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Council worker plotted to SHOOT League One club owner with rifle; suing for £10m

A council worker plotted to shoot League One club owner with rifle with the chairman now suing the officer for £10m in a High Court case.

A Trading Standards officer offered to ‘take out’ Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley by aiming a bullet at him with from deadly sniper rifle ‘accurate from 1,000 yards plus’.

The shocking claim was made by David Bourne, who is a worker from Cheshire West Council, while discussing the authority’s investigation into businesses owned by Pilley.

EXCLUSIVE: Andy Pilley on a hectic two weeks for Fleetwood Town FC - YouTube
Council worker plotted to SHOOT League One club owner with rifle and is suing for £10m

In an email to a member of the public, seen by the Daily Mail, Bourne wrote: ‘For 500k I would take out the problem with a .338 Lapua round. Dolphin Rifles (class F) do a nice one. Accurate 1,000 yards plus.’

Pilley, owner of the Lancashire outfit, has been left ‘distressed’ by the shocking note and has brought in security at his family’s home for extra protection. 

‘As well as one Trading Standards officer proposing to shoot me in return for cash, I also returned home one Sunday afternoon with my partner and children to find another investigator attempting to peer into my garden,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘There can be no justification for this behaviour.’

Soldiers in the British Army used the .338 Lapua Magnum sniper in Afghanistan and Iraq

Pilley, 51, is reportedly set to sue Cheshire West and Chester Council’s trading standards department for more than £10million, with a High Court case due to begin in November 2021.

In a separate criminal case triggered by the Trading Standards probe, a number of individuals connected to Pilley’s energy companies are due before Blackpool Magistrates on the 22nd of September. Pilley has strongly denied any wrongdoing. BES Utlilities and Commercial Power had their offices raided in July 2016.

F-class rifles are known for their deadly accuracy from distance. The .338 Lapua Magnum was designed in the 1980s as a high-powered, long-range cartridge for military snipers. It has been used in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

The weapon the council worked aimed to use is known for being deadly over long distances
The weapon the council worker aimed to use is known for being deadly over long distances

‘This whole ordeal has been extremely distressing, not only for myself but also for my young family,’ Pilley said. He is seeking damages for the raids and has described the investigation as ‘a personal vendetta’.

The Fleetwood owner also described the probe as ‘a shocking waste of time and public money’ and claimed he had offered to assist investigators on eight occasions in the 16 months prior to the raids. He also slammed the move to press charges.

‘We totally deny any wrongdoing and will continue to fight for justice,’ he said. ‘We have no doubt we will be fully exonerated.’

Cheshire West and Chester council responded via National Trading Standards, for whom a spokesperson said: ‘Criminal Proceedings have been instigated in relation to a number of individuals. The fraud charges relate to the sale of non-domestic energy contracts to businesses across the country.

‘We will not be making any further public statements at this time.’

Two years ago, Andy Pilley surprisingly stated that the club would definitely be relegated if Labour won the 2019 election.

Pilley, who’s been the chairman for the club’s main sponsor BES Utilities, explained why he was supporting the Conservatives.

He revealed his surprise stance in a video to the club’s official Twitter account on Tuesday, which has since disappeared.

He said: “It’s my role to do what is in the best interests of Fleetwood Town Football Club.

“I’m the business owner and I care deeply for the town of Fleetwood and for the football club.

“Now, what would happen to the football club is it will virtually definitely lose its league status if the Labour Party was to be elected because the football club would lose its funding from BES, which is my core business.

“So it’s very much in the best interests of Fleetwood Town Football Club that the Labour Party are not selected and that the Conservatives are elected and they continue to back business and ultimately Fleetwood Football Club.”

This is because he has his own perceived lack of trust in the Labour Party to support his business compared to that of the Conservative Party.

He stated previously that he is concerned about the plans Labour has for the energy industry which includes his company.

At the time, the Cod Army were sat 9th place in League One, two points off the play-off places, they went on to finish 6th and the Conservatives won the 2019 election, so all smiles for Pilley after initially being laughed at by some.

For the 2020/21 season, Fleetwood ended up finishing 15th, the Joey Barton and Ched Evans controversy flaring up before both left the club and Simon Grayson took over.

He remains as manager of the Cod Army, and currently sit 18th in League One, losing three of their first five games of the 2021/22 campaign which is set to be it’s toughest for many years.

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