Nigel Hamer Interview

Saturday, 29 March 2003, 0:00
4 mins read

Home >Story Index> Poses The Financial Questions

P.S. What is the Trust’s current shareholding in the Club ?

N.H. We have invested £80,000 in purchasing shares in the Club which gives us a 20% shareholding in the Club, of the Issued Share Capital.

P.S. Is there a target figure that the Trust are aiming for ?

N.H. We haven’t set a target figure for our investment in the Club, as and when funds become available and there are shares available to purchase, we shall invest,but our immediate aim will be to reach the £100,000 mark within the next few months.

P.S. Would that give us a second seat on the Board of Directors ?

N.H. Initially, for any investor to have a seat on the Board, an investment of £50,000 had to be made. It is an issue which we haven’t discussed as a Trust Board, but when we reach that target figure we will quite probably explore the possibility.

P.S. What was the amount raised from the Loan Player Scheme and how many people contributed ?

N.H. The scheme which was launched last October and promoted by the Evening Post has to date raised £28,000. There have been 230 individual contributions, not all from Trust members, or, Swans fans, and six businesses have made the maximum contribution. Roger Freestone through his Testimonial Fund made the maximum contribution initially requested which was £375.

P.S. And what exactly did that pay for ?

N.H. The Trust adopted Alan Tate as the player whose wages we were initially going to cover until the end of the season, but such was the success of the scheme that we were able to contribute towards a second players wages and that is Marc Richards.

P.S. Is this scheme still open for donations ?

N.H. Yes the scheme remains open, although the initial impetus has fallen away. We are currently working on a re-invention of the scheme where we intend to contact those who gave an initial one off payment, to try to extend the scheme on a weekly, or, monthly continuation of donation.

P.S. You mentioned a deadline regards additional funds in relation to our position as a shareholder – what’s that all about ?

N.H. Deadline was probably the wrong word, but the Club are looking at a shortfall for the season, as a result shareholders have been asked to consider a loan scheme over the short term, but in our case any additional funds raised would be used to purchase additional shares. We currently have £8,000 in our Bank Accounts, we will probably be looking at a further £12,000 to be raised over the next few months.

P.S. Trust membership is past 1,000 again, how much work from your end goes into maintaining and managing that membership ?

N.H. Yes, we are pleased to note that the membership has now reached 1,025 for the 2002/03 season, this is down on our first season figure of 1,474 but many joined during the horrendous period when Tony Petty owned the Club. The busy periods so far as administration is concerned is from September through to January when the information has to be inputted into our database, membership cards have to be sent out and generally keeping up to date with e-mails and phone calls regarding membership details, changes of address etc.,.

P.S. How many hours would you say that you have to put into the Trust each week ?

N.H. Let’s just say that I am fortunate that I run my own business so I am able to undertake this work on the Trust’s behalf in office time. As mentioned in the previous question, the busiest times are between September and January, where it has been as much as 12-14 hours per week, or, a couple of hours per day. Of course last November we had the ballot for Board members and we also have the quarterly Newsletter, this all takes time and much stuffing of envelopes, fortunately we have very willing helpers to deal with this workload which means around 1,000 envelopes each time we send out information from the Trust. At other times, it can be about 2-3 hours per week on Trust business, and then we have the monthly Board meeting which can last up to three hours on a Monday evening after work.

P.S. How much does it hurt when someone aims a critcism at the Trust ?

N.H. Constructive criticism no one would have any problems with, but, it does surprise many on the Board of the very personal nature of the criticism against individuals. I am a great believer in the concept of a Supporters Trust, and the people involved are those who stood up and took the Trust forward to what it is today. Sure we have our faults and failures, but we are after all doing it for Swansea City Football Club. Anyone who thinks anything differently of us is a sad case.

P.S. If you could state one disappointment in the eighteen months you have been running, what would it be ?

N.H. That those who were initially involved with the setting up of the Trust at the outset, are by and large no longer involved in the day to day running of the Trust.

P.S. Based on the fact that the Trust is ‘ fan-funded’,what is the biggest percentage that you could ever see the Trust having in the football club ?

N.H. This is purely a personal opinion, because I know that there are fans out there who would like to see the Trust owning the Club 100% like has currently happened at York City, but having been close enough to the financial feedback which we get from our Supporter Director, I like to be able to sleep at nights !! Seriously, I would not wish to see this Trust own much more than we currently do today, which is approximately 20%. Having seen the work put in by the current Board, I cannot envisage anyone having the time as well as earning a living, to be involved in running a football club under the guise of the Supporters Trust.

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