Darryl Keys Takeover Q & A: Part 1
Wednesdayite chairman Darryl Keys was kind enough to come on Vital SWFC to answer your questions regarding the takeover saga at S6, and for those unfortunate to miss out - here are the details from the question and answer session...
US Owl: How confident is he that Geoff Sheard will still be able to buy at least 29.9% of shares and take effective control of the club, plus invest sufficient money to get the club heading in the right direction?
DK: Due to the length of time, I guess like most people I have my doubts, but having spoken with GS just this evening, he is totally sure it will go through. I think it just needs to be done one way or the other.
US Owl: If the Sheard deal does fall through, as most of us are expecting now, are any of the three other interested parties serious contenders to buy the club and are we allowed to know who they are?
DK: I believe there are more than three but I only have contact with 3 parties who are all early stage. One in particular is interesting I would say. But I can't speak for the others outside those 3.
US Owl: Those of us who are Wednesdayite members would like to know if we will be given any say in any further offers from other investors, should the Sheard deal fall through.
DK: Absolutely. If we want to sell to any other party, we have to get the members' approval.
US Owl: Is there any possibility that Geoff Sheard could be persuaded to come on this forum and let us know what is going on? We do understand that many business dealings are confidential, but a little openness & honesty would go a long way to getting a lot of fans back on his side.
DK: Wednesdayite is in no different a position re funds verification as we were back on August 6 when members voted in the ballot. We keep urging him to prove funds to us.
gudetehowl: Is he aware of the fans getting very impatient and annoyed that 9 months down the line no news has been given?
DK: Absolutely - and we have told him he just needs to do the deal now, or let's get on with life.
Skeggy Owl: Do you know anything about the supposed meeting last week between the board at S6 and a group of Americans, as it has been said that 'due dilligence' has been completed by them.
DK: No - but I have heard the rumour that at least 2 possible bidders are interested via club routes - I can't confirm this as SWFC will not talk about it - so its just rumour.
I have heard that at least 1 US source has expressed an interest but I don't know much more than that in terms of how far they may have reached if at all.
US Owl: Do you know if there is any truth to the recent rumour of a bid from a US consortium, possibly fronted by ex-player John Harkes?
DK: I've heard the rumour but no more than that.
David Hirst: What the reasoning is behind the delay in the completion of the takeover?
DK: The 4 shareholders all are happy to sell. Its a matter of funds being delivered to finalise the deal. GS knows it is only he who can deliver this and to date it has not materialised. For balance, he is resolute he can do it within the next 15 days.
David Hirst: What remains to be done in order for it go through?
DK: The money - there is no doubt in my mind there are willing sellers.
Radders60: GS is a buisness man , surly his credentials in the buisness world will be zero if the takeover does not happen. Has he been let down by the investors who first set him on the task to take over s6 and now is he is trying to save face by finding new backers. IE cash to seal the deal.
DK: GS has always stated he is not the money man - he is the representative or front man. My fear is he is being placed in a very difficult position by the people behind the deal and I feel for him if that turns out to be the case. I had exactly that conversation with him last night but he remains steadfast that it can be done.
We are told that the current backers have been involved for several months and for everyone's sake, the deal now needs to be completed - not least Geoff himself.
Placebo: Assuming a GS takeover, will DK be getting a place on the board to help repair some of the damage caused by previous chairmen/directors?
DK: Wednesdayite do not seek a place on the Board - we would prefer to have regular formal dialogue with the board, which we believe is more effective.
I do not seek a place on the board and have enough to do as Wednesdayite Chairman - in any case, my own circumstances might well see me having to move abroad in the next few months.
Being open and honest, GS has indicated he would like me to play a role - but as I said, the only role I want to play is within Wednesdayite.
Placebo: 2. Will KW be replaced due to the fact there is an almost unanimous feeling of ill will and discontent towards him due to the way he's represented the club in recent years?
KW: I understand that concern but have no idea what the plans of any bidder are. I can only say that during and since our meeting with SWFC last week, KW has been first class, very open and willing to listen and co-operate and we hope that can continue as it was never in the club's interests or ours for the divide to continue.
We'll be running the second part of the Q & A on Vital Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow - check back then for more, or get yourself on the Vital SWFC forum to view the talk in full, and join the discussion!