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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO 09:45 - Oct 12 with 2298 viewsSaintsNews

https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/southampton/news/55967/southampton-owners


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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 11:00 - Oct 12 with 1593 viewssaints__fan__73

So what does a change in structure actually mean?

I assume it's that Crooked Chairman Gao can't flog the entire thing so instead is looking at flogging bits of it?

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:12 - Oct 12 with 1532 viewsButty101

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 11:00 - Oct 12 by saints__fan__73

So what does a change in structure actually mean?

I assume it's that Crooked Chairman Gao can't flog the entire thing so instead is looking at flogging bits of it?


Here we go again Gao is a good owner.........

"So in essence Semmens has re iterated what I have been saying for a long time now, that although Gao has not turned out to be the owner that we all hoped for and indeed he wanted to be himself, he is a good owner in that he is doing us no harm."

His lack of investment will see us relegated sooner than later. When we are relegated we will end up in admin and drop down further ala Bolton, due to the significant debt we currently carry.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:17 - Oct 12 with 1526 viewsDorsetIan

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:12 - Oct 12 by Butty101

Here we go again Gao is a good owner.........

"So in essence Semmens has re iterated what I have been saying for a long time now, that although Gao has not turned out to be the owner that we all hoped for and indeed he wanted to be himself, he is a good owner in that he is doing us no harm."

His lack of investment will see us relegated sooner than later. When we are relegated we will end up in admin and drop down further ala Bolton, due to the significant debt we currently carry.


This. ‘Here we go again’ indeed.

Poll: How do you rate Gao's period of ownership?

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:31 - Oct 12 with 1519 viewsSaintsforeverj

Gao is a terrible owner and the sooner he goes the better.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:52 - Oct 12 with 1500 viewsSaintNick

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:12 - Oct 12 by Butty101

Here we go again Gao is a good owner.........

"So in essence Semmens has re iterated what I have been saying for a long time now, that although Gao has not turned out to be the owner that we all hoped for and indeed he wanted to be himself, he is a good owner in that he is doing us no harm."

His lack of investment will see us relegated sooner than later. When we are relegated we will end up in admin and drop down further ala Bolton, due to the significant debt we currently carry.


You have all the answers so tell me what should we do ?

You offer no answers only the theory that Gao is a bad owner because he is unable to invest and that anyone else who came in would invest money so would be a good owner.

Simplistic but nowhere near the reality of the situation

Perhaps you could let the club know the phone number of someone who wants to buy the club

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 13:33 - Oct 12 with 1452 viewsButty101

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 12:52 - Oct 12 by SaintNick

You have all the answers so tell me what should we do ?

You offer no answers only the theory that Gao is a bad owner because he is unable to invest and that anyone else who came in would invest money so would be a good owner.

Simplistic but nowhere near the reality of the situation

Perhaps you could let the club know the phone number of someone who wants to buy the club


Why keep pushing out the same crap that hes a good owner? Hes clearly not and couldnt be less engaged if he tried. Under his stewardship the club debt has increased 3 fold.

As the club has no money, exactly what money is he going to take out of the club? Transfer fees ? Well Ings would of had a down payment say of 5mill or about the equivalent 2.5% of his stake. That would make no sense.

Why should i have the answers? Its you that keeps putting mis-information out there.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:15 - Oct 12 with 1418 viewsdirk_doone

The problem was caused by Kat. She should have sold the club to someone who cared about the football team. Instead she was just happy to get another £200 mill in her bank account from anyone prepared to pay it, regardless of how dubious he was. She and her financial advisers are not stupid. They knew what they were doing.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:33 - Oct 12 with 1401 viewsSaintNick

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 13:33 - Oct 12 by Butty101

Why keep pushing out the same crap that hes a good owner? Hes clearly not and couldnt be less engaged if he tried. Under his stewardship the club debt has increased 3 fold.

As the club has no money, exactly what money is he going to take out of the club? Transfer fees ? Well Ings would of had a down payment say of 5mill or about the equivalent 2.5% of his stake. That would make no sense.

Why should i have the answers? Its you that keeps putting mis-information out there.


So what mis information have i put out, whether he is a good owner or not is opinion not information, what I have tried to do is assess the situation and the options, look at what has gone on and give an opinion,

But unless i say he is bad or unless he throws in £100 million in January and you will then say what a good owner he is then this will go around in circles.

You say he couldnt be less engaged, what are you expecting him to do in the current pandemic move over here or come to every game,

I have explained the leveraging process in detail, but you dont seem to understand it, if he had wanted to Gao could have effectively borrowed against the club through the club and as owner then paid himself the money and left the debt against the club so to be blunt that is exactly what money he could take from the club fairly easily, that is exactly what Biurnley's new owners did back at the start of the year.

Tell me why he hasn't done that

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:42 - Oct 12 with 1394 viewsallsaint

Biurnley seem a different club these days...

The meat’s the same, the gravy’s different

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:44 - Oct 12 with 1391 viewsBazza

I’m asking those moaning about Gao, what exactly do you think the chairman has got out of his massive investment in Saints fc?
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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 15:52 - Oct 12 with 1353 viewsButty101

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:33 - Oct 12 by SaintNick

So what mis information have i put out, whether he is a good owner or not is opinion not information, what I have tried to do is assess the situation and the options, look at what has gone on and give an opinion,

But unless i say he is bad or unless he throws in £100 million in January and you will then say what a good owner he is then this will go around in circles.

You say he couldnt be less engaged, what are you expecting him to do in the current pandemic move over here or come to every game,

I have explained the leveraging process in detail, but you dont seem to understand it, if he had wanted to Gao could have effectively borrowed against the club through the club and as owner then paid himself the money and left the debt against the club so to be blunt that is exactly what money he could take from the club fairly easily, that is exactly what Biurnley's new owners did back at the start of the year.

Tell me why he hasn't done that


I would assume Kat has the power to veto this , or some kind of legal agreement in place that stops him trying this kind of leveraging. Why would she sell 80% of the company for 200mill then risk the new owner dumping the debt straight back on the club. Thus risking her 20% (50mill). But like you, im not privy to the finer details of the sell, so can only speculate.

With the clubs finance's in poor health and relegation a real risk, he may also struggle to find someone willing to lend him the money to be leveraged back onto the club.

Now maybe, you can explain how taking the summers transfer fees would be a good idea of Gaos, as you said i dont understand.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 20:48 - Oct 12 with 1289 viewsBerber

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:15 - Oct 12 by dirk_doone

The problem was caused by Kat. She should have sold the club to someone who cared about the football team. Instead she was just happy to get another £200 mill in her bank account from anyone prepared to pay it, regardless of how dubious he was. She and her financial advisers are not stupid. They knew what they were doing.


Bearing in mind that the £200m was hers to do what she wanted with, and she chose to dilute the portfolio.
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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 00:49 - Oct 13 with 1242 viewsDorsetIan

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:33 - Oct 12 by SaintNick

So what mis information have i put out, whether he is a good owner or not is opinion not information, what I have tried to do is assess the situation and the options, look at what has gone on and give an opinion,

But unless i say he is bad or unless he throws in £100 million in January and you will then say what a good owner he is then this will go around in circles.

You say he couldnt be less engaged, what are you expecting him to do in the current pandemic move over here or come to every game,

I have explained the leveraging process in detail, but you dont seem to understand it, if he had wanted to Gao could have effectively borrowed against the club through the club and as owner then paid himself the money and left the debt against the club so to be blunt that is exactly what money he could take from the club fairly easily, that is exactly what Biurnley's new owners did back at the start of the year.

Tell me why he hasn't done that


You’re leverage theory assumes a willing lender.

And these repetitive posts about Gao are either misplaced loyalty or just stubbornness.

The very best that can said about Gao is that someone else could have been worse. That’s it. Trying to spin it any other way is perverse.

He’s contributed the best part of f@ck all to the advancement of Southampton FC, and the team has declined while he’s been in charge. It really isn’t rocket science.

Poll: How do you rate Gao's period of ownership?

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 09:12 - Oct 13 with 1142 viewsGennaro_Contaldo

"we don't have the funds to go and buy players that other clubs are doing"

To be honest, when has that EVER worked out well for Saints anyway? List every player over £15m, who worked out?

Adam Armstrong - who knows
Danny Ings - yes
Che Adams - debatable
Vestergaard - no
ELyounoussi - probably no
Carillo - no
Lemina - no
Hoedt - no
Boufal - no
Gabbiadini - kind of
Mane - yes

A list mostly of an utter waste of money. It wasn't "lack of funds", it was a gross mismanagement of funds which now the club are suffering from. But Saints aren't the best at spending big.

There are a load of players in the £10-£15m bracket that have done better than most of the above and Bednarek was only £4m!!

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 16:18 - Oct 13 with 1038 viewsKennington

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 09:12 - Oct 13 by Gennaro_Contaldo

"we don't have the funds to go and buy players that other clubs are doing"

To be honest, when has that EVER worked out well for Saints anyway? List every player over £15m, who worked out?

Adam Armstrong - who knows
Danny Ings - yes
Che Adams - debatable
Vestergaard - no
ELyounoussi - probably no
Carillo - no
Lemina - no
Hoedt - no
Boufal - no
Gabbiadini - kind of
Mane - yes

A list mostly of an utter waste of money. It wasn't "lack of funds", it was a gross mismanagement of funds which now the club are suffering from. But Saints aren't the best at spending big.

There are a load of players in the £10-£15m bracket that have done better than most of the above and Bednarek was only £4m!!


Probably because £15m is the price of a £4m player 10 years ago. A Rory Delap type of value. In other words these days you can’t get much for that type of f signing other than a championship punt or a failed big club player that might come good with us.

Gao is by the way arguably the worst owner the club has ever had.
[Post edited 13 Oct 21:17]

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 17:10 - Oct 13 with 1011 viewsMytchettSaint

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:44 - Oct 12 by Bazza

I’m asking those moaning about Gao, what exactly do you think the chairman has got out of his massive investment in Saints fc?


Well I can’t answer that but I bet he hasn’t done it for altruism.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta get your halo dirty

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 22:22 - Oct 13 with 917 viewsBazza

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 17:10 - Oct 13 by MytchettSaint

Well I can’t answer that but I bet he hasn’t done it for altruism.


That’s true but it doesn’t make him a bad chairman as many are claiming. Where’s the evidence?
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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 07:25 - Oct 14 with 843 viewsKennington

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 14:44 - Oct 12 by Bazza

I’m asking those moaning about Gao, what exactly do you think the chairman has got out of his massive investment in Saints fc?


Only thing I can think of is his profile is higher globally. If he ‘disappeared’, there’d probably be global news reporting it and it would be harder for the Chinese authorities to hush up. Always thought that’s why Abramovic bought Chelsea

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 08:20 - Oct 14 with 823 viewsMessysaints

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 00:49 - Oct 13 by DorsetIan

You’re leverage theory assumes a willing lender.

And these repetitive posts about Gao are either misplaced loyalty or just stubbornness.

The very best that can said about Gao is that someone else could have been worse. That’s it. Trying to spin it any other way is perverse.

He’s contributed the best part of f@ck all to the advancement of Southampton FC, and the team has declined while he’s been in charge. It really isn’t rocket science.


why does an owner need to spend his own money to run a football club that according to the games own rules, should be paying its own bills?

Not every team can have a man city or chelsea owner.

Reading this thread has made me feel like i am talking to little green eyed monsters.

I dont like or dislike Gao, he isnt a great or a bad owner. he just lets the clubs staff run the club like they all get paid to do and stays out of it. personally, i think more clubs should run the same.

If you want a sugar daddy owner, support newcastle, city, chelsea or PSG.

Am with nick, he isa good owner, could be far worst and cant be much better than he is unless he is a sugar daddy. ... good owner imho. wish he had money to invest ofc... but its not needed, club should pay its own way.
[Post edited 14 Oct 8:26]
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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:11 - Oct 14 with 753 viewsKennington

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 08:20 - Oct 14 by Messysaints

why does an owner need to spend his own money to run a football club that according to the games own rules, should be paying its own bills?

Not every team can have a man city or chelsea owner.

Reading this thread has made me feel like i am talking to little green eyed monsters.

I dont like or dislike Gao, he isnt a great or a bad owner. he just lets the clubs staff run the club like they all get paid to do and stays out of it. personally, i think more clubs should run the same.

If you want a sugar daddy owner, support newcastle, city, chelsea or PSG.

Am with nick, he isa good owner, could be far worst and cant be much better than he is unless he is a sugar daddy. ... good owner imho. wish he had money to invest ofc... but its not needed, club should pay its own way.
[Post edited 14 Oct 8:26]


Does anyone know how much more debt the club has had to take out since Gao arrived? He’s the opposite of a sugar daddy, he can’t even manage to keep his asset in the black. Instead we are piled high with debt that he is ultimately responsible for.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:14 - Oct 14 with 751 viewsDorsetIan

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 08:20 - Oct 14 by Messysaints

why does an owner need to spend his own money to run a football club that according to the games own rules, should be paying its own bills?

Not every team can have a man city or chelsea owner.

Reading this thread has made me feel like i am talking to little green eyed monsters.

I dont like or dislike Gao, he isnt a great or a bad owner. he just lets the clubs staff run the club like they all get paid to do and stays out of it. personally, i think more clubs should run the same.

If you want a sugar daddy owner, support newcastle, city, chelsea or PSG.

Am with nick, he isa good owner, could be far worst and cant be much better than he is unless he is a sugar daddy. ... good owner imho. wish he had money to invest ofc... but its not needed, club should pay its own way.
[Post edited 14 Oct 8:26]


You are just confirming what I said - that the best that can be said about him is that we could have a worse owner.

This is what I think:

1. It is difficult to assess what Gao has done, because he's done very little. Most of the defences against him are along the lines of 'he hasn't done this' or 'he hasn't done that'. As far as I can see, all that can be said of him is that he is an owner, in that he owns the shares, but beyond that there is little evidence of his guiding hand. Frankly, anyone can just own shares in a company and turn around to the directors and tell them to get on with it. Not much skill in that. But not much to say about it either.

2. I don't believe that this kind of passive ownership can cut it any more in the Premier League. There are too many other clubs with more active owners with more ambition. By which I mean, owners who actually and proactively try to improve their clubs. And it's the same with any business. You and others talk about 'sugar daddy' owners but it's more basic than that. Successful businesses understand that investment does not mean pouring money down the toilet but that it is the way to grow their businesses. Few passive businesses that don't invest for growth last very long. This is like day 1 at business school stuff.

3. The evidence of my own eyes is that over the period of Gao's ownership, the squad is getting weaker and the performances are getting poorer. Given 1 and 2, I'm not at all surprised by this.

So, no, not green eyed or in search of a sugar daddy, just wanting a bit of honesty about what is happening. A passive owner who is only taking us in one direction, and who imo deserves absolutely no credit for simply sitting on his hands for 5 years. Anyone could have done that.

Poll: How do you rate Gao's period of ownership?

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:35 - Oct 14 with 740 viewssaints__fan__73

Goa's caught between a rock and a hard place. His business plan was to borrow up to the eyeballs with personal loans to enable him to purchase a PL he couldn't really afford, then keep the club for 3 or 4 years by which time the value would have increased dramatically (as has continued to happen over past decades) and he could sell and make a huge profit for him and his daughter to live out the rest of their days...

Sadly COVID intervened and really f'kd things up and now he's left with an asset that is actually worth less than he paid for it.

He can't sell for less or else he won't be able to pay back the banks and will be left with tens of millions of personal loans he has no hope of repaying.

So all he can do is grimly carry on and hope things improve over time.

Of course if we get relegated he is properly f'kd.

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:57 - Oct 14 with 725 viewsSaintNick

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:14 - Oct 14 by DorsetIan

You are just confirming what I said - that the best that can be said about him is that we could have a worse owner.

This is what I think:

1. It is difficult to assess what Gao has done, because he's done very little. Most of the defences against him are along the lines of 'he hasn't done this' or 'he hasn't done that'. As far as I can see, all that can be said of him is that he is an owner, in that he owns the shares, but beyond that there is little evidence of his guiding hand. Frankly, anyone can just own shares in a company and turn around to the directors and tell them to get on with it. Not much skill in that. But not much to say about it either.

2. I don't believe that this kind of passive ownership can cut it any more in the Premier League. There are too many other clubs with more active owners with more ambition. By which I mean, owners who actually and proactively try to improve their clubs. And it's the same with any business. You and others talk about 'sugar daddy' owners but it's more basic than that. Successful businesses understand that investment does not mean pouring money down the toilet but that it is the way to grow their businesses. Few passive businesses that don't invest for growth last very long. This is like day 1 at business school stuff.

3. The evidence of my own eyes is that over the period of Gao's ownership, the squad is getting weaker and the performances are getting poorer. Given 1 and 2, I'm not at all surprised by this.

So, no, not green eyed or in search of a sugar daddy, just wanting a bit of honesty about what is happening. A passive owner who is only taking us in one direction, and who imo deserves absolutely no credit for simply sitting on his hands for 5 years. Anyone could have done that.


On the surface it is difficult to see what Gao has done, but underneath the surface he has added more than you would think.

When he came initially we spent money, but we spent it badly, Gao overhauled the running of the club and put in people to run it as a business, initially at least his daughter was quite hands on alongside Kat in the everyday things.

He does do a little more than own the shares, what he doesn't do as Semmens indicated is interfere with the running, he pays them to run it, in this respect that is no different from what happened with Markus Liebherr, this was his vision for the club.

Gao can also underpin the club if so needed,

If you think he has just bought shares in the company and then let the directors just get on with it then that is naïve, the directors work to his structure, they are accountable, as was shown with the departure of Ralph Krueger and Les Reed, he didn';t just let them "get on with it"

On point two, you are right passive ownership can't cut it anymore at the top of the Premier League, but again going back to Everton who are a prime example, £100 million a year pumped into the squad each and every year doesn't cut it either, the Premier league is polarised even Spurs and Arsenal can't compete these days

You are right succesful business don't always pour money in, yet that is how you are judging Gao. Saints are trying to do it by investing, Saints are trying to get back to investing in youth and buying and selling, from this respect we can already see how Livramento has gone from the £5 million we paid to a player worth 5 times that much in a matter of months, is that not a good piece of business by Saints ?

You say the squad is getting weaker and performances poorer , yet a year ago we topped the league, as a squad we were better than the 15th we finished.

Gao has been here for 4 years not 5 he hasn't just sat on his hands, he had plans to take us further, world events stopped him doing that, but he has a structure in place to keep us steady in the premier league, if you think he has just sat on his hands then you know little about what has gone on behind the scenes.

Gao knows his hands are tied, he is quite happy to sell the club the "Gao Out" brigade are shortsighted there has to be a viable alternative before he goes and there hasn't been.

There are few good people who want to invest in football clubs these days as there is no profit, only throwing in £100m a year to get you in and around 10th place

There are plenty around who will buy the club and have the cost leveraged back onto the club is that good business.

You talk about what Gao hasn't done, but again you offer no real solutions, the nearest you get is an owner who is actually trying to improve the club, Gao by restructuring a club hamstrung by poor signings on high wages has done that, we are finally seeing the seeds of that with the likes of Livramento and Kyle Walker Peters, yet you don't count that

Gao is protecting his investment, if semmens et al don't perform they are out

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 11:00 - Oct 14 with 721 viewssaints__fan__73

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:57 - Oct 14 by SaintNick

On the surface it is difficult to see what Gao has done, but underneath the surface he has added more than you would think.

When he came initially we spent money, but we spent it badly, Gao overhauled the running of the club and put in people to run it as a business, initially at least his daughter was quite hands on alongside Kat in the everyday things.

He does do a little more than own the shares, what he doesn't do as Semmens indicated is interfere with the running, he pays them to run it, in this respect that is no different from what happened with Markus Liebherr, this was his vision for the club.

Gao can also underpin the club if so needed,

If you think he has just bought shares in the company and then let the directors just get on with it then that is naïve, the directors work to his structure, they are accountable, as was shown with the departure of Ralph Krueger and Les Reed, he didn';t just let them "get on with it"

On point two, you are right passive ownership can't cut it anymore at the top of the Premier League, but again going back to Everton who are a prime example, £100 million a year pumped into the squad each and every year doesn't cut it either, the Premier league is polarised even Spurs and Arsenal can't compete these days

You are right succesful business don't always pour money in, yet that is how you are judging Gao. Saints are trying to do it by investing, Saints are trying to get back to investing in youth and buying and selling, from this respect we can already see how Livramento has gone from the £5 million we paid to a player worth 5 times that much in a matter of months, is that not a good piece of business by Saints ?

You say the squad is getting weaker and performances poorer , yet a year ago we topped the league, as a squad we were better than the 15th we finished.

Gao has been here for 4 years not 5 he hasn't just sat on his hands, he had plans to take us further, world events stopped him doing that, but he has a structure in place to keep us steady in the premier league, if you think he has just sat on his hands then you know little about what has gone on behind the scenes.

Gao knows his hands are tied, he is quite happy to sell the club the "Gao Out" brigade are shortsighted there has to be a viable alternative before he goes and there hasn't been.

There are few good people who want to invest in football clubs these days as there is no profit, only throwing in £100m a year to get you in and around 10th place

There are plenty around who will buy the club and have the cost leveraged back onto the club is that good business.

You talk about what Gao hasn't done, but again you offer no real solutions, the nearest you get is an owner who is actually trying to improve the club, Gao by restructuring a club hamstrung by poor signings on high wages has done that, we are finally seeing the seeds of that with the likes of Livramento and Kyle Walker Peters, yet you don't count that

Gao is protecting his investment, if semmens et al don't perform they are out


"Gao can also underpin the club if so needed,"

What on earth does that mean?

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Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 11:48 - Oct 14 with 705 viewsDorsetIan

Southampton Ownership Structure Could Change Says Saints CEO on 10:57 - Oct 14 by SaintNick

On the surface it is difficult to see what Gao has done, but underneath the surface he has added more than you would think.

When he came initially we spent money, but we spent it badly, Gao overhauled the running of the club and put in people to run it as a business, initially at least his daughter was quite hands on alongside Kat in the everyday things.

He does do a little more than own the shares, what he doesn't do as Semmens indicated is interfere with the running, he pays them to run it, in this respect that is no different from what happened with Markus Liebherr, this was his vision for the club.

Gao can also underpin the club if so needed,

If you think he has just bought shares in the company and then let the directors just get on with it then that is naïve, the directors work to his structure, they are accountable, as was shown with the departure of Ralph Krueger and Les Reed, he didn';t just let them "get on with it"

On point two, you are right passive ownership can't cut it anymore at the top of the Premier League, but again going back to Everton who are a prime example, £100 million a year pumped into the squad each and every year doesn't cut it either, the Premier league is polarised even Spurs and Arsenal can't compete these days

You are right succesful business don't always pour money in, yet that is how you are judging Gao. Saints are trying to do it by investing, Saints are trying to get back to investing in youth and buying and selling, from this respect we can already see how Livramento has gone from the £5 million we paid to a player worth 5 times that much in a matter of months, is that not a good piece of business by Saints ?

You say the squad is getting weaker and performances poorer , yet a year ago we topped the league, as a squad we were better than the 15th we finished.

Gao has been here for 4 years not 5 he hasn't just sat on his hands, he had plans to take us further, world events stopped him doing that, but he has a structure in place to keep us steady in the premier league, if you think he has just sat on his hands then you know little about what has gone on behind the scenes.

Gao knows his hands are tied, he is quite happy to sell the club the "Gao Out" brigade are shortsighted there has to be a viable alternative before he goes and there hasn't been.

There are few good people who want to invest in football clubs these days as there is no profit, only throwing in £100m a year to get you in and around 10th place

There are plenty around who will buy the club and have the cost leveraged back onto the club is that good business.

You talk about what Gao hasn't done, but again you offer no real solutions, the nearest you get is an owner who is actually trying to improve the club, Gao by restructuring a club hamstrung by poor signings on high wages has done that, we are finally seeing the seeds of that with the likes of Livramento and Kyle Walker Peters, yet you don't count that

Gao is protecting his investment, if semmens et al don't perform they are out


Of course I know little of what goes on behind the scenes, but I know that he says very little to the fans and is never seen at games. The ordinary fan doesn't get the impression that he is doing much or offering much in the way of leadership, but you are clearly closer to the 'behind the scenes' position than I am.

I have no real interest in what Semmens says. He's only ever going to say one thing.

I also have no interest in what plans Gao had or why his 'hands are tied'. As I've said on here many times, it's not personal. It's not about Gao the man, it's about Gao's period of ownership.

You say that 'Gao can also underpin the club if so needed', but at the same time you say his hands are tied. His period of ownership has been characterised by serious parsimony.

Everton have been in the top flight since 1954. They are no longer in any danger of relegation.

Everyone agrees we need a new owner, so why keep defending him - is it just to wind up my and Butty?

As for the team. I've posted elsewhere that we do now have a good crop of exciting youngsters, but we've had to buy them in because the academy doesn't seem to be producing much. And there may not be enough of them to make a team good enough to stay up. The jury is still out, we will know a lot more after the next few game and we can all have hope but, for me, there are usually 2-3 players in every starting line up that are probably not good enough for this league. Particularly, McCarthy, Redmond, Djeneppo and Walcott. This is where Gao's lack of ambition shows. Not the young good ones; the ones that we can't afford to and haven't replaced.

Poll: How do you rate Gao's period of ownership?

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