Frustrated Morecambe board slams owners over handling of club sale

Morecambe FC

The board of directors of Morecambe Football Club have issued an extraordinary attack on the owners of the stricken League Two club and demanded they be given control over the process of selling the club.

Bond Group Investments have owned Morecambe since May 2018 and put the Shrimps up for sale in September 2022 with Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring stepping down from the board.

The duo also owned financially troubled Premiership rugby union side Worcester Warriors, who were expelled from the sport after an HM Revenue & Customs action pushed them into administration.

The only named suitor for the Lancashire club, relegated for the first time in its history last season, was 20-year-old “entrepreneur” Sarbjot Johal who’s interest appeared to be fleeting and the extent of his actual wealth unclear.  

The statement, tinged with frustration said: “The Board of Directors is placing on record that it has no confidence in Bond Group’s management of the process of selling the Club. This process has now run for 15 months, but in that time no potential new owners have gone through the EFL’s Owners & Directors Test, a number of apparently credible buyers have stepped away the process following initial conversations with Bond Group, and Bond Group’s communication with the Board regarding negotiations with their apparently preferred buyers has become a stuck record of assurances not being met and deadlines missed.”

The board say they have attempted to deal with the owners in private, noting a letter on Saturday 16 September 2023, where they formally requested that Bond directly involve them in the sale process, but “nothing has changed in the 2 ½ months since”. 

“The largely voluntary Board of Directors, most of whom are staunch fans of the Club, is making this statement because a significant change of approach is required by Bond Group. Without it, nothing at Morecambe Football Club can move forwards and the Directors risk finding themselves in an untenable position, which puts the Club and the wonderful community that it sits at the heart of at serious risk.”

Supporters group The Shrimps Trust said it was supportive of the board. “We implore Bond Group to do the right thing and engage with those they trusted, and to collectively act in the best interests of the Football Club and secure a timely exit of Bond Group from their stewardship of the company which is desired by all parties.”