On Air Now

Beth Across the Bay

Noon - 2:55pm

Now Playing

Jax Jones

Play (feat. Years & Years)

Shrimps Trust express ‘concerns regarding funding’ after latest takeover developments

The Shrimps Trust has expressed their concerns over the ‘source and legitimacy’ of funds available to the company behind a potential takeover of Morecambe Football Club.

They’ve issued a statement in response to plans by Sarbjot Johal, Chairman of Sarb Capital, and a proposed takeover of the club, which was confirmed by Club Co-Chairman, Graham Howse, last week.

In recent days, Mr Johal’s plans have come under scrutiny from several online sources, leading to the Trust now issuing a statement detailing their concerns, and calling for support through membership of the organisation.

In a statement last week, Mr Howse confirmed that Sarb Capital had already purchased capital in the club, and would become the new owners, subject to passing tests from the EFL.

On Monday evening, the Trust issued a statement that reads: “Shrimps Trust acknowledge the information released by SST Investing over the proposed takeover of Morecambe Football Club by Sarb Capital, and share concerns raised regarding the source and legitimacy of funds necessary to support the company following any acquisition.

“Since the club was listed for sale in September 2022, we have remained in dialogue with the board of directors of the football club while recognising the limited control or influence over the sale of the shares of the company, which is entirely at the discretion of Bond Group Investments Limited.

“We will continue to hold discussions with the board and seek to work together for a positive outcome to any sale of the company.

“Our current understanding is that the appropriate due diligence process is being performed by the EFL through their ‘fit and proper persons’ test and look forward to a decisive response being provided in due course.

“We will be writing to the EFL to express our current concerns on behalf of the Shrimps Trust membership and other Morecambe FC supporters, and have sought further guidance from the Football Supporters’ Association, of which we are an affiliate member.

“Shrimps Trust trustees remain open to further dialogue with Sarb Capital or any other party that would seek to acquire a shareholding in Morecambe Football Club.

“This is a community club and any custodian of it should engage in positive communication with supporters, as one of the primary stakeholders.

“Shrimps Trust was founded in 2017 during a period of uncertainty which resulted in the acquisition of Morecambe Football Club Limited by Bond Group Investments Limited.

“Throughout the preceding turmoil, we sought to document the role of JB Christie Trust in protecting the existence of Morecambe Football Club and we remind our members that this information remains publicly available on our website.

“The Trust continues to operate with a small number of volunteers and significantly reduced membership in 2022-23.

“We reiterate the need for members to step forward where any expertise or time can be offered to support us during this period of concern. We are #StrongerTogether.”

Graham Howse, in a statement to fans last Thursday, said that Mr Johal has bought shares in the club and will become owner subject to passing English Football League checks.

Mr Howse said: "It is fair to say the sale process hasn’t progressed as quickly as we all would have liked - that said, my understanding is that exciting times are ahead both on and off the pitch.

"Sarbjot Johal is eager to start the project to take the club on to a new level, subject to satisfactorily navigating the EFL Owners and Directors’ test.

"Sarbjot, through his company Sarb Capital, has recently purchased equity in the club, injecting more than useful income into us

"I am, along with Sarbjot, keen that the process should now move on at pace to come to a positive conclusion."

Mr Johal has been a guest of the club at a number of the Shrimps' home games recently and there has been speculation for weeks that he is a potential buyer.

He is the founder of Vitanic Holdings Limited, a non-alcoholic beverage company based in Birmingham.

In September, Morecambe FC announced that Jason Whittingham of Bond Group Investments and Colin Goldring were stepping back from their positions on the board of directors, as the club was being prepared to be sold. Bond Group Investments own the club.

The EFL and Sarb Capital are yet to make any comment on the situation.

More from Local News

Recently Played Songs