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Swindon owner issues clarity in statement on club’s future after FA Cup defeat to Aldershot

Swindon Town owner Clem Morfuni issues clarity in a statement less than 24 hours after their 7-4 FA Cup defeat to Aldershot Town.

The Australian businessman, who came into the League Two club back in July 2021 after a long legal battle, said he has put £250,000 into Swindon to “stabilise” finances in the last few week while also denying he’s looking to sell.

He confirmed that he injected money in the past fortnight, is planning to do more “when needed”, and that all players had been paid last month on time in response to online speculation.


Swindon Town Football Club would like to issue the following statement from Clem Morfuni:

Dear Supporters,

I felt it was important to write to you all after the shocking 7-4 defeat we suffered against Aldershot in the FA Cup yesterday. I want to address not only this embarrassing loss but also provide clarity on a series of stories that have been circulating on social media.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge the huge disappointment you must all be feeling, and let you know I share the same pain. Football is a game that can deliver incredible highs and devastating lows and we’ve had lots of both in my short time as owner of Swindon Town FC.

As owner, I take full responsibility for everything that happens within our club and I’m writing this message to let you know I’m confronting the challenges head-on.

I speak to Michael Flynn regularly about the football and the recruitment in my view, he has been exceptional this season this is why we offered Michael a new contract to reflect the start to the season that we have had so far.

I have been having discussions with Michael Flynn and Jamie Russell regarding strengthening our squad in the January transfer window, which I will personally be overviewing.

I will be there in January to support the hard work between Michael Flynn, Wayne Hatswell, Jamie Russell & Anthony Hall.

Rumours of an imminent Club Sale:

I understand that there has been a lot of speculation regarding the potential sale of the club, and I want to address the concerns and clear up any confusion. As I’ve emphasised before and will reiterate now: Swindon Town is not up for sale.

However, from time to time we receive expressions of interest from potential people to buy the club entertaining such discussions does not equate to actively seeking a sale, even if some may interpret it that way.

Financial Stability:

There have been reports and speculation concerning player payments and HMRC issues which I can confirm have been paid and also paid on time. In the past fortnight, I have injected £250,000 to stabilise the club and I will continue to stabilise the club as and when needed. We still encounter many difficulties due to the years of mismanagement from the prior ownership and these challenges are still painstakingly being worked through and paid for me.

The current club revenue is not sufficient to cover the costs to run the club, with existing deals in place that have been active for years that don’t make us any money and benefit others tremendously. Anthony Hall our CEO has talked me through this at length and our plan is to focus on new revenue streams for the club, we also need to renegotiate all of our less favourable commercial deals and enhance our offerings to generate additional revenue.

Financial Sustainability:

We recently joined the Fair Game Initiative, which is dedicated to making football clubs more sustainable. We are fully aligned with their goals and believe in the significance of a sustainable future for our club and the football community.

It’s been said recently that clubs in League Two lose on average £1m-£2m, in League One they lose £3m+ every year and in the Championship even more, all chasing success. It shouldn’t be this way and Fair Game is pushing very hard and want all football clubs to become more sustainable, telling us that since the Premier League was created in 1992, there have been 64 instances of clubs collapsing into administration in the top 4 divisions and also that the Premier League gives more money to one parachute payment club than it does to all 120 clubs in leagues 1, 2 and the National League combined. Things must change, and we fully support the Fair Game initiative.

The County Ground

The stadium purchase, with equal ownership shared between the club and our supporters, was a massive step towards securing our financial stability. It will take years to complete, but in time we will be able to generate income 7 days a week.

The club pay rental to the JV which is then paid back to the club and reinvested to fix the stadium which is being carried out progressively which we have reported on in the Advisory board meeting minutes and the current spend this close season was +£200K.

We’re currently working with the Supporters Trust on a new fan zone, we think the fan zone will give supporters a much better matchday experience, this is something I will be personally looking over when I’m back in January.

Final Thoughts

Yesterday’s result was heartbreaking, but the early season has been filled with promise we need your patience, and we need your support more than ever during these difficult moments.

As stated already, we have a plan – we’re actively working on strategies to increase revenue and to get promotion into League 1 and beyond.

I understand why you are disappointed and upset right now as I’m I and the rest of the team is. I want to emphasise that I am with you on that and assure you that I am 100% committed to Swindon Town

Thank you for all your support and I look forward to seeing you all before Christmas.

Clem Morfuni

SEE MORE: Aldershot fans ‘storm’ pub and Swindon fans clash with each other during 7-4 defeat

Fans reacted as the Swindon owner issues clarity in a statement on the club’s future after suffering the embarrassing FA Cup defeat to Aldershot…

@RichardSTFC94: 3 years of false promises and lies… Actions speak louder than words at this point, do something or sell up! We’re going backwards and soon into the National League if nothing changes

@Flowergirl0404: 2 many so say mistakes from someone who owns so many businesses, you have misled (some may say lie) us on many times & what I can see you like to talk the talk but rarely action is followed up.Think you need to have a team talk with players and staff 2,they are the ones I feel 4

@robstfc: Things do not add up Clem! We have 9k+ gates, with one of the smallest playing squads I’ve seen in years. If you cannot move the club forward, please sell! I’ve watched this team for 45 YEARS, yesterday was the most embarrassing, pitiful display I’ve ever witnessed!!!!!!

@stfcjamie: That’s reassuring. He’s always honest with us ❤️

@dave01921275: Love this, thank you. Timely communication & reaction to the situation & even the online speculation. This is what I needed today & what in the past I wouldn’t have had. Thank you 👍🏻 hoping we can refind the form we had at the start of the season, still hopeful for this year 🔴⚪️

@ChisieWeirdo: This prompts more questions than it answers. How does the revenue not cover running costs when we have 9,000+ crowds & a very small playing squad? It doesn’t add up. And what are the Power era problems? How much are they costing the club? Are they the reason costs >revenue?

@JohnDavidWood59: As a Southend fan, I think and hope I am right in thinking Clem is a much better man than the twonk that has owned Southend for the last twenty odd years

@snillocluap: There is something about Clem that comes across as genuine. I’m keeping the faith and hopefully in January we’ll strengthen and push on. I’ll still be there every week cheering the boys on! COYR!

@80HBK: don’t believe anything the bloke says

@swinfan69: What does ‘to stabilise the club’ mean? Why weren’t we told things were unstable. What’s been said is the same for every team in L2. I haven’t heard any reports that the other 23 need ‘stabalising’.

@JonaOnDrums: Not sure if I’m more annoyed about the lack of proofreading in this ‘statement’. C’mon…?! Ffs.🤷‍♂️🙈

@ClaireFurnell1: So… either the player who stated that they didn’t get paid on time, or Clem.. they cannot both be telling the truth 😬

@bittergillespie: There are 8,000 fans injecting hard earned cash in every other week.There are clubs far better run than #stfc with just 3,000 injecting cash. Clem is cleaning up a lot of Power and his vision is a sustainable one. We will wait and see what happens in Jan. 🙏🏽

@marktaylor142: Why can’t you just say sorry, the supporters of STFC are your immediate investors every single week, they deserve the apology you seem to fail to say.

@stevestfc: Where is our money going? Some of the highest attendances in the league yet our income is going somewhere. Not buying it Clem, more lies and false promises again. Sell the club

@joteddyuk: ‘We need your patience and support’. What an absolute insult to those of us there week after week and renewed season tickets based on promises made. Why wasn’t the squad strengthened before now? Everyone could see it was needed. January is too late. Pointless statement.

@The_Swell_Shark: Seems like a fair statement. An engaged owner is never a bad thing. Don’t support Swindon, but when looking at the clowns at Sheff Weds or Reading, Scunthorpe and many others, I think there is definitely worst out there… Hope things improve for you… 👍

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