A war of words has broken out at Accrington Stanley Football Club following an ‘emotional’ board meeting last Saturday.
Stanley’s non executive chairman Ilyas Khan this week told the Observer managing director Dave O’Neill had tendered his resignation from Accrington Stanley’s board - but Khan has asked him to reconsider.
However, O’Neill, who has been trying to buy former chairman Eric Whalley’s 51 per cent shares in the club since 2009, insisted he has not resigned and will issue an official statement by the end of a week in which the club starred in a Carling Cup clash with Newcastle United.
In what Khan called a ‘emotional’ board meeting on Saturday evening, the Accrington-born businessman - who saved the club when it almost folded over a £308,000 tax bill in November last year – admitted there was a direct exchange of opinions containing Reds directors O’Neill, president Peter Marsden and Khan.
Khan and Marsden asked O’Neill to step down from the day-to-day running of the club, although both say they want him to stay as a director at the club.
O’Neill, however, insists he had not resigned as managing director and has been working as normal at the club this week, helping them organise Wednesday night’s huge Carling Cup clash with Premier League Newcastle.
"I haven’t resigned and I will make a statement soon," said O’Neill.
This summer Stanley suffered two transfer embargoes and there were also issues relating to the standard of the Crown Ground. A club source confirmed problems with paying wages and creditors.
O’Neill took over the running of Stanley from chairman Whalley and there has been a long running saga as O’Neill has tried to buy Whalley’s 51 per cent shares in Stanley.
The deal has never gone through with Whalley, chairman since 1995 and who led the Reds back into the Football League, still listed as owner with Companies House.
The day-to-day running of Stanley will now be in the hands of chief executive Rob Heys.
"I want to go on record and thank both Dave and Eric for what they have done at Accrington Stanley and I hope Dave does remain as a director," said Khan.
"We have three objectives - to ultimately find a new home, to increase the budget for John Coleman to bring in better players and to enhance the current stadium so that we can be that much more welcoming to visitors and fans."
Khan is now hoping the Reds can be run as a ‘community club’ and the first public meeting to see how this would work is to be held on Tuesday, September 14 at 7pm.