31 December 1969 m

Letter from Milan

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  • In December we wrote to Milan about a number of matters that some of our members had expressed concerns about, our letter and Milan's response is shown below.

    We urge you all to heed Milan's words in paragraph 6 of his response and continue to support the club and the team, together we are stonger.



    Our letter sent on the 6th December was as follows:

    Dear Mr Mandaric

    We recognize your tremendous commitment some 3 years ago when you invested in the club and saved it from an uncertain future and we have been encouraged since that time by your public proclamations that you are a custodian of the club for the fans - the true owners - and that you will leave the club in a better place at the point you decide to exit.

    We all share the disappointment of our current league position, and this is a natural emotion for all of us who love the club and we sincerely hope our fortunes can be turned around so we can retain our Championship status in the current campaign.

    Also, we recognize that when we have sought various clarifications or assurances in the past, that you have tried to be as transparent and co-operative as possible in dealing with any of our questions and we appreciate that relationship.

    With this in mind, and given certain recent developments we feel the need to seek your co-operation in providing us with comfort about the long term prosperity of the club. We trust that you will be able to deal with the various points constructively and in the context of us all having a common desire to see the club prosper:

    1. While we appreciate that the very nature of football can lead to uncertain cash flows, it appeared that the initial £2m loan secured against the stadium was intended to be short term. However, it appears this is not the case and indeed 2 further charges (and further borrowing) has been necessary. If we continue to incur losses or further secured borrowings, there is a fear that the club will end up debt laden and slowly edging towards a similar position which resulted in you having to rescue us from the high court steps. Are you kindly prepared to make any statement or provide any comfort to allay such fears? We are sure you can recognize why this is a very sensitive issue for fans who never want to see us in the same difficult position again which threatened the future of the club just a short time ago.

    2. Are you prepared to kindly provide any assurance over any change in the ownership of the stadium in the future or that the club will not be placed in a situation where it becomes a tenant in relation to the stadium (with an associated lease liability)? The effect here particularly is the long term implication of a long commitment which the club has not had to be obligated to in the past - and an associated continuous working capital obligation impacting on cash flow - which has also not been a feature in the past. We are sure that you will recognize the sensitivity here for the fans who have never seen the ground being in 3rd party ownership and who would naturally want any cash to be invested in the team and not paid in rent in respect of a stadium the club has always owned.

    3. In connection with the stadium, would you have any objections to the Society making an application for listing it as an Asset of Community Value?

    4. We are aware that under Financial fair Play rules the clubs accounts have to be filed with the Football league by 1 December , would it be possible for us to have a copy of the accounts so we can address any questions to yourselves we may have prior to your usual publication of these on www.swfc.co.uk, thus enabling us to deal with authority to members/fans questions which may arise and be directed to us upon their publication.

    5. We appreciate that Mr Aldridge hosts fans forums on a regular basis and wonder if we could be afforded a permanent seat at such forums going forward, given the limited number of attendees permitted at such events?

    6. Is there anything that we can realistically do to assist?

    Please do not construe this letter as any form of negative agenda - our objective is to try to understand any difficulties and how you might be addressing them to mutual advantage. We understand that running a football club is a very difficult endeavour and are grateful for your commitment to Sheffield Wednesday. We also recognize your position as benefactor and investor and we trust you recognize our only desire is for a strong and viable Championship/Premiership club with long term sustainability.

    We look forward to your reply and a continuation of the very open and constructive communication we have enjoyed to date.

    Yours sincerely

    Paul Holmes

    Acting Chair

    For & on behalf of Sheffield Wednesday Supporters Society

    Milan's response is shown below:


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Paul Holmes

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