Before the business of actual football gets under way this weekend, I thought I`d give my two pence worth on the new “Norwich City Mini Bond.”
No doubt most of you will be aware that last night, the club presented the idea to 200 invited club partners to explain their funding idea for regenerating Colney and keeping Category 1 Academy status.
The fact that we`ve wasted countless millions of pounds over the last few years and not already done this, is old news and I can`t be bothered to rake over it again. The mistakes of David McNally and Alex Neil are not the fault of Stuart Webber or Daniel Farke.
So, the headlines.
The club want to raise money to build a state of the art academy, which is a central point of Stuart Webber`s plans for the club`s future. Producing their own talented youngsters will be key to all this for the club`s future progression.
The club will raise money by issuing a five year bond with a maximum threshold of £5m. They are looking to raise as much of that as possible but need at least £3.5m to do the work with a minimum of £2m being needed to issue the bond. If for argument`s sake they only got to £2m, the bond would be issued and the club would look for “further funding options.”
The bond will pay 5% gross interest annually with an additional 3% gross in club credit and there will also be a one off 25% payment if the club is promoted to the Premier League during the 5 year lifetime of the bond.
The minimum subscription is £500 with no upper limit on how much you can pay in. It should be noted though that this is an unsecured investment and there are risks to your money.
What does that all mean then?
With basic maths, working on the investment of the minimum of £500, you will receive 5% gross interest per annum, which is £25 a year (gross). If the club get Premier League promotion, you will get a 25% one off payment of £125 and at the end of the five year term, you get your £500 back BUT you cannot get access to the £500 during the five year term of the bond.
Clearly, this is a better deal than if you just leave your £500 in the bank.
The bond is being run by Tifosy, who are described by Norwich City as a “Sports investment platform.” Co-founded by Gianluca Vialli and CEO Fausto Zanetton. You will I`m sure, remember Gianluca Vialli as the former Sampdoria, Juventus, Chelsea and Italian international striker. FCA guidelines require the club to use the services of an FCA authorised company to issue the bond.
To my mind, this is a novel, inventive way to raise money to help re-develop Colney. Training facilities are where a player spends most of their time at a football club, so it can be an important selling point for prospective first team players, not to mention improving facilities for the Academy players and that is key to the club`s future plans.
It won`t be for everyone and plenty of people can`t afford the minimum subscription when times are hard, like they have been for the last decade.
However, if you are lucky enough to have such a sum spare and want to invest in your football club and get a reasonable return on your money, then you might be interested. It adds a bit of personal interest into the club`s future as well as giving the investing fan a return on their money.
The board and staff members are being quoted as saying they are investing but there`s no word on how much and I suppose that`s their business rather than mine.
As I said, we really shouldn`t be in this position at all and the prospect of asking fans to make donations to the Academy/Colney would likely be a highly toxic suggestion. As it is, this mini bond idea has been met with a whole lot of derision on social media “I already pay enough for my season ticket” etc.
We all already pay enough and that`s why I think it`s a novel idea that lets the fan make some return on the “lend of their money” in a bond. If you go to see a financial advisor, you could no doubt get a better return on your money or you might not, that`s the risk involved in financial investment. There is an issue here of putting all your eggs in one basket, rather than spreading your investments into different areas to lessen the risk but as I say, it`s entirely up to you what you do. It`s an idea the club are pitching to us and no-one has to invest.
It`s also worth remembering that there is a loyalty, supporting your club, tug on the heartstring involved, which you don`t get with other financial investments, that the club will be looking to tap into.
So there you go, this may or may not be for you. It`s your decision but you can learn more from the club at Canaries.co.uk