Dougie McGilvray, former Chairman of the club has sent a letter, reproduced in full below to all the shareholders of the club with his thoughts on the forthcoming share issue.
Dougie McGilvray's letter to the shareholders
The current Chairman, David Sutherland has promised his response to this letter, in full and on here.
22nd February 2001
Dear Fellow Shareholder,
As immediate past Chairman of INVERNESS THISTLE & CALEDONIAN FC PLC and a Board member since the amalgamation of the two former Clubs, I have seen what the first Chairman and his Board and my own Board had to face, and act on, to bring senior football to Inverness. There were many decisions that had to be made and I believe that the individuals concerned made the correct choices, and indeed this has been proven by the success of our Club over the past 6 years.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED?
• Kingsmills Park has become an executive housing estate.
• Telford Street Park has become a retail park.
• Longman Dump has become the gateway to the city.
• Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC has been the catalyst for future development of West and East Longman.
• The Club through its developments has provided long and short-term employment within Inverness.
• The Highland Council will benefit financially from all the property development.
But most of all the Football Club...
• Have come from the Highland League to the First Division Scottish Football League.
• Have reached the quarter final of the Scottish Cup only to be knocked out by Rangers.
• Have beaten Celtic in the third round of the Scottish Cup.
Surely the founders of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian Football Clubs would be proud to know that their vision and wonderful history is being carried forward.
We have the longest serving Manager in Scottish Football. Steve Paterson has been with us since our second year in Scottish League Football. It is also pleasing to note that 90%of today's squad have been with the Club since our Second Divisicn campaign, and indeed we still have a few players who played for the two previous Clubs.
One of the conditions of Inverness getting a team in the Scottish Football League was that we had to provide a new Stadium. The Stadium and related infrastructure costs less the funding that was in place left the Club with an immediate shortfall in November 1996 of approximately £1.4 million. This was to be recovered by property development.
I stood down as Chairman of the PLC in December 1999 and as a Director on the 30" of May 2000. To this date I have not made public my feelings about what is happening to our Club, I have listened and read the many remarks made about the past Boards and said nothing.
Like you I have now received the new prospectus, which offers for sale shares in the PLC. It seems that this is to be a company without a Stadium.
I know that many of my fellow shareholders have already spoken to their financial advisors, only to be told not to invest in the PLC but if they wish to invest to do so in the Trust. The reason being it is not advisable to invest in anything that has no assets. But how can you invest in something that has a low limit and is very likely to be fully subscribed to?
I know that the PLC requires to have money invested in it, but does it make sense to sell the crown jewels and leave the safe empty? With the present solution we are not getting rid of the debt we are only transferring it.
Is this proposal not just a small part of a scheme by bankers and property developers to get a foothold within the Highland Council to allow them to development other areas of land within the Highlands and make large profits?
If so I say good luck to them, but please leave us with our Stadium and negotiate with the Lease on the land that we have invested heavily in. Thus helping the Football Club to recover some of its costs.
My personal wish is to see the City of Inverness have a senior football Club to support, namely Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.
I enclose with this letter some questions and facts for your perusal. It is my belief that every supporter and shareholder should ask themselves these questions before making any decisions.
I would ask you either to back this proposal, and also ask you to try and encourage your friends to invest and come along to support our Club, or to come up with an alternative proposal whereby we do not lose our Stadium.
If you can do this we still need to attract more support and return to being a family Club.
Yours in Sport
INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC PLC
QUESTIONS & FACTS
Why is a Trust being set up?
Why is a new Property Company being set up?
Why are the Lease and Stadium both being transferred to the Trust?
The Stadium cost was in the region of 2.5 million pounds.
The infrastructure cost was in the region of 2.8 million pounds.
Would it not be sensible to transfer the Lease to the Property Company or Trust and leave the PLC with the Stadium as an asset?
If the Trust or Property Company can carry debt and eventually make a profit, how can the PLC not do the same?
The Inverness Common Good Fund gave some 900,000 pounds, in return they have a capital gain in excess of 4 million pounds in land value. Very good business.
The Highland Council gave 100,000 pounds and in return they received a distributor road valued in excess of 2.3 million pounds, plus all revenue from future property developments within the area serviced by the distributor road. Very good business.
The Harbour Trust contributed to the cost of the distributor road and received a capital gain from the sale of the foreshore that was reclaimed. Very good business.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle was left with the shortfall in costs and it was envisaged that this would be recovered by future property development. Poor Catalyst.
Where does Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. go from here, with no Stadium, no asset?
Inverness Thistle and Caledonian Football Clubs were the biggest contributors to the funding of Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club. Now they are being asked to reduce their voting rights without any Share Capital being lodged in the PLC.
If this was to happen it would surely make it easier for one person or a group of people to take control of the Club.
This is what the former Clubs did not want to happen.
|Six members of the previous board were asked to resign on the understanding that there was going to be a large sum of money invested in the PLC
|The directors duly resigned but to their knowledge no investment has been made in the PLC
At that time there was no mention of the assets being transferred to any other companies or trusts.