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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Workington Reds could go out of business if buyer not found soon

Workington Reds are on the brink of closure unless a new buyer can be found.

Alec Graham photo
Alec Graham

That was the stark warning from the club’s general manager Alec Graham as the Blue Square Conference North club began the desperate search for new backers.

Long-serving chairman Humphrey Dobie and directors Colin Doorbar and Thex Johnstone quit Borough Park at Tuesday night’s annual general meeting, saying they had taken the former Football League club as far as they could.

The trio will remain in charge for the next two weeks to see if any of the club’s shareholders are willing to take the club on, otherwise the 129-year-old club will call an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the prospect of either winding the club up or putting it up for sale.

Graham said: “It is potentially serious as the club could cease to exist, but we hope someone will come forward and take the club on. It is difficult to say what the future is, but the strange thing is that the club isn’t in debt and doesn’t owe any money.

“It needs £300,000 in income to break even by the time it has paid wages and travel costs.

“Now that the news is out we hope someone will come forward. Myself and the current board have been trying to bring new directors and investors into the club. Up until now we have had some interest but nothing has materialised.”

Dobie, 81, who has been a director for 14 years and chairman since 2007, cited health problems and a recent family bereavement for his decision to leave.

The retired pharmacist helped to rescue Reds from the brink of possible collapse when he joined the board of the club which lost its Football League status in 1977.

Dobie has been unavailable for comment, but Graham added: “He has done a long and honourable stint and he thinks it is time to go.

“They were £120,000 in debt and two days from going out of business and he oversaw one of the most successful periods in the club’s recent history.

“I am disappointed that he and two other directors are going but they can hold their head high. They have decided to hand the club over to new blood.

“There is 129 years of history that would go, and these decisions aren’t taken lightly.

“Workington isn’t the wealthiest place in the country or Cumbria, but there are a few thousand people who really care for this club.”

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