Dodgy Dealings in the Boardroom?
John Bowler announced on the 1st August that three new directors would take their places on the board. Those directors are Daniel Potts, Mark Hassall and Jimmy Rowlinson. Daniel Potts, who advertised his shares for sale in early February, had been trying to get onto the board for some time, so it was surprising that the board should invite a man who they don't trust onto the board. The trio will officially become directors as of September 1st 2006.
However, more information is now beginning to unveil itself, with the board seemingly taking action to limit the power of the new directors.
Crewe Alexandra as we all know it is officially registered as 'CREWE ALEXANDRA FOOTBALL CLUB COMPANY LIMITED'. It was registered on the 31st May 1899. No new Crewe Alexandra related company had been created since, until June 1st of this year.
On June 1st, precisely two months before John Bowler publicly declared that there would be three new directors on the board as of September 1st, another company was created. This new company is called 'Crewe Alexandra Limited', and it is registered to the club's address, despite there being no mention of the words football club in the title.
By the 1st June, it is likely that the existing board of John Bowler et al had decided to invite the new trio onto the board. Therefore, it could be alleged that the creation of 'Crewe Alexandra Limited' safeguards the assets and powers of John Bowler et al, thus limiting the effect and influence of the new board members.
Another development occurred on 4th August 2006. Another new Crewe Alex related company was created - 'Crewe Alexandra Stadium Limited'. This company, however, is not registered to the club's address, but instead to The Britannia Suite, Lauren Court Wharf Road in Sale, Manchester.
So, what can we make of all these developments? Well I am personally sceptical towards the creation of 'Crewe Alexandra Limited'. 'Crewe Alexandra Limited' has allegedly been created by John Bowler et al in order to ensure that the major influence and power in the board room resides with them. Is this a good thing? Not in my opinion, as they seem eager to retain as much power as possible, similarly to Doug Ellis at Aston Villa, until recently anyway. John Bowler's statement also stated that they wanted to ensure a smooth transition into the future with younger board members, but by safeguarding the current boards own interests, it appears that this statement was a farce.
However, the creation of 'Crewe Alexandra Stadium Limited' seems to be a sensible move. Daniel Potts has made the right noises so far and seems like he will be a good addition to the board room, if only to ensure new ideas are heard, though it sounds as if he may struggle to find the necessary power and authority to execute any of his ideas. However, the fact is that he is a property developer, and we don't want to end up in the same situation as Wrexham. Therefore, it appears to me that the creation of 'Crewe Alexandra Stadium Limited' simply safeguards The Alexandra Stadium, and should remain safe, so long as John Bowler et al don't get any crazy ideas. Quite why it must be registered to an address in Sale, however, is unclear.
Meanwhile, long serving Director and Club president Norman Rowlinson has sadly passed away. Vital Crewe offers its condolences to the friends and family of Norman Rowlinson.