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New owners: Why we chose Morecambe FC

Morecambe FC's new owners Jason Whittingham (left) and Colin Goldring (right)
Morecambe FC's new owners Jason Whittingham (left) and Colin Goldring (right)

Morecambe FC’s new owners admitted they turned down the chance to acquire other clubs before taking control of the Shrimps.

Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring took a majority shareholding in the Shrimps days before the final match of last season.

Eyebrows might have been raised at why two southern-based businessmen were interested in a struggling North West club at the wrong end of League Two.

However, when asked at a fans forum why they had bought the club, Mr Goldring said: “My first response was ‘why not?’

“That was followed by the fact it was something that came on the radar for us to take a look at.

“The numbers worked from a business point of view and we came up, had a look around, loved the place, met a couple of fans and were warmly received.

“The club was doing fairly well at the time but it got a bit hairy at the end and we were advised to wait a few weeks.

“We made a decision to take it no matter what but, although it was a hairy last game at Coventry, it’s the best choice we’ve made.

“We fell in love with the place and, although we had other clubs offered to us, we loved Morecambe.”

The two men also confirmed the club’s ownership will not be affected despite the creation of a company called ‘Newco 2017’ apparently owning their 75 per cent shareholding.

Rather than a mystery organisation, the supporters who attended the forum heard it was operating as more of a middle man between the former majority shareholders, G50 Holdings, and the new bosses’ Bond Group Investments Ltd company.

“We’re aware of the dispute with (former owner) Diego Lemos,” Mr Goldring said.

“Our first job was to pick that apart and understand what had happened.

“What we’ve been working towards was to distance the club from G50 and make sure those difficulties are long behind.

“That’s why the legal situation dictates we go through Newco; they will be transferred from Newco to Bond Group.

“The transfer went through a long time ago and what we are seeing now is the registration.”

With the new owners also having other businesses, the question was also asked as to who runs the club on a day-to-day basis.

Though they have the majority shareholding, the Shrimps’ new figureheads confirmed that Peter McGuigan will remain as chairman in the decision-making process.

“Colin and I are the majority shareholders and, in terms of the board, we sit on the board,” Mr Whittingham said.

“Peter is the chairman and we fully support Peter.”

Mr Goldring added: “There is an organisational chart we produced with Jason and I on top.

“Jason and I are the final decision makers but we follow closely the advice of the board.

“We’re at the top, followed by Peter, and then the board of directors.”