Chairman Ken Anderson addresses the club's supporters on bwfc.co.uk
Where possible, I want to keep everyone up to date and aware of what's really happening off the field, as well as on the field, at the club - particularly when a great deal of what is being said on social media sites is inaccurate.
As I said at the Q&A last year, we inherited a great deal more problems and contracts when we took over in March 2016 than we had envisaged. In my opinion, these were not in the best interests of the club and hotel and are not commercially prudent.
Since then we have slowly been working away at restructuring the club financially and whilst a lot has been achieved, there is still a great deal to be done if we are to achieve our aim of getting the club and hotel in a sustainable financial position by the end of next season.
Many of the decisions we are taking now are not pleasant, but are absolutely necessary if we are to have any chance of being successful, both on and off the field in the future, and we hope you will continue to support us and understand why this course of action is being taken. Sometimes you have to take the medicine in order to get better, even if it is unpleasant.
Paul Aldridge and I had a meeting last week with Cllr Morris and Margaret Asquith at Bolton Council to see if anything can be done to help us with the very high level of rates that the club and hotel are paying whereas other nearby clubs and hotels/businesses are paying a fraction of this.
Unfortunately, this is because of an ambiguity of the rates system and we are still being rated as a Premier League club. The Council are being very supportive and hopefully a solution will be achieved, which would go a long way to helping us achieve a financially sustainable base.
We have made progress with Macron and the current problem has been resolved. We will be holding further discussions with them in Bologna next month, in respect of next season’s kit deal and stadium naming rights.
Discussions with Heathcote & Co, our catering partner, have come to a head, but as it stands the existing agreement is not commercially viable for the hotel and club and the arrangement has to be looked at in more detail if both parties are to move forward and work together. Hopefully both parties will see sense and find common ground. However, if that is not to be, we do have other options.
We continue to hold meetings with some of the players’ agents, professional advisors, sponsors and trading partners involved with the club now and prior to our involvement, with a view to reaching an agreement on the level and validity of their invoices.
Again, this is proving to be far more complex than we could have ever imagined at the outset. Indeed, the savings we have achieved to date are already in their hundreds of thousands of pounds. As I said above, there is still a great deal of restructuring to be carried out, but we are still very much dependent on the continued financial support, patience and understanding of our trading partners if we are to move forward. We continue to look for ways to reduce costs and achieve a sustainable business plan.
Unfortunately, whilst Dean and I had reached an agreement in principle on me buying his shares, but this has not proved possible because of his situation with Blu Marble.
The Blu Marble documentation with Sport Shield (BWFCSS) is rife with problems and in my opinion, will end up in litigation, as will the documentation between BWFCSS and the club. It is, therefore, unlikely that there will be a resolution of the situation in the foreseeable future.
Obviously, for legal and confidentiality reasons, I am restricted on what I can say on this matter, but l will try my best to keep you abreast of what is happening at all times.
The Blu Marble problems have further complicated matters with Deloitte and their audit opinion, but we are working through these together and are hopeful of finding a solution soon. For my part, I have to say Deloitte have been very supportive and their advice has been very helpful and reassuring.
We continue to look for ways of refinancing the club and have options available to us, but until there is a resolution of the Blu Marble situation, no refinancing can be completed and trading conditions, as I have said above, will continue to be difficult and cash flow is being managed to the best of our abilities and through the continued help and financial support of our trading partners. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to improve in the short term.
Our discussions with Prescot Business Park have been very positive and we have reached an agreement in principle to reacquire the car parks and offices and repay their loan on the hotel. We are extremely grateful for the patience, understanding and financial assistance they have extended us throughout these complicated negotiations.
Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing commercial opportunities aimed at increasing club and hotel revenues and I hope you will all get behind us and support them, as you always have, to help ensure the future success of the club and hotel.
I will shortly be announcing the date when I will be holding the next Q&A session to give you all the opportunity to ask me questions on the above and the filed accounts, as well as anything else.
There has been a great deal of speculation and comment on the transfer embargo following the recent Supporters' Trust comments relating to their correspondence with the EFL and all I can say on this is ‘watch this space’. We do not comment on our transfer targets and business until we have something positive to say.
The last couple of league results have been very disappointing for everyone, but it is even more important now that we pick ourselves up and get back to winning ways, starting with the next game at MK Dons who have been in fine form recently.
In the meantime, please do continue to support your club and attend as many games as you can to help us try and achieve promotion this season. The next few weeks will see a great deal of difficult games and the more of you there to support us, the better.
With that in mind, I hope many of you consider taking advantage of the Super 7 season ticket offer which will enable you to watch our final seven league matches at Macron Stadium for a great price. Visit www.eticketing.co.uk/bwfc for more information.
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