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Morecambe FC owners ‘prepare club for sale’ and step down from board

Morecambe Football Club has announced that its owners are preparing the club for sale.

Bond Group say they will continue their support of the board and the club as the majority shareholder, until such a time as a new owner is found and can take the club forwards.

The following statement has been issued by the club's owners:

"We are today announcing that we will be stepping down from the board of directors at Morecambe Football Club. This is being done while we prepare the club for sale and want to ensure that the club is ready for the transition from our time as owners. We have absolute trust in the current board of directors to run the club, with Bond Group still supporting the board as majority shareholder. Our attentions have been elsewhere, and the board have more than proven their ability and dedication to the club. 

‘The board has evolved significantly during our period of ownership, particularly the appointment of Rod Taylor and Graham Howse to co-chairmen. They, along with the rest of the board of directors we’ve appointed, have worked better than we could have hoped for, including the valuable, dedicated and ongoing efforts of Mick Horton, Charlie Appleyard, James Wakefield and more recently Ben Sadler. The board functions exceptionally well, almost independently of Bond Group as owner of the club after the Covid-19 lockdown, and they have our absolute trust. 

‘We look back with pride at what the club has become in the years of our ownership – it doesn’t feel like four-and-a-half years since when we took over with one game left of the season and the club's future in the EFL uncertain. Everyone said we were mad for buying before that decider match, but we’d already bought into the club’s culture and could see the passion that everyone in Morecambe had for the club.

‘Now, the club is sustainable in League One, having done a great job of staying up last season with Derek Adams back at the helm. The Club is self-funding and is well managed thanks to the great work by the staff and the exceptional support of the fans, who are the lifeblood and beating heart of any club.

‘We’ve made some amazing memories along the way, from banging the drums with the fans away at Crawley, to getting promoted at Wembley, with everything in between, not forgetting the draw against Coventry that secured our EFL status and started this journey. We have also had the pleasure of the FA Cup games against Premier League clubs, and seeing our young players come through the Academy and develop into quality footballers and people.

‘It is now the right time for us to move on and hand over the club to the next owner, that we know can take the club to the next level.

‘Bond Group will continue to own and support the board as the majority shareholder until the club is sold. We aren’t in a rush to sell and will make sure we take the time to find the right buyer with the right ambition for the future of the club.’"

Mr Goldring and Mr Whittingham also own the Premiership rugby union club Worcester Warriors, which has been hit by a winding-up petition by the HMRC and has been at the centre of a row over unpaid wages.

Last month the Morecambe FC board said the issues at Worcester Warriors would have "no impact" on the Shrimps.

In a statement on August 22, they said: "Our finances are independent, as are our budgets. We do not owe Worcester Warriors any monies and the only shared position is that we have owners in common."

Related Story: Morecambe FC co-owners' rugby club woes will have "no impact" on Shrimps - Beyond Radio


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