remains on the table, ie that any actual talks have not broken down irretrievably, and that the reports were not just kite-flying. Whether AFC has some period of exclusivity to get its finances together I have no idea. So basically we don’t hold our breath, we take a little reassurance from the AFC comments regarding the importance of fans as stakeholders (not customers), and focus on/fully support the protests on Sunday.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Prospective buyers of CAFC are going to see how passionate the fans are of protecting and growing the club on Sunday against Swindon. And then it will only be a matter of time.

a2c said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff - thanks BA

Pembury Addick

Dave said...

A2C limited vocabulary. No, not "this comment has been removed by the blog administrator" but his inane drivel about "exonphobes dahn our gahff, Queen Kat, yourn ilk etc"

Blackheath Addicted said...

Indeed Dave. As I've said before I don't like deleting any comments and certainly don't delete them just because they disagree with me. He/she is the exception that proves the rule, because there's no attempt to actually outline a point of view, take issue with something written, just a regurgitation of the same trite insults (or at least I assume that's the case as it's been a very long time since I actually read the comments before deleting them).

Anonymous said...

Re passion of fans comment, it also could imply to prospective owners the hurdles they have to go through if they wish to make commercial decisions that the fans don't a free with from a heritage perspective. They will look back and see the only time VOTV editor has supported owners is when he was employed by them and even then he would leak information. So passionate fans is not always a positive.

Anonymous said...

Sorry auto correct .. don't agree with