PANTO season appears to have arrived at Woking Football Club.
It was a case of ‘Oh yes he is, oh no he isn’t’ after last week’s eagerly anticipated board meeting, as confusion surrounded the position of the club’s majority shareholder, Peter Jordan.
That claim was reiterated by The Non-League Paper officials when contacted by the News & Mail this week. Later on Sunday a newsflash was posted by BBC Radio Surrey on their social media account [the post was still live at the time of writing] which read: “Jordan to step down: BBC Surrey told that Peter Jordan has informed the board he intends to retire on January 2.”
The plot thickened for bemused Cards fans when those two media releases were then superseded by a statement, issued
via the official club website at noon on Sunday, by Chairman Mike Smith.
It stated: “Contrary to what you may be reading in the media, Peter Jordan is still a member of the club board.”
But the original claims have since been substantiated by sources at the club.
The revelation comes on the back of last week’s News & Mail reporting that our Sports desk had seen a copy of a letter of intent to buy the club, sent on behalf of local businessman Ashley Read, 34, by Wellers Law Group LLP to senior officials at Kingfield.
A subsequent letter received by the News & Mail directly from Mr Read states that, should any purchase to gain a controlling share in Woking Football Club go ahead, it would be funded by him alone.
He added that a consortium – understood to include six other parties ‘with football experience’ – is ready to be brought in to run the club with him, in what he calls ‘a new direction to the existing regime’.
It is only Mr Jordan’s 75 per cent stake in the limited company – trading as Woking Football Club Ltd – that is subject to the bid.
That interest comes despite the club announcing losses in excess of £400,000 (to the year ending May 31, 2015).
It is understood the matter, plus a proposal from Mr Jordan that Mr Read fill a current vacancy on the board, were discussed at length at last Thursday evening’s board meeting.
It is claimed that Mr Jordan was asked to step outside the meeting while matters relating to Mr Read were attended to. Mr Jordan, who has served as a director at the club since 2005, had yet to issue a statement on his plans to retire as this paper went press.
Meanwhile, speaking to the News & Mail on Tuesday, Mr Read – already a club shareholder and sponsor – said he hopes
all parties can begin to present a united message on the direction of the club – after many supporters voiced their concerns over a lack of detail concerning recent activity.
He added: “The fans and the staff deserve to know what’s going on. It doesn’t matter if I buy the club or not; somebody needs
to because Peter is moving on.”
A regular at home games, Mr Read says that he is still hoping to meet with the Cards Trust supporters’ club – who own a 20
per cent share of Woking FC and are represented on the board by Ian Nicholson.
Mr Read explained that the progression of the deal is still subject to him receiving answers to his due diligence request.
“I need to get a timescale because it will be better to meet the supporters after that’s done,” he said. “If I find out that the credit card bill is higher than expected there may not be any point proceeding.”
Meanwhile, Cards Trust Chairman Rupert Phillips issued a statement saying: “The trust board have their monthly meeting on Wednesday [yesterday]; we will not be in a position to respond until after that.”