Self-Sustaining Investment Model Serving Saints Well In Current Climate Says Semmens
Monday, 7th Sep 2020 10:13
Saints CEO Martin Semmens has been speaking about the situation with the club's owner Gao Jisheng and admits the the fact that the club is run without major investment is meaning the club are not as affected as some by the current situation.
When some Saints supporters have been vocal on social media about the lack of investment by the Saints owner Gao Jisheng, this site has been quick to point out that this is probably less to do with Gao's wish to invest more into the infrastructure, but more about the worsening relationship between China and the rest of the Western World and his own ability to get money out of China due to the Government there changing it's stance on investing in Western sports clubs.
Some still preferred to paint Gao as the villain of the piece, but although he hasn't been the rich owner pumping millions in the club we hoped for when he arrived, the fact is that with his self sustaining investment structure of the club, we have not spent beyond our means and more importantly we are not sidled with a lot of debt that he would be wanting paid back.
We also haven't got big instalment's due to other club's for transfer fee's over the past few years and although we still have too many high earners on the books from before Gao arrived, the situation is manageable.
This means that as a club we can hopefully get through the current crisis if not comfortably, but without too much stress.
But the recent situation with the Premier League being unable to get Chinese Broadcasting company Suning Holdings to honour a £525 million contract for the Premier League rights in China, something that is clearly a political decision rather than the Broadcaster simply feeling the deal is not worth it as well as our Issues with LD Sports has put China into the spotlight with regard to Premier league football again.
Saints CEO Martin Semmens has now confirmed much of what I have been saying for the last year or so talking to BBC Radio Solent.
Southampton chief executive Semmens says the current uncertainty has no bearing on Jisheng's ownership of the club, and that there was no issue with mounting pressure on the owner.
"I don’t think it is making it increasingly hard, from day one it has been tricky with the political situation and most specifically the investment structure,"
"We have a really clear strategy at the club to move forward and Mr Gao buys into that completely and that includes a self-sustainable, non-investment model."
"The recent events in China are not putting any more pressure on us and I can reassure people that we have control of what we are doing every day and we can make the right decisions, and the things around us don’t affect the performance on the pitch really."
Semmens was also asked whether the political situation would affect the owner's long-term future at the club, but admitted it was not something he could answer.
This will further increase speculation that the club is close to being taken over, something that has been seemingly been in the pipeline for a couple of months now, whether that has something to do with the political situation is unclear.
Semmens further commented on that issue.
"That is something which only he knows," I can only answer in that I don’t think it is any different now to what it was two years ago.
"The restrictions in China on investment in sport were put in place very quickly after he took control, so we have been living with that for a long time.
"I think any football club is open to different solutions and investment and plans for the future, but at the moment we have a pretty clear plan and at the moment we think it is working."
So Semmens has confirmed that Gao's failure to invest more heavily in Saints is seemingly not because he did not want to, but because he was being restricted by the Chinese Government, so those who have criticised Gao on social media have done so without knowing the full picture.
The self sustainable model that has had to be put in place was not entirely Gao's intention when he bought his share of the club and although what followed was not ideal, it has actually left Saints in a stronger position than some.
The truth about about Gao as I have maintained on this site, is that he has been restricted by a situation far beyond his control, but although he hasn't been the owner many would have preferred, the truth is he has done us no wrong either.
Photo: Action Images
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