OPINION: Wigan Athletic takeover highlights Morecambe's predicament

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Well at least one North West-based EFL club can celebrate the start of a new era following a takeover.

Wigan Athletic’s future is now secured after Mike Danson completed a buyout of the Latics on Wednesday.

What was notable about the takeover wasn’t that it had gone through, more the speed with which everything was completed.

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It was only announced the weekend before last that a takeover process was underway and, a week-and-a-half later, everything had been given the green light.

Morecambe fans are still awaiting a resolution to a proposed takeover Picture: Michael WilliamsonMorecambe fans are still awaiting a resolution to a proposed takeover Picture: Michael Williamson
Morecambe fans are still awaiting a resolution to a proposed takeover Picture: Michael Williamson
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The wins that got away

Contrast that with the position at Morecambe, who were put up for sale in September 2022.

In context, that was three Prime Ministers ago, at a time when Cristiano Ronaldo had yet to burn his bridges at Manchester United, while Derek Adams’ squad had only played seven league matches of the 2022/23 season.

It’s now four months since Sarbjot Johal, linked with a Wigan takeover himself, was called out by the EFL for failing to provide some information requested for his proposed buyout.

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That’s hugely significant in itself given, from past experience, the EFL’s standard line was how they cannot comment publicly on an individual club’s situation.

Speaking to the EFL yesterday, they confirmed that – just for a change – there was no further update on Johal’s proposed takeover.

As far as would-be purchasers go, they only receive EFL approval if they demonstrate they can provide ‘source and sufficiency of funding’ to acquire control.

That is in addition to providing ‘future financial information’ so that a club can operate sustainably going forward.

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We’d also asked the EFL if anyone would be able to explain the takeover process and the Owners’ and Directors’ Test – especially the lack of a deadline for a buyout to be completed – but that request was turned down.

Reading between the lines, it appears a deadline isn’t in place because it’s usually expected that a proposed buyer will be able to provide all the information required in good time – though the Shrimps’ predicament seems like a compelling argument for the rulebook to be rewritten.

The longer Morecambe’s wait goes on, the sense of limbo around the club can only continue to increase.

Fourteen players were allowed to leave at the end of the season, which Adams pinned on uncertainty over his playing budget for the new campaign.

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The club’s owner, Bond Group Investments, has claimed a ‘support package’ is on the table, giving Morecambe their highest budget as a League Two club.

While they’re happy to say that, there still isn’t an explanation as to their apparent determination to pursue Johal’s takeover bid.

It has led to dissatisfaction from a number of sources with the board calling on Bond Group to complete a suitable sale as soon as possible.

That followed on from a letter the Shrimps Trust sent to Johal in early May, effectively challenging him to put up or shut up.

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It’s time he did one or the other and conclude what is rapidly becoming a waking nightmare for fans, staff and players.

Give the EFL everything they need and help lead Morecambe into a brand new bright tomorrow – to coin a phrase – or walk away with whatever dignity he has remaining.