Rochdale ‘truly fan-owned’ after settlement of High Court claim, says chairman

Rochdale are currently bottom of Sky Bet League Two without a point from their first five games.

By Press Association Published: 26 August 2022 - 5.34pm

Rochdale chairman Simon Gauge has hailed the club as “truly fan-owned and fan-led” following the settlement of a High Court claim.

The claim, filed by Morton House MGT and First Form Construction Limited against the club’s board of directors and Dale Supporters Trust, will be dismissed and no further legal action taken, according to a club statement.

Morton House will also transfer its 212,895 shares to a consortium of seven current Rochdale board members for an undisclosed sum.

In August last year, the EFL alleged that Morton House MGT had acquired control of the club and that a number of individuals became relevant persons without the prior consent of the EFL in accordance with the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT).

Morton House subsequently withdrew from the approval process but launched their claim in January.

In a statement on the club website, Gauge said: “Having repaid a mortgage and secured the long-term future of the stadium in June 2022, my board of directors and I are pleased to have concluded just eight weeks later the transfer of the full beneficial shareholding of Morton House to a consortium of serving directors, with EFL permission and which will end all legal proceedings.

“Whilst an unwanted public hostile takeover attempt was unprecedented in the history of our club, the consortium of serving directors have stepped in and prevented a hostile takeover and then delivered a truly fan-owned and fan-led club.”

Rochdale are currently bottom of Sky Bet League Two without a point from their first five games and parted company with manager Robbie Stockdale earlier this month.

Gauge added: “We have 41 league games remaining and everyone needs to give their full support to every single one of our players and our staff at the club, who are all 100 per cent committed to delivering the very best they can for our club, our team and our town.”

The board now owns 43.3 per cent of the club’s shares, with the Dale Supporters Trust owning 13.9 per cent and the remaining 42.8 per cent owned by more than 500 individual shareholding supporters.

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