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Wednesday Shares Owned by Wednesdayite

What should Wednesdayite do with their 10% shareholding?  

47 members have voted

  1. 1. What should Wednesdayite do with their 10% shareholding?

    • Give it back unconditionally
    • Give it back but insist on a cash injection for players
    • Keep it at all costs


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Wednesdayite media release on 25th July (following the Shareholders Association release):

 

We welcome the proposals by the Shareholders Association for SWFC shareholders to contact them in order to obtain 'sales pledges' representing 19% of the shares in SWFC plc. Added to the Board's 32% holding, this might well provide a solution to Mr Allen's claim that any investor will only conclude a takeover if a majority of the shares can be acquired.

 

If pledges of 19% are achieved, we look forward to Mr Allen promptly delivering on his promise to find a suitable purchaser of the 51% majority stake given that this constraint will no longer be an issue.

 

This solution shows that the wider fan and shareholder base have much to offer the club and such people (who really are the club) can provide the ideas, commitment, resource and skills that should be called upon by the SWFC Board to help the club prosper.

 

As part of this solution we are very happy that the fans' shares, held in Wednesdayite, can be retained for the benefit of Sheffield Wednesday supporters now and in the future.

 

We have had time to reflect on Mr Allen's comments last week and it is disappointing to say the least that he is the only Chairman in our 140 year history to have labelled the club's fans and shareholders in such a despicable way and continues to spurn every effort of reconciliation and dialogue. We are surprised that his fellow Board members have not publicly denounced his comments and call for nothing less than a public retraction and apology from Mr Allen - it is what these committed fans and shareholders of our great club deserve for being labelled in this astonishing way.

 

Moreover, Mr Allen's call to action for the 'majority to sort out the minority' has led to Wednesdayite property being damaged and one of our female Directors being abused and such comments are irresponsible from the Chairman of any club and a gross dereliction of duty.

 

Over the last few days our membership has seen the biggest growth rate since Wednesdayite was formed and Mr Allen is clearly becoming more isolated and desperate in his views. We ask his fellow Board members whether they wish to be associated with Mr Allen's latest outburst and demonstrably act accordingly. Dialogue CAN take place if enough of you in the Boardroom vote for it, irrespective of Mr Allen's opposition.

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Ive read with horror of the masses of misinformation banded on this thread toned as fact.

 

Dont get me wrong, if I knew no better and believed on face value the statements posted on here, I myself would be against Wednesdayite also.

 

Please please let me tell you 100% that the Bates affair came about well well before Wednesdayite existed. As another poster aluded to - its like blaming Tony Blair for Poll Tax.

 

Furthermore the remaining damning posts are based upon a combo of further misinformation and weighted opinion alone.

 

The 10.07% that we hold in Sheffield Wednesday is not for us to use as the Power Trip that has been accused, it is to give the supporters a small portion of the club, to give supporters a voice to be heard, the secure the long term future of the club for generations to come.

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A list of Wednesdayite achievements in the last couple of years:

 

§ Reduced membership fee from £20 p.a. to £10 p.a. and introduced Junior membership

 

§ Introduced a new style innovative membership pack and personalised membership cards

 

§ Gave each member their personalised share certificate in the Society

 

§ Offer car park facility to members and non-members

 

§ Introduced a match day lounge facility which offers free food and has proved to be very popular

 

§ Introduced a cheap away coach facility for those wishing to travel to away matches

 

§ Increased membership from 387 almost 3 fold in just 2 years

 

§ Offered 100% cashback on memberships to local football clubs to assist their kit purchase

 

§ Introduced a bi-annual programme of member surveys to ensure members can have their say

 

§ Acted upon the democratic wishes of the membership through the surveys and ballot (shares)

 

§ Published our Board Minutes to give access to the Board room to all members

 

§ Introduced bi-monthly newsletters for members and subsequently distributed to non-member fans

 

§ Instigated a match day presence through our Wednesdayite portakabin facility

 

§ Introduced a fundraising structure with our 4 good cause funds which give freedom of choice to members

 

§ Introduced a number of innovative fundraising initiatives such as tin cans, recycling, e-lottery and our shopping site

 

§ Increased our direct shareholding in SWFC plc from 9.46% to the important milestone of 10.07%

 

§ Proposed resolutions on behalf of the membership at the SWFC plc AGM

 

§ Represented the Society’s shareholding at all SWFC plc AGM’s and EGM’s in terms of questions to try to gain information for members and to express our point of view

 

§ Reduced fixed costs and made sure all staff are voluntary so that more more funds can be directed to community and club needs

 

§ Turned a £14000 loss into a £1000 profit in Wednesdayite’s first year of operation.

 

§ Turned a £1000 profit into a £38000 profit last year

 

§ Offered £2500 to be SWFC Academy Patrons

 

§ Offered £10,000 for a loan striker to help the club

 

§ Offered £500 towards the KOP Toilet development with the prospect of more funding

 

§ Proposed a number of commercial ideas to SWFC

 

§ Promoted SWFC’s Foundation Scheme to members through a free membership incentive

 

§ Donated £1000 to the SWFC Academy

 

§ Offered £630.42 to the SWFC Academy

 

§ Donated £300 to SWFC plc towards the additional costs for our AGM resolutions

 

§ Donated £250 to the Sheffield Children’s Hospital

 

§ Donated £250 to SWFC Ladies Football team

 

§ Donated £50 to Owls Against Racism

 

§ Offered £50 to SODA

 

§ Donated £50 to Wise Old Owls

 

§ Donated £50 to Chapeltown Junior Football team

 

§ Donated £181.29 to Hospital Radio

 

§ Donated £750 to the Owls Trust Allstars

 

§ Donated £50 to Community Spirit (Meynell School)

 

§ Donated £525 to the Owls Trust Allstars junior teams to cover cost of coaching courses

 

§ Donated £774 to Macmillan Cancer Care

 

§ Donated £298 to Smile Tickets

 

§ Donated t-shirts for a children’s AIDS centre in Kenya

 

§ Organised for 58 children to attend a Kids for a Quid match

 

§ Launched the Smile Tickets initiative which has treated dozens of adults and youngsters to matches whilst purchasing tickets at full retail price to generate funds for SWFC

 

§ Smile has now been adopted by other trusts and Supporters Direct have asked us to package it for all trusts to adopt nationwide

 

§ Launched our Primary Schools Coaching Scheme to provide free curriculum time coaching to local primary and special needs schools

 

§ To the end of the 2006/7 season, Malin Bridge, High Green, Bradfield Dungworth, Ecclesfield, Grenoside and Rivelin have benefited from our Coaching Scheme and Nook Lane and Loxley will conclude the current school year

 

§ Altogether, by the end of the current school year, some 1600 children will have received Wednesdayite coaching and some 4800 individual coaching sessions will have been delivered to promote the Wednesday brand where it might not otherwise have been proliferated

 

§ Successfully applied for grant funding from the United Co-operative Society to double our activity in our Primary Schools Coaching Scheme to enable over 5000 local children to receive our coaching (and over 15000 individual coaching sessions) in the next school year

 

§ Offered the replace the £5 SWFC superstore merchandise voucher to all U18 season ticket holders as part of a Junior Membership initiative (June 07)

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Sheffield Wednesday: When shareholders become scum

 

"Dave Allen - 'These people who call themselves fans are nothing but a bunch of cretins, and I hope you’ve got that word right, cretins, cos that is what they are.'"

 

Dave Allen is frustrated. Middle-aged and suited, with white hair smartly parted, he leans back in his chair and shakes his head at the TV cameras.

 

“You know, you can’t believe these people.”

 

Allen is chairman of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Together, he and fellow directors Geoff Hulley and Keith Addy own a controlling interest of 30% of the shares. Their latest attempt to sell those shares has failed. A bigger chunk of shares might be more attractive to a potential buyer. Allen knows where he might get some, maybe cheap.

 

Wednesdayite are the Sheffield Wednesday supporters’ trust. They run coaching courses for primary school children; their “smile” initiative buys match tickets from the club at full price and gives them to deserving people who would otherwise be unable to afford them; they donate money to local charities. Wednesdayite receive no funding from the club and no individual member can profit from their activities.

 

Allen works under no such limitations. Six years ago, he gave Wednesdayite a 10% shareholding saying, “The Sheffield Wednesday supporters are our greatest asset. They come to the matches, buy our shirts and do everything possible to support us. Their loyalty and commitment holds the key to our future. It is in recognition of this that myself, Mr Hulley and Mr Addy wish to make this gift.”

 

Now he wants it back. In return, he is offering to put £500,000 towards the acquisition and payment of players. The value of Wednesdayite’s shares is not clear, but is estimated to be in the region of £1.9m. Wednesdayite have declined.

 

Allen is displeased and has called a press conference.

 

“Ninety to 95 percent of fans of this football club are very happy with what’s going on, it’s just that lot that'll never be happy. You only want to come to the AGMs and listen to them…”

 

***

 

Cutlers’ Hall sits in the heart of Sheffield. A Monday night in November and people are gathering outside its extravagantly decorated main hall. They pause, blocked by the crowd. Squeezing through, they emerge into an aisle between two blocks of seating.

 

Above them a large chandelier dominates the elegantly corniced ceiling, while all around them giant formal portraits of past Master Cutlers are separated by marble-effect Corinthian columns. They scan the seats, 500 in total. All are taken. They return to the back of the hall and burrow in, standing wherever they can, facing a stage at the far end. There sit the directors.

 

This is the home of the trade guild of metal workers. Built in 1867 it is tonight the location of the Annual General Meeting of Sheffield Wednesday, a club formed in that same year and winners of four league championships and three FA Cups.

 

They have just sacked their manager, the ninth in as many years. They are £27m in debt. They are mid-table in the second tier of English football.

 

***

 

Dave Allen remembers: “By the way we were doing well.”

 

***

 

The meeting begins with the perfunctory execution of administrative tasks before questions are invited from shareholders.

 

Darryl Keys is the unpaid chairman of Wednesdayite. He was once a merchant bank director with responsibility for sports finance. Keys is concerned that, commercially, Wednesday are not as agile as they could be. He presents statistics illustrating how Wednesday’s revenue is significantly lower than comparable clubs at the same level. He provides examples of how those clubs maximise their income. He wonders whether Wednesday have room for improvement.

 

In reply, Wednesday’s finance director, Bob Grierson, rejects his advice, referring to the failure of Keys’ own business. He addresses none of the issues raised. Jeers rise up from the floor and a shout is directed towards the stage. “Shame on you.”

 

***

 

Dave Allen remembers: “These people who call themselves fans are nothing but a bunch of cretins, and I hope you’ve got that word right, cretins, cos that is what they are.”

 

***

 

A dark-haired woman walks, head down, to the front. Small and middle-aged, she tentatively approaches the microphone. Her eyes dart around the room, down to her hand-held notes, then around the room once more. She gives a small cough. Initially her voice is quiet and hoarse but soon she is speaking eloquently and passionately. Irma Kennedy has supported Wednesday for 40 years. She is not there to represent Wednesdayite. She talks as a supporter and as an individual shareholder.

 

“He (Allen) has told me I know nothing about football. While I do not profess to be an expert, I think I have earned the right to have an informed opinion and to have that opinion respected. It’s time you put aside your petty views and looked to rebuild your relationship with all fans.”

 

Her speech is reported in the Sheffield Star as “the most impassioned plea of the night”.

 

As she makes her back to her seat, applause fills the hall. Shouts merge together into an indistinct rumble of encouragement.

 

“You must stop insulting people like me,” she said.

 

***

 

Dave Allen remembers: “There was one woman stood up, the most venomous bitch I’ve ever come across in my life, she’d got three pages of diatribe to read out about me, it was just absolutely appalling.”

 

Allen again shakes his head and searches for the right word to describe his customers and fellow shareholders.

 

“Scum.”

 

Dave Allen remains as chairman of Sheffield Wednesday.

 

Jeff Gold

25 July, 2007

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It seems we have two threads devoted to much the same purpose on this messageboard. To save myself many hours of typing, can I just refer you to the following topic in the 'Football' forum where I have made a couple of lengthy posts to redress the balance of most of the posts made here over the last few days (although one of them has also been reproduced above by someone else)...

 

"Latest on Owls takeover talks" (page 7)

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