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Shrimps Trust announce details of demo over Morecambe FC ownership

A demonstration will be held next month over the ownership situation at Morecambe Football Club.

The date has been revealed today in a statement by the Shrimps Trust, the organisation set up in 2017 as a voice for Morecambe supporters.

Its formation came around the time of a series of behind-the-scene crises surrounding the ownership of the club in 2016 and 2017.

The Trust has confirmed that the demonstration will take place prior to the League Two fixture with Wrexham, on Saturday March 9, going from the Eric Morecambe statue on the prom and heading to the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

In the statement, the Trust said: ‘’Representatives of the Shrimps Trust Board of Trustees last week held a very positive meeting with a representative from Lancashire Police regarding the proposed demonstration ahead of the Wrexham game.

‘’We are pleased to say that following on from these positive discussions, we plan to go ahead with the demonstration leaving the Eric Morecambe statue at 12pm, aiming to arrive at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium for 1pm ahead of the game.

‘’We are keen to stress that our intention is for the demonstration to show our support for the club and raise the profile of the fact that the club is for sale and has been for a very lengthy period of time now.

‘’We look forward to the event and hope as many Morecambe fans as possible join us in demonstrating our support for the club.

‘’Further details will be announced in due course, including a map of the route.’’

Morecambe FC has been the subject of a long and protracted sale process, which has dogged the club for many months.

The Shrimps have been up for sale for around 17 months, during which time the board say no potential new owner has come close to completing a deal with current owners, Bond Group.

In December, the Board of Directors issued a statement saying the club’s existence is at ‘serious risk’ unless a sale is completed soon.

Morecambe Football Club was put up for sale in September 2022 by Bond Group, which is owned by Jason Whittingham.

For many months it was understood that Bond Group's preferred bidder was young entrepreneur, Sarbjot Johal, who was in protracted negotiations hoping to complete a proposed takeover with his company Sarb Capital Ltd.

Above: Sarbjot Johal

The English Football League (EFL) has to approve any prospective new owner of any club. The sale to Mr Johal never materialised.

Back in February 2023, the EFL released a statement, confirming that the situation with Mr Johal remained ongoing, and further information was required to be provided to them before any approval could be given regarding any purchase of the Shrimps.

At the end of last season, the club announced that fourteen out of contract players would leave the Mazuma Stadium, with no new deals offered to any player. A position, the board say, was as a result of the ongoing budget constraints.

In May 2023, it was announced that significant loan repayments to Bond Group, among other factors, meant that despite making a profit in excess of £1m in 2021/22 (the Shrimps' first season in League One) the club would post a loss of around £800,000 for the 2022/23 season.

Efforts to expediate the smooth sale of the club in recent months have broken down, and relations between the board and Jason Whittingham from Bond Group, who himself does not sit on the board, strained.

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