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Backlash as Fleetwood appoint son of banned and jailed former owner to take over from him

There was backlash on social media as Fleetwood Town appoint Jamie Pilley, the son of banned former jailed owner Andy, to take over from him.

As per BBC Sport, it’s confirmed that Willows 96 Holdings Ltd has acquired 98% of the shares in the club, making Jamie Pilley the sole shareholder, news that has caused controversy for some, while others in Cod Army fanbase are giving him their backing and ‘looking forward to moving on’.

Following his father Andy’s imprisonment for fraud in July 2023, Jamie Pilley has assumed control of the Lancashire outfit, who will play in League Two next season.

In light of the circumstances surrounding the recent ownership change, the EFL gave Jamie Pilley a suspended three-month ban from acting as a club director.

The EFL said in a statement: “The primary issue was that Mr Andrew Pilley had previously directed that his son Mr Jamie Pilley should be appointed as a director of both Fleetwood Town and Jaymel Ltd, which owned 98% of the club’s shareholding, alongside giving him power of attorney with club voting rights.

“Jamie Pilley was subsequently investigated for a breach of regulations.

“A charge was accepted and by way of an agreed decision – applied under EFL regulations – Mr Jamie Pilley has been handed a three-month suspended ban to act as a club director.”

Fleetwood say the proposed acquisition met the requirements, external of the league’s Owner’s and Directors’ Test.

Jamie Pilley’s ban will take effect, but if there is any further violation of the test before June 2025, it will be enforced.

The league add that meeting the requirements is contingent upon complying with “specific undisclosed financial obligations” and appointing Peter Murphy, the chairman of Fleetwood Town Community Trust, as an independent director on the board.

This change in ownership marks the end of Andy Pilley’s tenure at the club, having been the owner for 20 years. During Pilley’s ownership, the club progressed from non league to the third tier of English football.


Fleetwood Town can confirm Jamie Pilley has completed a takeover of the Football Club following clearance from the EFL.

The Willows 96 Holdings Limited has purchased 98% of the shareholding in the Club. As the sole shareholder of The Willows 96 Holdings Limited, Jamie Pilley has become the ultimate beneficial owner of 98% of the Club. The Club Directors will be Jamie Pilley, Steven Curwood, Philip Brown, Peter Murphy and Will Watt.

The EFL has now determined the proposed acquisition has satisfied all requirements under Rule 10 of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test, subject to several specific conditions being satisfied.

This includes adherence to certain undisclosed financial requirements and the appointment of an Independent Director to Fleetwood Town’s Board – confirmed as the Chairman of the Club’s Community Trust, Peter Murphy.

All at Fleetwood Town Football Club would like to place on record their overwhelming thanks to Andy Pilley for an incredible 20 years as owner of the club.


Following his takeover of Fleetwood Town Football Club, new owner Jamie Pilley has issued the following statement.

“I’m delighted and honoured to have secured the long-term future of Fleetwood Town with today’s news that the takeover of the Club has now been completed.

“I’d like to thank all the people who have made this possible with incredible hard work over the past 13 months, and to the EFL for their assistance during the process.

“While on the pitch last year was hugely disappointing as a supporter, the way the Club staff and supporters pulled together in adversity is something which everyone involved should be very proud of.

“I’d like to personally thank the CEO, Steve Curwood and all the Club’s staff for the tireless work they’ve put in to ensure the Club came through the difficult period to allow my takeover to take place.

“Fleetwood Town is in my blood and my aim is now to work as hard as I possibly can to continue the progress the Club has made in the last 20 years.

“Relegation to League Two offers an exciting opportunity for us to re-set and hopefully enjoy getting back to celebrating winning football matches. I’m fully behind Charlie Adam and his staff and the hard work starts now to start to build a team we can all be proud of. The performances at the end of the season give me real hope we can enjoy a successful season towards the top of the League Two table.

“We fully intend to build a squad which is capable of competing at the right end of League Two. We are lucky to have what I think is a really strong base of players and with some clever moves in the transfer market we aim to strengthen this further in the coming months.

“It’s been well documented how much my family have backed the Club financially in the past, and while I have committed to do so in the short term, my ultimate dream is to build a football club which is self sufficient and sustainable in the future. We can do this by developing players from our Academy, trading well in the transfer market and by growing the fan base at Highbury Stadium.

“After what has been a time of uncertainty, I now call on the supporters and the whole of the town to rally behind your Club. Being one myself, I know how special the Cod Army are and hope together we can continue to be proud of Fleetwood Town Football Club.

“Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to the 20 year stint my father enjoyed as Owner and Chairman. The six promotions in ten years was a journey beyond everyone’s wildest dreams.

“See you all in August, I can’t wait!”

There was backlash on social media as Fleetwood Town appoint the son of a banned and jailed former owner to take over from him..

@DewiHughes_: Sooner these are back rotting in non league where they belong, the better. Vile club.

@Alexjm05: I know the @EFL are absolutely useless but come on there’s no way surely 😂😂

@StandingAlone77: Owned by a company that was created last June, with the only director of said company being the son of a man jailed for fraud. Not dodgy at all.

@salopcast: Terrible if this is allowed to happen.

@J_Green46: Not dodgy at all

@slewpanova: Fleetwood following the blackpool tradition I see 🤣

@AccyForza: Free beak with every season ticket

@LiamORourke85: Shock horror with his dad no doubt still pulling the strings from inside.

@steafctelford: Absolute joke of a football club and a ridiculous decision.

@jordandavies09: Embarrassing club. Family of crooks

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