SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper has suggested that it will be “difficult for the owner to fork out any more money” until the legal disputes involving current chairman Lee Power and Seebeck 87 Ltd are resolved.
The case of Swinton Reds 20 Ltd - the company publicised as taking charge of the football club in December - against former chairman Jed McCrory was adjourned in a London courtroom on Tuesday, as Swinton continue to seek an injunction preventing Seebeck from placing three new directors on the club’s board.
For now, those three individuals - Adam Fynn, David Smith and Debbie Priestnall - are considered “observer directors” by Swinton, though Seebeck disagree with terminology. They are not to vote on any resolutions until the case is formally heard by a judge in the coming weeks.
Swinton argue that they have seen an email suggesting that, should the trio be appointed to the club’s board, they will seek to vote Power and Sangita Shah off the board of directors, effectively assuming control of the club. Seebeck have previously released a statement claiming they still own Swindon Town.
While the legals are still being ironed out between the two sides’ lawyers, however, Cooper has hinted that the football side of the business could suffer, with Power either not able or not willing to put more cash into the club.
“Of course it will hinder things now, until it’s sorted out, because I would suggest until it is resolved it is difficult for the owner to fork out any more money,” he said.
“That’s the way it’s been since day one, so we just get on with it.”
Town intend to reduce their 32-man squad down to around 20 over the summer, with the playing budget set to be cut further as well in pursuit of self-sustainability.
The club will struggle to draft in new recruits while the ownership saga drags on.
Meanwhile, there are 17 players out of contract at the County Ground this summer and each will be free to speak to other clubs if they have not received the offer of a new deal from the Robins by the third Saturday in May.
The likes of Troy Archibald-Henville, Jay McEveley, Jack Barthram and Raphael Branco all need their futures to be resolved and, while the ownership battle in the courtrooms continues, Cooper revealed that he and Power would sit down to figure out as best they can a plan of action in the interim.
The pair held discussions yesterday regarding the potential extension of contracts at Swindon and decisions will be made of the coming fortnight.
Cooper said: “There have to be decisions made, to be fair to the players who are out of contract.
“It’s the last game on Saturday and we have to be fair to them.”