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Turning a profit

Roland Duchâtelet likes to make money, - that’s what he does.

According to Paul Doyle writing in the Guardian (14.2.2014), Duchâtelet believes there is money to be had as an owner of a football club. Ignoring the accepted protocol that money generated by football is usually ploughed back into the club in one way or another, Duchâtelet seems to think he can be smarter than the others by diminishing the importance of competitive football, lowering the expectations of fans, whilst walking away with pockets full of cash.

At Standard Liege he did this by reducing overheads, selling the club’s top players and degrading the playing resource and unloading the club at a profit whilst retaining sell-on rights to the likes of Batishyuai.

Just a few years after acquiring STVV he bought the stadium and adjacent land from the town council, invested 35m Euros, constructed several apartment blocks, two new stands incorporating various commercial spaces, and a hotel.
In the period leading up to the purchase, Duchâtelet announced he was buying the stadium for the football club, (source: Gazet Van Antwerpen 23.9.2008). However, this is not how things panned out, and he soon formed his own property company - NV Stayen, to develop, manage and profit from the facilities offered by the new stadium development, with all income from apartments sold, commercial space leased etc. flowing to NV Stayen.

So where has this left STVV? Well, over and above their basic lease terms, they now pay a percentage of ticket sales, player transfers and TV rights to Duchâtelet’s property company (source: Voetbal Belgie 4.2.2012), for the privilege of playing at Staaien.
With these established revenues and an assumed capital growth of the investment, this is how RD makes money from STVV.
Charlton of course presents a different proposition in terms of turning a profit.

Paul Doyle’s Guardian article tells us that it was the established productivity of the academy that Duchâtelet found particularly attractive when buying CAFC and Meire’s Dublin comments confirm the ambition to become a player farm. However, with the millions already wasted on a ridiculous transfer policy, the contract pay-offs, the fan unrest and the relegation that was brought about by his poor administration, can he ever expect to cash out at Charlton?

I would guess that a lot of time has been spent trying to come up with various ways to generate income, and we know that consultants were engaged to look at options for the re-developing the Jimmy Seed stand, including apartments. But the situation of the Valley doesn’t really lend itself to wholesale commercial development and the established English football culture is a restricting factor in terms of how the stadium is used.

I do wonder whether Duchâtelet is reluctant to walk before he can satisfy his ego by showing a profit. Even now he is probably desperately for a way to save face, until he finally accepts that he can never turn it around, - then he might go.

Comments

  • Or he could just accept that he bought the wrong club.
  • But the situation of the Valley doesn’t really lend itself to wholesale commercial development and the established English football culture is a restricting factor in terms of how the stadium is used.

    I don't think regulars of Walthamstow/Wimbledon/Kempton race tracks would agree, and the situation with the spanners / Lewisham Council shows how LA's are prepared to sacrifice stadia for housing.

    Roland Out.
  • A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned
  • A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned

    Massively so.
  • A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned

    Massively so.
    Which raises the prospect of Charlton continuing to wither through lack of proper management, while Roly inanely fiddles about with this 1.5% of his portfolio, much as Blackburn, Blackpool and Coventry crumble under the neglect of their respective overlords.
  • A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned

    Massively so.
    Which raises the prospect of Charlton continuing to wither through lack of proper management, while Roly inanely fiddles about with this 1.5% of his portfolio, much as Blackburn, Blackpool and Coventry crumble under the neglect of their respective overlords.
    Or the prospect of asset sales, by which I mean any player worth anything, the training ground and The Valley.
  • A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned

    That may well be the case, but a club like Arsenal attract heaps of cash from TV, as well as the riches associated with regularly competing in the Champion's League. Unlike Charlton they maintain a squad of players sufficient for them to be competitive and challenge for trophies. In this context, no reasonable person would object to the shareholder/s taking a regular dividend.

    Compare this to the way Duchatelet prefers to operate, where he talks down any desire to be competitive in an apparent attempt lower fan expectations. This then allows him to shape and manipulate the business to suit his own ends whilst dividing the fan-base and restricting objections.

    There is no fair comparison here.
  • edited February 2017

    A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned

    That may well be the case, but a club like Arsenal attract heaps of cash from TV, as well as the riches associated with regularly competing in the Champion's League. Unlike Charlton they maintain a squad of players sufficient for them to be competitive and challenge for trophies. In this context, no reasonable person would object to the shareholder/s taking a regular dividend.

    Compare this to the way Duchatelet prefers to operate, where he talks down any desire to be competitive in an apparent attempt lower fan expectations. This then allows him to shape and manipulate the business to suit his own ends whilst dividing the fan-base and restricting objections.

    There is no fair comparison here.
    really ? .. get across to the 'Arsenal' thread and have a look .. it's a matter of context, gunners spend (say) 20 million on a player and the owner is taking out (say) 5 million in dividends, many fans say the 5 million should go towards a better player ..
    Arsenal now has a puppet manager .. Wenger was the biz he is now a spent force, the owners keep him on because he is desperate to keep his job and will follow the 'corporate plan', compromise, just enough to keep the club competitive without quite spending enough, like Man City, United or Chelsea to really go for all the trophies and associated glory ..

    AND on a different context re Duchatelet .. yes, I presume he is taking money from the club to reimburse the investment he has put in. Boycotts and refusal to attend games means that revenues are depleted and 'profits' are falling, CAFC is running at a loss, even taking 'profits' Duchatelet is still losing money..
    Have you read the 'Mottram Hall' thread ? , players staying in very expensive luxury accommodation when they play away .. who is paying for this ? .. the players ?, Robinson ? .. the answer is THE CLUB and that means the money is coming from Duchatelet.
    I want to see him gone and the club back in the hands of someone who REALLY wants success. But don't keep on about profit being a bad thing. An old quote about the Americas Cup from a team sponsor .. (I paraphrase) 'competitive yachting is like standing in the prow of an expensive boat and setting fire to a pile of £50 notes' .. right now the same thing could be said about CAFC .. AND WHILE WE ARE IN THIS STATE , what lunatic is going to buy the club and pay the required many millions in an attempt to get back to our glory days ?
  • A Radio5 pundit last night was accusing the Arsenal owner(s) of doing just what you outline at the start of your post, i.e.taking money out as profit and not investing in players more than is absolutely necessary. Why not when they can sell season tickets on the half way line for over 5 grand a pop and still get Euro football every year but with little/no chance of winning the thing.
    Stan Kroenke, the main shareholder is married to a daughter of Sam Walton, one of the richest men on the planet and Stan the man is a multi billionaire in his own right.
    If the pundit is correct in his assertions, it proves that even some incredibly rich men, let alone mere multi millionaires are in no way altruistic towards their clubs. Duchatelet is not alone in following the profit line, although he has spent a lot since taking over and must still be in the red so far as his ownership of CAFC is concerned

    That may well be the case, but a club like Arsenal attract heaps of cash from TV, as well as the riches associated with regularly competing in the Champion's League. Unlike Charlton they maintain a squad of players sufficient for them to be competitive and challenge for trophies. In this context, no reasonable person would object to the shareholder/s taking a regular dividend.

    Compare this to the way Duchatelet prefers to operate, where he talks down any desire to be competitive in an apparent attempt lower fan expectations. This then allows him to shape and manipulate the business to suit his own ends whilst dividing the fan-base and restricting objections.

    There is no fair comparison here.
    really ? .. get across to the 'Arsenal' thread and have a look .. it's a matter of context, gunners spend (say) 20 million on a player and the owner is taking out (say) 5 million in dividends, many fans say the 5 million should go towards a better player ..
    Arsenal now has a puppet manager .. Wenger was the biz he is now a spent force, the owners keep him on because he is desperate to keep his job and will follow the 'corporate plan', compromise, just enough to keep the club competitive without quite spending enough, like Man City, United or Chelsea to really go for all the trophies and associated glory ..

    AND on a different context re Duchatelet .. yes, I presume he is taking money from the club to reimburse the investment he has put in. Boycotts and refusal to attend games means that revenues are depleted and 'profits' are falling, CAFC is running at a loss, even taking 'profits' Duchatelet is still losing money..
    Have you read the 'Mottram Hall' thread ? , players staying in very expensive luxury accommodation when they play away .. who is paying for this ? .. the players ?, Robinson ? .. the answer is THE CLUB and that means the money is coming from Duchatelet.
    I want to see him gone and the club back in the hands of someone who REALLY wants success. But don't keep on about profit being a bad thing. An old quote about the Americas Cup from a team sponsor .. (I paraphrase) 'competitive yachting is like standing in the prow of an expensive boat and setting fire to a pile of £50 notes' .. right now the same thing could be said about CAFC .. AND WHILE WE ARE IN THIS STATE , what lunatic is going to buy the club and pay the required many millions in an attempt to get back to our glory days ?
    I never said profit is a bad thing did I?

    What I object to, is Duchatelet buying football clubs, dismantling the existing structures and lowering expectations in order that he can create an alternative environment for him to exploit and then take a profit.

    It's what he did at Standard Liege, it is what he continues to do at Sint-Truiden and what he likely intends to do at AD Alcorcon, - if he is successful in acquiring the stadium from the local council.

    I suspect that Charlton has been more problematic for him, especially with the push-back from protesting fans. He has successfully dismantled the existing structures and he has talked down the playing ambitions of the club, but I'm not convinced he knows where to take it from here.

  • He can't repay the interest on his loans if he just has to put cash back in to cover losses.

    Only when his farm is turning over more than the cost of keeping the livestock can he extract any value
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Roland Out!