Morecambe footballers finally paid their late wages

The Morecambe football team showing humour outside an appropriately-named pub in the London area before their League Two match with Leyton Orient on Tuesday. This photo was taken before it was confirmed that the team and other staff had been paid their wages.
The Morecambe football team showing humour outside an appropriately-named pub in the London area before their League Two match with Leyton Orient on Tuesday. This photo was taken before it was confirmed that the team and other staff had been paid their wages.
0
Have your say

All Morecambe FC staff and players have been paid their wages after an 11-day delay.

The news was confirmed by club director Rod Taylor on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Taylor said payment had been financed by former club co-chairman, the Qatari businessman Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi.

The payment comes just a few hours before the Morecambe football team play Leyton Orient away in League Two on Tuesday night.

It will come as a relief to staff and players after a bizarre week.

Not only were employees working without getting paid, but they had also been upset by the presence at the club of Italian businessman Joseph Cala.

Mr Cala said sorry on Saturday after upsetting staff and fans with a series of outbursts about the club including threats to lay workers off, and criticism of the Shrimps’ pitch and reliance on catering and functions.

An anonymous employee said Mr Cala caused “animosity” at the Globe Arena and “depressed a lot of people” by acting like the owner when he had not officially purchased the club.

But Mr Cala said: “I understand in the heat of the moment I may have said things that some may have been upset by, and I would like to offer a public apology, my intentions are not to offend.

“As you can gather, I’m a passionate man, who says it how I see it and I’m brutally truthful.”

He said he stood by his views that the current state of the club was due to “poor leadership” and said he remained “committed” to buying Morecambe FC.

But after the battle for ownership ended up in the courts, a Durham tax consultant has now said the Shrimps are “not for sale”.

Graham Burnard said he actually owned Morecambe FC – something he never “intended or wanted”.

He said he’d become the owner by default after setting up a company called G50 Holdings Limited for Brazilian former football agent Diego Lemos, who then used G50 to buy the club from former owner Peter McGuigan in September 2016.

Mr Burnard claimed Mr Lemos didn’t pay him for the share issue, so he held 99 per cent of the shares in G50 in his own name.

Then in January, after being unable to contact Mr Lemos for almost two months, he said he’d removed him as director.

“This was nothing to do with me until (Lemos) walked out and then suddenly everybody was looking at G50,” said Mr Burnard, who is working on behalf of Mr Al-Hashemi.

“I am the owner.”

A civil action by Diego Lemos, who also claims he owns Morecambe FC, and G50 against Mr Burnard was heard at Manchester County Court on Thursday.

A court order now says both parties must give the other 72 hours notice before selling shares in Morecambe FC or G50.

We have tried on several occasions to contact Mr Lemos’ representatives but have received no reply.

Shrimps chairman Peter McGuigan said on Friday: “We have told Cala he is not wanted on the site. The board is caught in the middle of this. G50 owns the club.”