Easy to be cynical, but perhaps the reporter has had "guidance" from the current ferry operator.
Government are 100% right to explore their options as the current agreement runs out 2026, 9 years from now, and they want a commitment to potentially 2041 from the government now in 2017????
I'm confident there are other options available which will result in a better solution for the island in that operational profits would be reinvested back into the community, into the service and into the marine infrastructure rather than to satisfy overseas shareholders requirement for a return on their investment (or at least to minimise their losses!)
Iomspc make a lot of noise about how much they contribute to the local economy, (which indeed they do) but it is a red herring.
Any other ferry operator with the sizable margins derived from the virtual monopoly would surely also take it's C SR and commitment to the local community as seriously. Even this could be written into any new agreement with government.