Ownership uncertainty isn’t helping Bentley plan for next season

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Picture: Matt Rushton

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Picture: Matt Rushton

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admits uncertainty over the club’s ownership isn’t helping him plan for next season.

The Shrimps chief is in the thick of a key time of the year as he looks to reshape his squad with contracts expiring and deals to be done.

Chairman Peter McGuigan officially put the club up for sale at the beginning of March as his 20 years with the club draws to an end.

The long-serving former Umbro chief made the move with the hope of having new owners in place for next season but Bentley has revealed that it means putting things in place ahead of the new campaign is easier said than done.

The Shrimps boss, who was McGuigan’s captain when Morecambe won promotion to the Football League in 2007, said: “At this stage of the season I usually know what my budget is going to be, I know who is going to be my boss, who is going to be my chairman but there’s a little bit of uncertainty around and it’s not healthy.

“You can’t blame anyone though.

“The chairman’s put an awful lot of work and money into this football club and I have to say it’s not for him I’d probably see us still in non-league football and probably not at the Globe Arena.

“He’s done an awful lot for the town of Morecambe and the football club but its run its course.

“He’s done what’s he’s done and he wants to move on. He’s took it upon himself to publicly put the club up for sale which has that uncertainty.

“So while we’re looking to sell the club and any new investors come in we don’t know what the future holds.

“Hopefully it’s a bright future but as this present moment in time there’s quite a bit of uncertainty.”

Despite issues with the club being up for sale Bentley says he is making progress on the contract front despite some players keeping their options open.

He said: “It hadn’t been as smooth as we maybe would have liked, like it has been in other seasons.

“But there is progress. There’s one or two close to re-signing and there’s one or two who have been offered deals but are keeping their options open.

“If they’re having a good season you can totally appreciate that.

“They’ve got to look after themselves and their families. That’s just the way it is.

“If someone offers them a lot more money to play somewhere else or on a better stage with better facilities at a higher level then who are we to stand in their way.

“It’s ongoing and we’ll see what happens.”

Bentley has also managed to get some of his targets in house on loan with Kieran O’Hara, Connor Oliver and Luke Conlan all in with a chance of extending their Globe Arena stays beyond the end of the season.

He said: “It’s the way I’ve worked and I think it’s a successful way.

“If you can get a player in to have a look at them and for them to have a look at you and see if they fit within the squad, it’s like a bit of try before you buy.

“We haven’t all the ones in we wanted to, mostly because of finances, but we’ll see what’s what.

“We’ve got other targets who aren’t playing at other teams and there’s one or two knocking around who we’re having a look at.”