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Shrimps Trust pen open letter urging would be owner to ‘accelerate’ the process or ‘terminate the takeover’

The Shrimps Trust has written an open letter urging the prospective new owner of Morecambe FC to ‘accelerate’ the information required by the EFL, or ‘terminate the proposed takeover’.

The letter, attributed to all of the Trustees of the organisation, urges Sarbjot Johal to urgently provide the extra information that the English Football League requested earlier in the year, so that the situation can move forward.

The Shrimps have been officially up for sale since autumn 2022.

Mr Johal has since been in protracted negotiations hoping to complete a proposed takeover with his company Sarb Capital Ltd.

The EFL have to approve any prospective new owner of any club.

Bond Group Investments has owned Morecambe FC since 2018.

The letter reads: ‘’Following our meeting with you on 13th February 2023 we understood that you were imminently due to submit the required information to the EFL in support of your application to be a ‘Relevant Person’ under EFL regulations and the Owners’ and Directors’ Test. As you will be aware, this is a requirement for you to acquire control of the Club, and indeed for the Club to permit you to acquire control of it.

‘’Our understanding of the regulations is that the EFL will only notify you, and the Club, in writing of their decision in the event that you are a subject to a Disqualifying Condition.

‘’On the assumption that you have not received such notification, it is our interpretation of the situation that the hold up in the process is that you have been unsuccessful in providing the EFL with required information under the regulation.

‘’On 17th February 2023 the EFL made a public statement that such information had not been provided and until this is provided, no approval on any change in ownership can occur. We are now almost three months later and you have still not yet supplied this information.''

‘’Following our relegation from League One and the subsequent announcement of the Club’s retained list for the year, we share the widespread concern amongst supporters of the impact of the ongoing proposed takeover on our team, our club and our community.

‘’We implore you to accelerate the provision of this information to the EFL or, in the interests of the Club that you indicated you had grown affection for, you terminate your proposed takeover to allow for other parties to progress a credible takeover to allow for timely preparations for the 2023-24 season.’’

Mr Johal’s company has also invested funds into the Club twice in recent weeks, after player and staff wages were delayed in March, and then again last month, when the Shrimps announced Sarb Capital had made a ‘further significant contribution’ into the club.

Back in February, 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.

Morecambe were relegated to League Two last weekend.

Earlier this week, the club announced that fourteen out of contract players would leave the Mazuma Stadium, with no new deals offered to any player.

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