Alarm bells are starting to ring at League Two side Morecambe after two of their Board of Directors quit the club in very different circumstances. The Shrimps have been under new ownership since September 2016, with long-standing owner Peter McGuigan making the decision to sell his shareholding following 20 years at the club. Brazilian businessman Diego Lemos took a majority shareholding but despite some of the usual noises being expressed upon his arrival, claiming he had 'high ambitions' not a lot seems to have changed at the Globe Arena.
On Tuesday, Morecambe director Nigel Adams announced his resignation from their board, providing a critical view of the current ownership, believing that as a Director he was being kept in the dark in terms of the club's financial plans, directly criticising the new owner for his lack of transparancy:
"I do not feel I have been given sufficient financial information from the majority shareholder to allow me to perform my duties. In the absence of communication from the new owner and access to financial management information, my position as a director has become untenable. I have a number sponsorship deals currently in place with the football club and these will remain in place but will not be renewed."
With Adams being a Shrimps fan and the club's main shirt sponsor and home terrace sponsor, his concerns raised eyebrows, but what was particularly unusual was that he was able to use the club's official website as a vehicle to criticise the approach of the club's owner. Usually such sites have to kowtow to the club's owners or management, with any resigning Director or employee having to go to the media to express any unpalatable views on their exit. Not so here. It might have been that their website editor was on the Christmas sherry that day, were it not for the fact that today, the remaining Board members have put their name to a statement issued by the club, again calling into question the investment plans of Mr Lemos.
Morecambe's Boardroom was unexpectedly one man short for their meeting held today. When Lemos was announced as the club's new owner, Qatari national Abdulrahman Al Hashemi was announced as a new Director, and also took the position of Co-Chairman alongside McGuigan, with the implication that he was going to be the right-hand man for Lemos. It would appear that on Wednesday, the remainder of the Morecambe Board discovered that Al Hashemi had quietly resigned his Directorship of Morecambe FC on November 25th, just over a week after Mr Lemos left the country.
With that information becoming public via the Companies House website, the remaining Directors held a meeting to discuss the current situation. For the second time in a week, Morecambe's own club website was used as a vehicle to question the club's owner, who appears to have gone missing:
"The board remains extremely concerned at the current state of affairs, as the current majority shareholder, Mr Diego Lemos, has failed to deliver on promised investment. Communication with Mr Lemos continues to be difficult and he has now been out of the country since Thursday, November 17. As a board we understand the criticism levelled at us for the lack of communication and rumours that naturally follow. There are legal issues that need to be resolved before the complete story can be told but once these issues are resolved the board would wish to provide further clarification. The board members who met today are united in their resolve to find solutions to the many problems facing Morecambe Football Club as a direct result of Mr Lemos' continuing absence and his failure to deliver promised funding. We are extremely conscious of our responsibilities to our loyal and valued staff, players and fans and we look forward to working with all stakeholders in order to achieve a positive resolution in the New Year."
Morecambe briefly suffered issues in paying their players' wages in October 2016, shortly after Lemos's arrival as owner, but that was labelled as a one-off issue at the time. However, with growing circumstancial evidence that Lemos may not be the 'money man' he claimed to be upon his arrival, their future is clearly of concern. In November, worried Morecambe fans made the decision to set up a Supporters Trust to help centralise their fans' voices and efforts, but for the moment it seems that even the surviving Board members are just as in the dark as the fans, as to what is going on in Lancashire.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page