Morecambe FC supporters have launched a new era for the club by voting to launch a Supporters Trust.
Around 100 fans gathered for a meeting at Morecambe Cricket Club and voted unanimously in favour of creating a trust to replace the existing Fans Club of Morecambe (FCoM).
A supporters trust would be a stronger body for Shrimps supporters and it is hoped it will give them a greater say in how the club is run.
FCoM called Thursday night’s meeting amid concerns over the future of Morecambe FC.
Players and staff were paid late in October due to “cashflow problems” although new owner Diego Lemos said this was a blip. Employees were paid on time at the end of November.
There have also been worries about the lack of information coming out from board level at Morecambe.
Richard Allan, one of the people behind the move to set up a trust, told the meeting: “Three weeks ago, when the (player and staff) wages weren’t paid, I rang a number of people who said we have no fall back for the worst case scenario.
“That’s what the trust should be about and I don’t think there’s anybody here who doesn’t hope the directors don’t come back with the money to buy those players to get us up the league and into League One.
“We need to get that positivity back. By getting this trust rolling, we are one voice and we’ll be listened to more by the directors.”
Stuart Rae, FCoM’s treasurer, told the gathering that Morecambe’s trust wasn’t about creating a consortium to buy the club or set up ‘AFC Morecambe’.
By creating a trust, there is also an obligation placed upon the club to meet with it at least twice a year to discuss key issues. If not, there would be an, as yet, unknown sanction.
It could take anything from five days to six months for the new group to be up and running – though mid-January is a likelier date.
Current FCoM members will be automatically transferred over to the new trust.
A steering group will see the new trust through its early days before resigning en bloc to enable board elections to take place.
Nicola Hudson, a casework officer from Supporters Direct – an organisation set up to help supporters gain influence in the ownership and running of their particular club – also spoke at the meeting.
Forty-two supporters trusts presently own their football clubs.
Morecambe FC was sold to a Brazilian, ex-football agent Diego Lemos, in September.
The Visitor spoke to a Morecambe director who said a response from the club to the formation of the trust would be forthcoming.
At time of writing Mr Lemos was out of the country.