Morecambe FC director ‘confident’ wages will be paid

Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi (left) and Diego Lemos (right), pictured here with former Shrimps player Cole Stockton at a match earlier in the season, are now on opposite sides in the ownership battle.
Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi (left) and Diego Lemos (right), pictured here with former Shrimps player Cole Stockton at a match earlier in the season, are now on opposite sides in the ownership battle.
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The Morecambe FC ownership crisis is rumbling on but a club director expects wages will be paid on time this month.

Rod Taylor said he was “confident that all financial commitments will be met” meaning that staff and players will get paid on time at the end of February.

The workers were paid their January salaries 11 days late due to an ongoing cash crisis after wages were also delayed at the end of October 2016.

Meanwhile Mr Taylor said the board of directors, chaired by former owner Peter McGuigan, were still in charge of running the club day-to-day while the legal ownership of the Shrimps remained in dispute.

A court case resumed in Manchester last Friday between Diego Lemos, the Brazilian former football agent unveiled as the new owner of the Shrimps last September, and Graham Burnard, a Durham tax consultant, over who legally owns Morecambe FC.

Mr Burnard has control of the majority shareholding of G50 Holdings Ltd, a company he set up for Mr Lemos which the Brazilian then used to take over Morecambe FC in September 2016.

But as Mr Lemos did not pay Mr Burnard the £1,000 fee for the share issue, Mr Burnard removed him as a director of G50. Mr Lemos then tried to take out an injunction against Mr Burnard to stop the sale of G50 shares.

In court, Mr Lemos’ counsel accepted that unless his client was willing to pay the money due to Mr Burnard then Mr Burnard would remain in control of G50 and therefore the club.

But the judge also found there was a dispute between Mr Lemos and Mr Burnard and that Mr Burnard had to inform Mr Lemos 14 days in advance of any attempt to sell, transfer or devalue the shares.

Proceedings were adjourned until March 29 or 30.

Mr Burnard is acting on behalf of former Shrimps co-chairman Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi, who paid staff wages earlier this month. Mr Taylor said Mr Al-Hashemi had helped the club “massively” during its recent financial problems.

Mr Taylor also praised manager Jim Bentley and assistant manager Ken McKenna, who he said had “earned their corn” during the last few months by keeping the team on a great run of results despite the off-field woes.