Lindsell Train: A Sign Of Things to come ?

Mike takes his time to ponder not only the recent investment in Celtic, and what it means, but also wonders why they’ve done it. 

And the conclusion is that things are about to change..

 

London Investment firm Lindsell- Train last month increased its shareholding in Celtic to 18.45%, they are the second biggest shareholder in Celtic behind Dermot Desmond who has a 34.9% shareholding.

But who is behind Lindsell-Train?

Founded by respected money men Nick Train and Michael Lindsell, they have been investing in Celtic for nearly ten years. Lindsell-Train is a global Equity fund with investments of £3.8 billion. They specialise in the management of U.K. Japanese and Global equities, managed with the same long term approach. They invest in companies with brands and franchises that have been around for a long time, decades, or even centuries. These companies “have valuable and unique” intellectual property.

In essence they invest into companies or brands over the long term, if they believe that they have the potential to expand either at home or globally. They are not looking for short term gain but for potential long term growth.

Michael Lindsell:

Why we invested in Juventus, Manchester United and Celtic.

One of the more unusual areas has been focusing on is football, where the managers of the fund have added Juventus, Manchester United and perennial Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

Why invest in Celtic?  Football clubs offers investors the opportunity to buy into some of the biggest global brands around the world. Football clubs have very strong customer loyalty, they offer a big platform to advertisers. Audiences watching live sport are the most valuable out there. Creating wonderful football is worth a lot of money and far more people are being remunerated for it today.

Some 30% of all Italian football fans support “Juve” one of the biggest long standing clubs in Italy. At the moment it has a limited International appeal, but that could be changing soon.

Celtic are in a similar position in Scotland, although we have a very narrow niche market where media revenues are tiny. “Here is the crunch”… There is a huge diaspora of Celtic supporting Scottish Catholics and non Catholics around the world that support the club vigorously. If Celtic were to tap into that supporter base or could morph their media rights from just the S.P.F.L. into something bigger, then the revenues could double or even treble very quickly. 

This is the imptortant bit…what do they know that we don’t ?

It’s well known that Lawwell wants to get out of Scottish football, the riches available down south have long been coveted by our own money men.

Sky TV are aware that their own product is dull. Popular, hyped but dull.

Could discussions already be underway to integrate Celtic into the english set up-or even as part of a new set up, perhaps a revival of the Atlantic League ?

Is there perhaps a reason for the bloated squad, which could reasonably compete on two fronts, leaving a B side in the SPL, and having the A team in another set up ?

These guys don’t invest a pound unless they expect a tenner back. And they will have done their due diligence.

Do we really care?

Is it not prudent to keep a watchful eye on who is in control of the club?

Of course it is. Our enjoyment comes from the team, the players on the park, playing football the Celtic way, winning games, trophies, leagues, playing in Europe. We are not really interested in the Celtic money-ball. Its not that long ago our European cup winning team rode around the dilapidated stands of Paradise over the red blaze on the back of a coal lorry, when Carl-Jungle-bhoy’s relative Jimmy Brennan, led the lorry with the Coatbridge Shamrock Accordion band, playing Celtic songs.

Celtic our club have made massive strides since then.

Walk up the Celtic way looking at past Celtic hero’s enter into the vast 60,000 seater Celtic park.

Enjoy the disco lights as they fan around the stadium and focus on the team doing the huddle. Playing on the new hybrid pitch, enjoying the singing from the “Green Brigade” sitting or standing with good Celtic men remembering our long history of hero’s and the great works carried out by our supporters. Then you compare the players that once graced that Donegal turf, compared to now, can you compare them?

But our club is like a dragon-fly skirting over Hogganfield loch, in terms of comparison to minuscule financially bloated clubs from bigger, richer leagues.

Or is it ? Are the improvements part of a longer term plan to get ready for such an assimilation as mentioned above ?

And why Celtic ?

We know why.

But then you cast your mind to the nine million overseas Celtic supporters, getting up early to watch the club of their choice, savouring another game, fingers crossed, B.P. rising, railing at the man in black, enjoying the footie and the links to relatives and friends left behind in the mother country, they could, might just, help to take Celtic to another level, at sometime in the future.

With hope in our heart, but with a watchful eye on the money-ball and the present custodians of our great club, remembering that we once ousted those that took us for fools, we could do it again if we so choose to, because WE are the Celtic.

And they know that we’ll always be Celtic, they just want their share of our money.

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1 year ago

This investment cannot simply be “one-way traffic”. Could it be that, as well as Dermot’s money, Lindsell Train will provide the financial backing for the hotel complex? Could they, perhaps, use their influence over GCC, to grant the necessary permits to make it happen?

The question has been raised about celtic’s global profile – well, Man U nor Juve have been visited in recent days by a Palestinian ambassador, who gave thanks for highlighting the injustices happening in that part of the world. In other words, Palestine is an untapped market in the footballing world, and there is a possibility that LT have a potential financial interest there too.

So long as the board at CP keep these investors and sponsors at arms-length from the day-to-day running of the club, I can’t see anything to be concerned about. I’d be more concerned if they withdrew their investment!

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven R

Here Here!

1 year ago

Any chance of a lift over?

BJF
1 year ago

Mike/ Charlie “interesting times”,( May you live in) not an old Chinese saying but an old Chinese curse. Something will have triggered this investment and the clubs involved are an interesting combination, the natural Scottish, English and Italian leaders. In some casts i would love a new challenge but I don’t think it will be fine with supporters in mind.

jimboh
1 year ago

They can have their share of our money if we as a support get what we want.
What we want is quite simple, to ditch the Auld Firm label publicly for ever. We want a level playing field. Not against 12 men and 2 assistants plus their minders at the SFA. A fair unbiased media.
As long as Scotland remains a Colony of Uber England it will not happen.
We need access to a Pan British-Euro set up that has no interest in religion and 300 year old wars.( With this in mind we need to educate the young and not so young fringe element in our fan base that the war is over and that the Rhbels won and that we need to move on. Let them sing in their pubs and clubs and buses. Not every Celtic fan is of Irish Catholic stock. Before anyone asks I am 3rd Generation Irish/Scot and I served my time on the slopes of the Jungle. By all means let them remember their history but not in a public arena)
We need access to increased revenues streams that will allow us to compete in the market place with the best.
If PL and the Board can bring that to fruition then maybe we as fans can stop the cries of FC not PLC and focus on enjoying our place among the elite while laughing at Sevco Mark12 or 13 or 14 and counting.

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  jimboh

Well said Jimboh 😉

Monti
1 year ago
Reply to  jimboh

Jimboh,
Away & bile yer head ya fanny…..WE WILL NEVER STOP SINGING THE IRA SONGS…..NEVER!

The Cha
1 year ago
Reply to  Monti

An Irish Republic without an Army sounds fine, as the nearby island is known for its peaceful intentions.

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  The Cha

Build a wall, Ireland for the Oirish. 😉 Free Guinness.

jimboh
1 year ago
Reply to  Monti

Monty you’re a dinosaur and it’s thinking like this that encourages our younger fans. That and listening to their Da’s and the auld codgers doon the pub going on and on about the jolly japes they had in their day. That’s the nub IN THEIR DAYS.
These are different days and we need to change whether we like it or not.Otherwise we will be left behind with the Sevconauts.
Do you really think the Europeans and even the English want to hear our litany of ballads invoking remembrances of the 1916 War or the Troubles. They don’t want it of need it. It is Big Business to them and if we don’t ditch the baggage then there is no seat at the Big Table. Welcome or not that is the reality.

Monti
1 year ago
Reply to  jimboh

Jimboh,
I’m proud of those who gave their lives for the cause they believed in & for having the courage to hunger for Justice, a strength of conviction very hard to surpass.
Those who stood up for their people, their country & their community.

Those are the men & women i remember with pride….and always will!

Tiocfaidharla

charlie
1 year ago

great article mikeybhoy dae ye know who they bought the shares affy

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  charlie

Thanks mucker, they do not tell who sells them, mibbee they were Dave King’s. 😉

charlie
1 year ago
Reply to  charlie

cheers mate ………..a dont know if he had any shares but a wis jeest wondering if it might have been br

charlie
1 year ago

heers a wee tune fur ye

charlie
1 year ago
Reply to  charlie
Puggy67
1 year ago

Good article thanks. I often read FC not PLC on this forum and I get the sentiment. But the reality is after cycling and dope doping, football through financial doping is the most corrupt sport on the planet. You are either in or out. Of course I’d like to see our club at the top table but I’m kind of fussy about who I break bread with and Russian oligarchs and far Eastern money launderes don’t float my boat. What will our version of United of Manchester be called if we are owned by real scheisters and some fans walk? Brother Walfred FC?

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Puggy67

Puggy, We know who said “Football without fans means nothing” Jock was right, so we could always walk away to make our point, watch the money-ballers change tack very quickly. WE are Celtic.

Southside Bhoy
1 year ago

Yo IDD does not own 34%. Any individual or groups acting in concert (ask Dave King) must make an offer for other shareholders.
I think DD is in the mid 20’s

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Southside Bhoy

Celtic is a registered PLC. Dermot Desmond is registered with a 34.9% shareholding, the largest shareholder, with Lindsell-Train the second biggest shareholding which they increased from 17% to 18.45% when Brendan Rodgers left Celtic as the shares dropped to 160 p. from a high of 166.p. Since 2012 the Celtic shares have risen by 120%. Lindsell-Trains 18.45% is worth £28.1mill.

“Rangers” which had been incorporated in 1899 and was then liquidated on the 14th. June 2012. Sevco are not a PLC. they are not on the AIM listing, remember when King couldn’t even get a NOMAD. So they are not a PLC and King is a crook..

Monti
1 year ago

Get the lights tae fuck!

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Monti

Did you get Turnbull Hutton’s message? 😉

1 year ago
Reply to  Monti

Get you tae fuck ya roaster

BJF
1 year ago

Chsrlie’s point is interesting and ZI would love to know the answer to that Going back to Fergus’s day I acquired shares and they they grew a bit over the years, don’t think Dermot sees me as a threat but I hesrd from a guy I know who decided to sell his shares and apparently Lawwell’s office contacted him and warned him to be careful who he sold them to. Never got to the bottom of what this was all about although he had a lot more shares than me.

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  BJF

BJF. We all did the same as you did, both my sons and I bought Celtic shares when Fergus offered them to the Celtic support. There was a scam going on that’s why Lawwell’s office would contact your friend, in case he was being scammed.

charlie
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike

am the same mike and bjf me and ma brothers ans sisters all bought shares aff fergus and they will never be for sale COYBIG

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  charlie

Good for you Charlie mate a real Celtic bhoy. 😉

Yoker Bhoy
1 year ago

Great piece Mike. I can definitely see our bhoys playing outside Scotia on a bigger stage on a permanent basis one day. It seems the only way to go unless there were to be a colossal shake up and mass re-structuring of the whole Scottish football set up. Something of a complete re-invention if you like.

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Yoker Bhoy

I did reply Yoker, but I agree with you, tap into our overseas fans and watch us go, gotta come some day. Hope your feeling better mate. 😉

Mike
1 year ago

Well send some to me, its no use sitting waiting. 😉

Yoker Bhoy
1 year ago

I’m quite a lot better now Mikey, cheers. Now it’s time to sit back and watch the hibees humble der hun.
🙂

Mike
1 year ago

Good mahn Yoker, all the very best mate, fingers crossed. 😉

BroxburnBhoy
1 year ago

9 million celtic fans of which 7 million apparently live in Japan- cuckoo!

Monti
1 year ago

PAOLO, JORGE & PIERRE!
Keep them on the park!

Monti
1 year ago

Mike,
See this ” tap into our overseas fans “?
Why are our overseas fans no tapping intae us?

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Monti

Monti, They are out there, if we could just join the dots, someday that just might happen and our club would benefit massively. There was a poster on last year and he spoke knowledgably about expanding the media rights to accommodate them and tap into them, the World is changing quickly, here’s hoping…

Benjamin Lynch
1 year ago

Calm down Bhoys and Ghirls. These guys have been shareholders for over a decade, and this transaction is simply adding a very very small addition to their stake. Like 0.1-0.2% at a time.

They use Bank of New York-Mellon as their custodian, and BNY has long been listed as one of Celtic’s major shareholders. But it’s not BNY, it’s these guys. It’s just listed as BNY for technical reasons. And if you don’t believe any of that, go read the annual report for LindsellTrain UK equity fund for the past 10 years. It’s all publicly available.

These guys are professional investors who manage portfolios of mutual funds. In their biggest fund, Celtic represents less than 0.25% of the holdings. Less than 1/400th of the value. They’ve long had the ability to buy the club outright, but it’s not their style and never will be. They sold out of ZERO of their positions last year and only added one stock – Manchester United. Their research found that sports franchise values are skyrocketing across the globe, but not at an equal pace. The Houston Rockets basketball club recently sold for more than $2B, and they’re generating minimal economic value outside southern Texas. Manchester United, perhaps the worlds most valuable and recognized franchise has a market value of “only” $3.5B. Celtic, with its worldwide fan base but terrible media contract, is worth £153M. So why would a franchise that performs in a 20,000 seat arena and televised exclusively in southern Texas be worth 10x more than Celtic with its worldwide fan base? This is a financial bet for these guys and nothing more. They made the bet initially over 10 years ago and haven’t sold off since. As their funds have growth with new investors coming on board, they’ve had to put that money to work, and they’ve been doing that by simply buying more of what they already own (Celtic) and occasionally adding a new position (Manchester United). They’ve never pushed a management team for major changes, nor have they ever Invested via fresh capital injection into the subject company. These are strictly open market purchases.

Lastly, there has been a lot of conversions of convertible Preferance shares into common shares lately. LindsellTrain own a lot of the convertible shares too, so it’s entirely possible (I would suggest likely) that this is nothing more than a change in type of shareholding than an actual buying of new shares. We don’t know for certain who has been converting preferance shares, but I suspect it’s not a coincidence that we get news like this right after a lot of those conversions have occurred.

Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Lynch

Well said Benjamin. They are in it for “the long term” not for short term gain. Its great that our club can attract investors like L-T. we are the stronger because of it.

Monti
1 year ago

” Peculiar ” 🙂

charlie
1 year ago
BJF
1 year ago

Noted thanks Mike.

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