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Two Buyers Remain In The Frame To Buy Morecambe Football Club

The Morecambe Football Club ownership saga has taken a new twist in the past week, as the club's majority shareholder - Graham Burnard - and the Shrimps' board, say they have both found potential buyers.

Mr Burnard - of the club's majority shareholder G50 Holdings, says he's received a conditional offer, but has told Bay News that a non disclosure agreement means he can't comment any further at this stage.

Since that statement from Mr Burnard on the 27th of October though, there still haven't been any further major updates.

On Wednesday (November 1st), the Directors of Morecambe Football Club Ltd met with the representatives of G50 at the Globe Arena.

A statement from the club reads: "The meeting looked at the stability of the club and the plans going forward.

"It was positive meeting and, again, it was apparent that all parties had the interests of the football club at the forefront of their minds in all discussions.

"All parties will meet again at the next scheduled Board meeting."

Last week, Mr Burnard (pictured) said he has received a conditional offer demanding that the current board steps down.

A press statement on behalf of Mr Burnard reads: "An offer has been received by Graham from a purchaser who is prepared to pay off all football creditors, HMRC and the overdraft and then continue funding the club.

"In return, Abdulrahman [Al-Hashemi - a former Director] is willing to secure the future of the club, to agree that G50 Holdings Ltd, which owns 82% of Morecambe FC, be sold for £1 and to forego repayment of his loans.

"This offer of refinancing amounting to a payment of £1m immediately is conditional upon:

1. The directors giving up their loans & debentures

2. All the director's resignations which will benefit them because it will relieve them of their personal guarantees to the bank

3. The purchaser having an exclusivity agreement for the necessary period of time to obtain the approval of the English Football League.

"If this offer of refinancing is accepted, the wages will be paid next week and Graham will continue, as the person approved by the EFL, to run the club until the transaction is completed.

"However the board have rejected this offer and say that they have another purchaser."

"This is too little too late when the club is faced with paying wages and HMRC and if not paid the only alternative is administration, resulting in a 12-point automatic deduction and EFL withholding league distributions and solidarity payments which is the lifeline of the club."

During our conversation with Mr Burnard he did however, say he would be able to speak soon, adding that "everything is fine" and "there's no hassle with anything".

The board earlier said that Mr Burnard's announcement of a prospective buyer was news to them.

However, one of the club's Directors, Rod Taylor (pictured below), told The Bay why there was that initial confusion.

You can listen to Mr Taylor's comments here:

Mr Taylor has also confirmed that all staff and players have been paid.

Since our chat with Mr Taylor last week an initial joint statement was released on behalf of both the board and Mr Burnard, which reads in full as follows:

Following the press release yesterday evening from Mr Graham Burnard and the subsequent statement by the Board of Directors of Morecambe Football Club Ltd, a meeting was held at the Globe Arena this morning to discuss the club's current situation.cuss the club's current situation.

G50 was represented by Mr Graham Burnard and Mr Jordan Burnard. Morecambe Football Club was represented by directors Mr Rod Taylor and Mr Graham Howse.

It was a full and frank meeting where it became apparent that all parties were committed to working for a common goal; the good of the football club.

It was also observed that yesterday's press releases were the result of a lack of communication and understanding by the two parties. These issues were fully addressed this morning and resolved.

Mr Graham Burnard conceded that his statement yesterday was made slightly in haste.

The planned meeting with the Board and G50 will go ahead as scheduled on Wednesday, November 1st. The agenda for this meeting will include the offer for the club that Graham Burnard has brought forward together with other offers under consideration by the football club.

In consideration of the progress made at this morning's meeting it was felt there was no need for the press conference next week that was mentioned previously. Both Radio Lancashire and The Bay have interviewed both Rod Taylor and Graham Burnard on the issues surrounding the need to have today's meeting.

There has been speculation circulating about the possible non-payment of staff wages today but we can confirm that all employees' wages were paid today, 28/10/17, as due. This was achieved by the work put in over the past two days by the directors and the financial support of some members of the current Board.

It has been a tough 12 months but, through adversity, we have come out of this wiser and stronger together.

We are all committed to sustaining Morecambe FC going forward and are proud of our record of membership of the EFL for our eleventh season at this level. We are are passionate about our community football club, as our supporters are, and we will strive to build on what we have and move the club forward.

We have two massive games ahead of us, Forest Green Rovers away tomorrow and Hartlepool United at home in the Emirates FA Cup next Saturday (November 4th). I would urge anyone who has an association with the Shrimps to come and support Jim Bentley and the team on the pitch at the cup game.

Please play your part in creating a great atmosphere at the Globe Arena, we are stronger together.

Rod Taylor

Director, Morecambe FC

Meanwhile, The Bay's Sports reporter, Glen Cooper (pictured below) - who spoke to us ahead of last weekend's away match with Forest Green, hopes there will be no repeat of a Diego Lemos-style era, who bought Chairman - and then owner, Peter McGuigan's shares.

You can hear Glen's comments below:

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