Following the share purchase by 5USport last year, the club has been working closely with the Guangzhou based company to develop aspects of the club with the aim of improving long term sustainability. Progress has been made in certain areas in particular the educational offering in China.
However, other discussions, mainly focused on the UK investment required by the club, have been more problematic and the necessary funding has proved challenging due to what has been explained as overseas investment restrictions.
To ensure continued funding of the club David Bower and Kelvin Thomas have reacquired the shares previously held by 5USport. As part of the arrangement Tom Auyeung and Oliver Zheng have stepped down from the Board of Directors.
Chairman Kelvin Thomas said, “Since David, Mike and I became involved we have always done what we thought was in the best interests of the club. That rationale underpinned the original involvement of 5USport and also underpins this decision.
“We can confirm that the club is financially secure, and this will continue under our ownership as we have always said. We have provided funding this season at various points to ensure obligations are met and also to continue to invest in the future with player acquisitions this past January.
“We are still of the mindset that for the club to fully prosper on the pitch especially at higher levels of play, it will need a long term and more sustainable model and inevitably further outside investment, but those discussions are for another day.
“We feel strongly that any conversations about investment are not for now and all our focus needs to be on the pitch and the next seven games. I think we will all accept this season hasn’t gone the way we would have hoped and expected, but we still have it on our hands to retain our League One status.
“We have had a couple of periods during this season already where we have won a few games in a row and we now need one of those runs. As a club we are right behind the manager, his staff and this group of players and feel we all need to all come together. There will be enough people on the outside wanting to see us fail, so it is up to us to stand up for each other, all starting on Friday against Charlton.”