I will begin this by saying that I do not buy into a lot of what I’m saying here, if any of it. But this argument does, in my view, make some logical sense nonetheless.
When Eddie Davies was originally trying to sell Bolton Wanderers sums in the region of £20 to £30 million were being touted around. That is of course nowhere near the amount that he has put into the club (if we assume for this article that all of the money owed to him was indeed money given to the club, I cannot be bothered to get involved in that debate).
As time has gone by the asking price has dropped lower and lower with Davies appearing to have sold the club for £1 with the £7.5 million advanced by Sports Shield appearing to be for debts (subject to the Football League granting approval to the deal). This means that Davies is taking a far larger financial hit than he was hoping to just a few months ago.
So this means that the conditions he has attached, reportedly at least, can be seen simply as him getting some of the money he was hoping to get out of this sale. The cut of the TV money and sponsorship for five years may well go some way to closing the gap between £1 and £30 million but probably not all that far. The likelihood is that if you take that demand in isolation Davies will still be getting less than the £20 to £30 million he was looking for.
Then there are of course the bonuses for achievements after he sells up, including getting back into the Championship. In a way you can argue that this is fair. It is asking Sports Shield to pay more if their investment does better than it may be expected to. Some of you may say that being in the Championship in the next five years does not constitute Sports Shield’s investment doing better than expected, but there is a good chance that it will be. That fact of course will not be helped by losing some of our TV and sponsorship revenue for the next five years.
So there are arguments for Eddie Davies not being as evil in this situation as people, including myself, might think. I am with most of the fans in thinking that these demands are bad and that Eddie should walk away with nothing. But this is a man who has put a lot of money into Bolton and can we really turn around and say that he should get none of that money back?