24 May 2018 23:13:15
So I’ve been thinking ( second try at this comment) from a logical and on lookers point of view.

So I’ll start here, RK has spoken about building the club commercially. And then the news about Mr GAO was thinking about buying another club in Europe to partner ours. And it got me thinking.

Are, our board geniuses? I mean think about it, we a small club like it or not we are. But so were Chelsea and Man City before they were brought out and had money pumped in and admittedly Chelsea are in huge debt! But how can we possibly compete with very best and rich? We can’t. And does it benefit us to keep these players when they want to move to a huge club like Liverpool, United, city or Chelsea? We can’t. So we buy and then sell. To move forward it’s worked for us and we have had some great players and managers. Although last two questionable. But the point I’m making is we should stick to it and enjoy it. These players want to join us because we are a stepping stone. But so were Chelsea and city before the money. Don’t even argue with me on that look into the history of those two clubs before they had money.

So why are the board geniuses? Well think about how the club looks now compared to a few years ago. We have one of the beta training complexes and facilities in the country, one of the best academies. We are expanding our brand in China, America and other countries, More revenue, fans and attention brought to our so called club. Now imagine if our partner club that Mr GAO brought was sold alongside our club? Another Assest for a possible buyer. We are slowly becoming a very attractive prospect for any very wealthy business or Arab that wants to buy a club in the beta league in the world.

But first we need to improve our fan base. Our status on and off he pitch. Then one day we can compete with the elite. But first an owner needs a reason to buy a club. Atm Newcastle and Everton are more interesting prospects but I think this is the general idea with board atm move forward this way and try to attract someone’s who can pump money in? Idk maybe they don’t need palm that but I think GAO has seen an opportunity to build us up develop us and himself and the sell for a profit. I think the plan is to build us in to the most attractive prospect in the league. Although we are a long way off.

1.) 25 May 2018
25 May 2018 15:03:24
I think calling them genius's is perhaps a bit far, but we're certainly a well run club, as much as our fanbase is determined to dispute that.

Nice to see someone evaluate these things with a bit of perspective for once!

2.) 25 May 2018
25 May 2018 15:22:03
An interesting slant on it Corky with pretty sound logic. The whole theory though very nearly disappeared down the toilet until that famous night at the Liberty stadium in Swansea. If that had all gone pear shaped and we were now in the Championship I don’t think the word genius would spring to mind. We got away with it big time and hopefully lessons have been learned .

3.) 25 May 2018
25 May 2018 22:04:21
Given that when Gao took over, the club was reorganised internally, the board likely looks different now to when it did when we were promoted. On the basis of last season, the answer to your question is no. They are not geniuses.

Its right that in order for a club to grow in size, you must increase the fanbase domestically and globally. The best way to do so is to play good football and compete for things. Then, not only do you get televised more, but it allows interest and support of the team to grow. SFC is not the first club to try to spread its name to other parts of the world but people are likely to shrug and say ‘who? ’ rather than ‘tell me more’. Its folly to think that by simply telling people about the club support will duly follow. People from Southampton support Saints as its their home club and they have an affinity with it. People from other countries will want to find a team they can watch fairly regularly and that competes for domestic titles and wins more than it loses. Without the affinity, they’re more likely to lose interest and follow a team that does. Why wouldn’t they?

I’ve not read anywhere that Gao intends to buy a feeder club in Europe. I understand he’s looking to invest in Chinese football. RK spoke of a feeder team relationship in Europe as we had one previously, but even if Gao was to buy one, I’m not sure that in itself makes us a more appealing purchase. Its twice the number of football clubs and twice the number of headaches.

People seem to think that investors can make loads of money from football but that's only the case for the super rich. Look at how Abramovich is struggling at the moment. Mike Ashley? You only make money from one of the elite clubs and SFC is not that. Consider the route Tottenham have taken and that looks like the most viable path for those clubs who are not super rich. If I was looking to invest in a club now, Tottenham would be intriguing because you can see that by injecting a little bit of money, they could probably challenge for titles, progress in the Champions league, reach a global audience. Kerching. When you look at SFC, people will see small club, small fanbase, no global reach, going backwards in the Premier League and at risk of relegation and the financial pitfalls of the same. The experiment of the stepping stone club seems to be failing now after some initial success.

Is the club in a better position now than it was when we were promoted? Yes. Our debts have been reduced, (by people who have now moved on) we’ve largely done well on net transfers and with the increase in TV money in the last two seasons, things are much better. But as a business, the club remains a drain, which is why Katerina Liebherr sold it. Is Gao a genius for trying to make the club a more viable business? No. If he didn’t, he would be a looney throwing good money after bad. Is he looking just to improve it and sell it? Perhaps. But where does that leave us as fans and the football team?

There’s no hint of genius in the points you’ve set out. Its a business strategy and not a novel one. If they were really geniuses the focus would be, in the first instance, on making the football team the best it can possibly be. Then, they would have an enticing product to market to fans and potential investors around the world.

4.) 27 May 2018
27 May 2018 13:21:03
You've forgotten one small thing these fans in Asia are all fair weather fans and will only support the club if we are in the premier league.