Friday, 3 June 2011

The Waiting Game

My problem, I suspect, is I draw too much of my knowlege of business from watching "The Apprentice". Alan Sugar seems value an ability to operate in a straghtforward manner and get a deal done. Clearly it's a simplified version of reality.

Obviously, I didn't assume the WST would take Wrexham over with a click of their fingers when the Poole bid collapsed and it was announced they were in negotiations with the club's owners. My suspicion, though, was that it would be the trust's honesty which might make the deal impossoble.

Let's be frank: the trust are the only body throughout all this mess who have been straightforward, transparent and realistic about the process. They don't shoot their mouths off or make promises they can't keep as they alone understand the concept of having a responsibility to the supporters of the club. Therefore, I suspected that, should their due diligence reveal a black hole in the finances, the deal would flounder. After all, they're aware they can't squander the fans' money and therefore won't make silly commitments.

However, before that situation could develop, we've run into a different problem. It would seem that simply getting their hands on the books to determine whether they have any nasty surprises in them is no simple matter. Part of me wonders whether this is just a natural part of any business deal, especially a complex on like this one. But if that's the case, why have accountancy and law firms with experience in the field apparently felt the need to let it be known that progress is slow?

The elephant in the room is why would people who want to sell their business be tardy in handing over the books? The best case scenario is that it's an innocent mistake, and as we're talking about a company which doesn't pay its taxes or its employees wages on time, I suppose that's a possibility. Not a best case scenario to fill your heart with hope though, is it?

However, the other possibilities hardly bear thinking about. The only thing I feel confident about is that the WST board will do what is right once they have all the facts in front of them. I'm bracing myself for the terrifying possibility that they'll conclude the terms of this deal are unacceptable.

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