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Where would we be now....


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I guess that really depends on who else could have come in and taken over at the time and how committed they were to the club. Gibson has been pretty ambitious with us in parts and it lead to us getting to several cup finals and eventually getting a cup and being in Europe for a couple of seasons.

Part of me thinks we would be still in the Championship but having looked back at the time, we were only 2 points away from going down to the old Third Division that season. But given how soon after '86 it was, would it be beyond the realms of possibilities that we would have ended up back in the same situation and potentially gone bust?

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I was thinking about this the other day after reading a thread on FMTTM.

I think it's safe to say that we wouldn't have had so many years in the Premier League, the cup finals and Europe and I wonder how we would have moved away from Ayresome Park. However, sitting here today we are in exactly the same position in the league as we were on the day that SG joined the board in 1984, with a lot more debt.

If you index link the debt that we had at the time that we went out of business, it works out at about £6.5 million in today's money. According to a report in 2020 our debt was actually about £105 million.

That's obviously a bit misleading because the financial landscape of football generally has changed out of all recognition since 1986 and our turnover has grown massively too. Unbelievable as it might seem today, our turnover in 1985 was about £200,000 and our debt as a multiple of our turnover was lower in 2020 than it was in 1986. On the other hand, the 2020 report showed that our gross debt of £105 million was larger than the combined debt of 9 other Championship clubs taken together, several of which had gross debts of less than that figure of £6.5 million.

There might therefore be an argument to say that disappointing days at Hull are the quid pro quo for the exciting night in Eindhoven and that if SG had walked away in 1989 we'd have missed out on a lot of amazing memories but would now be pretty much where we are with less debt.

What I find a little worrying is that many posters on FMTTM were saying that we couldn't be without SG because his company is underwriting our debt. That might be overlooking the fact that much of the debt has accrued from his strategy and decisions since 2006 and while it might very well be true it feels a little bit like the situation Gretna got into under Brookes Mileson. They lived the dream for a few years on the back of his largesse, getting to the Scottish Premier League, a Scottish Cup Final and into Europe but it fell apart very quickly when he became ill.

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1 hour ago, McMordie said:

I was thinking about this the other day after reading a thread on FMTTM.

I think it's safe to say that we wouldn't have had so many years in the Premier League, the cup finals and Europe and I wonder how we would have moved away from Ayresome Park. However, sitting here today we are in exactly the same position in the league as we were on the day that SG joined the board in 1984, with a lot more debt.

If you index link the debt that we had at the time that we went out of business, it works out at about £6.5 million in today's money. According to a report in 2020 our debt was actually about £105 million.

That's obviously a bit misleading because the financial landscape of football generally has changed out of all recognition since 1986 and our turnover has grown massively too. Unbelievable as it might seem today, our turnover in 1985 was about £200,000 and our debt as a multiple of our turnover was lower in 2020 than it was in 1986. On the other hand, the 2020 report showed that our gross debt of £105 million was larger than the combined debt of 9 other Championship clubs taken together, several of which had gross debts of less than that figure of £6.5 million.

There might therefore be an argument to say that disappointing days at Hull are the quid pro quo for the exciting night in Eindhoven and that if SG had walked away in 1989 we'd have missed out on a lot of amazing memories but would now be pretty much where we are with less debt.

What I find a little worrying is that many posters on FMTTM were saying that we couldn't be without SG because his company is underwriting our debt. That might be overlooking the fact that much of the debt has accrued from his strategy and decisions since 2006 and while it might very well be true it feels a little bit like the situation Gretna got into under Brookes Mileson. They lived the dream for a few years on the back of his largesse, getting to the Scottish Premier League, a Scottish Cup Final and into Europe but it fell apart very quickly when he became ill.

Excellent post mcmordie

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2 hours ago, McMordie said:

....if Steve Gibson had saved us in 1986 but then walked away when we were relegated from the First Division in 1989.

Discuss!

He didn’t save us in 1986.  He was a small part of a group that saved us. I don’t think he became majority shareholder until 93/94, which was when Colin Henderson left as chairman. Gibson deserves some credit but ICI and that Moszkowicz bloke risked far more than Gibson did.  Not forgetting Scottish and Newcastle breweries of course.  No idea what would have happened, probably Moszkowicz ends up owning the club and then who knows, sold to someone else in turn presumably. 

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It's true that Moszkowicz and ICI put a lot more money in and that we wouldn't have survived without ICI (?) agreeing to underwrite the turnover requirements.

The reason I referred to him saving the club is that I do think that he was the driving force behind getting the deal over the line and I didn't want to upset anyone who sees him as our saviour on here!

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1 hour ago, McMordie said:

It's true that Moszkowicz and ICI put a lot more money in and that we wouldn't have survived without ICI (?) agreeing to underwrite the turnover requirements.

The reason I referred to him saving the club is that I do think that he was the driving force behind getting the deal over the line and I didn't want to upset anyone who sees him as our saviour on here!

Oh yeah definitely he was. He became a director not long before it all happened and he was right in the thick of it.  Just saying at that point you mentioned he didn’t actually own the club.  I think your question was more, where would we be without Gibson, and is the current situation acceptable on the basis that we’ve had lots of good times since he’s been involved with the club?

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The point I was actually pondering the other night was that there are two halves to his time at the club. He's rightly a local hero for what he brought to us up to 2006 and for various reasons I wouldn't be without him, but if he'd only been here since 2006 we'd presently see him as the bloke who'd taken the club from being an established top half Premier League team and European finalists to Championship strugglers saddled with debt.

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Hard to say where we'd be, best case scenario would be where Leicester are if we'd gotten a really rich owner. Worst case scenario would probably be something like Sunderland are now if we'd had bad owners. 

My gut feeling is probably somewhere in between, maybe something like an Ipswich were we might have had a few Premier league seasons, and the majority of the time in the second tier but without the great period from 95-06. 

So in summary I think we wouldn't have had the highs but I don't think we'd be much worse off than where we are now. 

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56 minutes ago, McMordie said:

The point I was actually pondering the other night was that there are two halves to his time at the club. He's rightly a local hero for what he brought to us up to 2006 and for various reasons I wouldn't be without him, but if he'd only been here since 2006 we'd presently see him as the bloke who'd taken the club from being an established top half Premier League team and European finalists to Championship strugglers saddled with debt.

Two halves is a pretty good way of looking at it I’d say.  It’s also worth trying to differentiate between when he had the financial muscle to make us competitive in terms of that side of things and when he and we were overtaken in that regard.  We bought Rav as a champions league final scorer, we bought Juninho has a Brazilian international and footballer of the year over there. Barmby was one of the top young English talents.  Gibson was able to do those deals but there’s absolutely no way we could get them done now.  That actually doesn’t bother me one way or another, I’m more interested in decision making than that side of things.  I’d say that would be more than just two different eras though probably. 

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6 minutes ago, Changing Times said:

Two halves is a pretty good way of looking at it I’d say.  It’s also worth trying to differentiate between when he had the financial muscle to make us competitive in terms of that side of things and when he and we were overtaken in that regard.  We bought Rav as a champions league final scorer, we bought Juninho has a Brazilian international and footballer of the year over there. Barmby was one of the top young English talents.  Gibson was able to do those deals but there’s absolutely no way we could get them done now.  That actually doesn’t bother me one way or another, I’m more interested in decision making than that side of things.  I’d say that would be more than just two different eras though probably. 

And when you can't throw money at a situation then decision making and strategy is more important. 

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All I know is that if Gibson and co hadn't saved the club I probably wouldn't have ended up falling in love with the club in the 90's and it would have saved me a lot of pain and anger and having to endure a club being managed by both Pulis AND Warnock inside just a few years😪 Is Crystal Palace the only other "lucky" club regarding that duo of inspiration?

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for his "part" in the rescue act of 1986 Gibson ,rightly accrued a whole lot of leeway with the fanbase, incredibly some still allow that leeway but looking at the cold hard facts ,surely his godstatus is very much in question with what has transpired in the last 15 or so years. he has become a despot right in front of our eyes and if were honest the signs were there at the beginning when he happpily lapped up the full acclaim for himself. I loved the gibson of the robson/mclaren era, happy to take a back seat whilst letting those two managers and the likes of juninho,ravanelli,mendieta,hasselbaink,viduka, et al take the adoration from the fans, remember the celebrations from the fans afterour cup final win , gibson was reluctant to be paraded as one of the heroes but the fans that early evening showed how much he was appreciated and loved by them. hes tainted all that recently and with the rhodes and downing signings, the gazette manipulation, the choosing of managers and loss of communique with the fanbase he has instigated his own alienation and rightly imo comes under question. i genuinely dont think that up until theses last few years he would have ever considered no longer wanting to remain in post so i cant adress the OP .      

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