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PSPRS Pension Fund Backing New Town Ownership
Sunday, 11th Apr 2021 22:40

The pension fund backing the Gamechanger 20 takeover of the Blues which was confirmed on Wednesday is Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).

TWTD revealed in February that it was the pension fund of the fire and police service of a US state which was set to fund the then-under negotiation takeover of the Blues.

PSPRS, whose chief investment officer is Mark Steed, was established in July 1968 to “provide a uniform, consistent and equitable statewide retirement program for Arizona’s public safety personnel”. The fund is worth $13 billion (£9.47 billion) with $700 million (£510 million) in cash.

A US investment fund called ORG manages funds on behalf of PSPRS and owns 90 per cent of Gamechanger 20 Ltd. Edward Schwartz is their representative on the board.

The Three Lions, Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer, own five per cent between them and Marcus Evans has retained five per cent.

Pension funds becoming involved in the purchase of sports teams is not as unusual as it might first appear, although often their involvement is more opaque as their funds are pooled with other investors in wider funds.

One example of an investment in North American sport is the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund's investment in ice hockey side the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, new chairman Mike O’Leary outlined the relationship with the pension fund.

“It’s a classic investment fund where you have a spread of investments so that you have some that are very blue chip, that are all about dividend, you have others that are higher reward type of speculative investments and everything in between.

“And they try and balance where they invest so that if certain sectors do well, they will be OK, but if certain sectors do badly, they’re balanced by others that do better.

“It just so happens that this market really fits with one of the sectors that is, if you like, part of their profile for investment. They’ve been looking at investing in UK football for a little while, so it’s a happy marriage.

“We won’t see much of them, they won’t be involved in the day-to-day running of the club at all. They won’t even have a seat on the board, they’re happy to invest in the fund that ORG has put together so ORG is their custodian in many respects.

“And even with ORG, Ed Schwartz, who is the lead there, he’ll sit on the board of GC20 but he’s not going to be spending a lot of time here, he’ll probably visit two or three times a year. Most of the running of the club will be the CEO.”

Meanwhile, Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson has flat-batted questions regarding his club's CEO, Mark Ashton, being lined up for the same role with the Blues.

Asked whether Ashton, who worked with O'Leary at West Brom and Oxford, had mentioned anything about a move to Town, Pearson told Bristol Live: “If he has then I’m not going to talk to you about it, am I!

“In the nicest possible way. Look, it’s not really my place to ask him things like that.

“All I can say is that we have a really good working relationship, and if there is something in it then I’m not aware of it officially being the case. We’ll have to wait and see, won’t we?”

Photo: Matchday Images

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LonE17Blue added 23:07 - Apr 11
"Long Live Ipswich Town Football Club"

90z added 23:25 - Apr 11
Isn't the National Lottery run by some kind of Canadian pension scheme ?
These guys seem to know what they are doing im all for it!

muccletonjoe added 05:38 - Apr 12
What a soap opera this is. It won't end well.

martin587 added 06:53 - Apr 12
Mr.Evans would not sell out to a cowboy outfit plus the final deal has to be verified by the FA before any such transaction can be rubber stamped.We are in safe hands here and anyway there are a lot of American owners in the UK and many of these are using funds in any form or other so nothing to worry about.We have to be optimistic and look forward to the good times returning to Portman Road ASAP.

Stewart27 added 06:55 - Apr 12
Muccleton Joe

Are you happy about Marcus Evans’ fairytale ending?

Lukeybluey added 07:06 - Apr 12
Just on a slightly different note. I've just seen a photo on the evening star website from the game on Saturday, a picture of Mike O'Leary in the stand, and behind him there is a chap with a Jacket on and has MA on the front. He has a mask on but looks like Mark Ashton if I'm not mistaken? Could be wrong? Has he now been appointed as CEO?

Help added 07:29 - Apr 12
Lukeybluey - I have looked at both articles on the IS web site, the pictures from Sat and the manager interview that has a picture of MA. Hard to tell if there is a beard under the face mask, but hair and tan looks similar.

LegendofthePhoenix added 08:20 - Apr 12
The new owners are saying all the right things, and certainly sound like they are passionate about bringing success back to ITFC, so I'm cautiously optimistic. I would feel less so if I was a pension member in the PSPRS pension fund. Football is a money pit, and so much gets taken out on players wages and extortionate agents fees, so I cant see how this is a good deal for the pension fund members. Still, good for us.

Bazza8564 added 08:21 - Apr 12
Well said Martin587, the due diligence process is robust. We are in good hands. Lets all please start looking for the bright side, we've all become far too negative.

grumpyoldman added 08:26 - Apr 12
Can they help advise Skuse & Chambers the best place to arrange a pension from?

PhilTWTD added 08:32 - Apr 12
Lukeybluey and Help

MA is Mark Andrews, the club's financial director who has been here for many years.

Suffolk_n_Proud added 08:45 - Apr 12
Legendofthephoenix - I would imagine when we get to the premier league they will start to invest less than what they can take out to make their money. Then we shall become a yo yo club between championship and premier league, which is a hell of a lot better than where we've been the last 20 years

BettyBlue added 08:48 - Apr 12
And what happens when the Premiership and EFL is owned by an American majority??

Would rather have kept Marcus Evans and get a manager who can actually manage rather than just take the the cash.

Keane, Jewell, McCarthy, Hurst, Lambert, Cook. All hang your heads is shame. None of you should be allowed to manage again.

ringwoodblue added 09:00 - Apr 12
I think financial experts would call this type of investment ‘high risk’ but potentially with ‘high returns’. Let’s hope it works out for all parties.

Bluearmy_81 added 09:17 - Apr 12
Would rather have kept Marcus Evans?! After the last 13 years?! Wow, just wow. Some must be gluttons for punishment!

Skip73 added 09:22 - Apr 12
Betty, does anything in life at all make you happy?

BettyBlue added 09:30 - Apr 12

ImAbeliever added 09:33 - Apr 12

Pencilpete added 09:51 - Apr 12
Obviously the money is important but for ITFC all we need to know is these Americans know what they are doing they have been successful in the US and in Denmark. They put the money in and they put people such as Mike O'Leary and (in theory) Mark Ashton - experienced people who know what they are doing in place to run the club for them, they don't interfere, they have a structure and it works.

Even if there was no money i'd still support the takeover purely on the basis that we have experienced football people making football decisions at our club rather than ME whose heart was clearly in the right place but didn't have a clue about running a football club and the results of which have been painfully clear to all of us.

raycrawfordswig added 10:05 - Apr 12
Sorry bluearmy 81 should have marked you up .I got fat fingers.

ChrisR added 10:14 - Apr 12
We certainly need proper day to day management at the club at all levels , but most importantly signing decisions, especially if big money , decided by someone who really knows what they are getting , ( eg not Keane's panic buys , or Hurst's disasters ) . Is that person PC ? O'Leary ? L O'N ? . Certainly not the American owners! This is the most crucial step , as for sure we are never getting near any promotion with the present non scoring squad.

BeattiesBackPocket added 10:24 - Apr 12
Bettyblue and who hired those managers? Who sold off 60 odd goals in waghorn, garner and mcgoldrick for 5 million? Who’s the common denominator in our decline?? EVANS. I said before we all need to move on and back the manager and new owner as these guys have the biggest job EVER at Ipswich to turn around this club and it won’t happen overnight. Too much decline, lack of structure, selling off of assets for terrible fees and replacing them with league two players is why we are where we are. The fans don’t hire the managers or sign poor players that’s down to the owner. I’m not expecting miracles straight away exactly like I wasn’t expecting Evans to pump millions into the club on players but what I wanted was a structure, a plan and not the mention of a plan that never started a real plan. He by his own admission says these guys are the real deal, said himself they’re in to invest money and structure to the club admitting he hasn’t done that himself. We don’t need millions thrown look at Norwich and Brentford’s of this world not rich clubs but have a structure.

BettyBlue added 11:18 - Apr 12
No the common factor is crap managers who took the money and ran.

Cobbold gave his managers time and they mostly did something with it.

The last five had one of the best jobs in the country and they ruined the club.

BeattiesBackPocket added 13:02 - Apr 12
Bettyblue they’re not all crap most have experience of getting teams promoted you can’t blame 6 or 7 managers without the owner?? Magilton has a decent team challenged for the playoffs as did mick but who failed to invest in those two especially the latter when top at one point!?? Oh yeah the owner

Calderboy added 18:35 - Apr 12
Think if I were a retired Arizona copper I’d be worried about my pension value with this current squad

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