‘Bruising defeat’ claim in Shrimps ownership battle

Diego Lemos.
Diego Lemos.

A Brazilian football agent’s move to regain control of Morecambe Football Club has been described as “a bruising defeat”.

It now “remains to be seen” if Diego Lemos will pursue his claim over the Shrimps, said a spokesman for his ownership rivals.

Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi.

Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi.

This comes after Mr Lemos was ordered to pay £15,000 plus VAT to Durham tax consultant Graham Burnard by the Manchester High Court.

Judge Davies said the sum must be paid by 5pm on March 10 and is an interim payment towards Mr Burnard’s costs.

The judge also said there was “no order” on Mr Lemos’ application for an injunction over Morecambe Football Club and G50 Holdings Ltd – the company at the centre of the ownership row.

He also said Mr Burnard should not “deal with, dispose of, diminish the value of, charge, or otherwise encumber” the 99 shares in G50 Holdings Limited currently registered in his name without first giving 14 days’ notice to Mr Lemos.

A spokesman for Mr Burnard and Qatari businessman Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi said: “It remains to be seen whether Mr Lemos will pursue his claim to ownership of shares in G50, after this bruising defeat. Mr Burnard is very pleased at the result.”

The spokesman said Mr Al-Hashemi is the owner of G50 Holdings Limited, and therefore the club, and that Mr Burnard acts as his nominee.

We spoke to Chris Farnell, Mr Lemos’ solicitor, and asked if Mr Lemos wished to comment.

No official response had been received as we went to press.

The ownership is subject to Mr Lemos’ claim for rectification of the register of G50 Holdings Ltd at Companies House.

Mr Burnard removed Mr Lemos as director of G50 in January after he was unpaid for carrying out a share issue while setting up the company.

The Brazilian used G50 to buy former owner Peter McGuigan’s shares in the Shrimps and was then unveiled as new owner in September 2016.

At the time Abdulrahman Al-Hashemi was working alongside Mr Lemos and co-chairman with Mr McGuigan. But in November 2016. Mr Lemos became absent from Morecambe Football Club.

According to the board of directors, he became uncontactable and had “failed to deliver on promised investment”.

Mr Al-Hashemi then resigned as co-chairman, claiming he had been “seriously misled” by Mr Lemos.

It is believed Mr Al-Hashemi has put £400,000 into Morecambe Football Club.

The Qatari has continued to help Morecambe, financing January staff wages when they were again paid late.

Mr Lemos next spoke publicly in January when he denied he had been uncontactable.

He also said an offer was in to buy the club and the board were aware of it.

This offer was from north east businessman Geoff Hogg.

But the board said any prospective sale of Morecambe FC was down to G50 and not them.

Mr Burnard has said the club is now not for sale.

Meanwhile Morecambe FC staff and players were paid on time at the end of February, said director Rod Taylor.