More Crisis at Morecambe FC

There are many bad owners of football teams currently in the professional game. They would all argue that their own is quite possibly the worst. But at least these clubs actually know who runs their club …

Morecambe are a club in distress. As news breaks that their staff haven’t been paid on time for the third time this season, what is actually going on behind the scenes at the Shrimps?

The short answer to that question is that the club is in the midst of an ownership battle involving three separate parties. Brazilian Diego Lemos and Durham-based Graham Burnard both claim to own the club. These two have taken the dispute to Court.

To make matters more confusing, Italian-American businessman Joseph Cala, in February, also claimed to be the owner.

In January, Mr Burnard was instated as director, after Mr Lemos was terminated. A move in which the Brazilian says he did not agree to. Mr Lemos attempted to fully regain ownership of the Coastal Club, and the case went to Court in February. The Judge ordered Mr Lemos to pay the sum of £15k plus VAT to Mr Burnard as an interim payment towards the latter’s costs, in a blow that was described as ‘a bruising defeat’ for the Brazilian football agent.

However, it is said that the disagreement continues, and it still isn’t any clearer who owns the League Two club.

Qatari businessman Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi has been helping Morecambe Football Club through a cash crisis this season. The fans have even done their bit, and did a whip-round for a £1,000 fine picked up by their manager, Jim Bentley.

This isn’t the first time wages haven’t been paid on time at the Globe Arena. Staff wages were paid 11 days late in early February and were also delayed at the end of October 2016.

These disturbances off the field cannot be aiding their form, as The Shrimps are currently on a run of 6 straight defeats.

Christopher Bell

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