ACCRINGTON Stanley have quashed rumours that the Crown Inn’s landlord might be about to follow his predecessor by quitting the Reds’ pub.
But staff have had their wages cut, and live music nights and the quiz which has been running at the Whalley Road pub for five years have been scrapped, as Stanley bosses tighten their belts.
The cost-cutting measures had prompted rumours that landlord Martyn "Mo" Owen might walk out on the Crown, which the club has leased from Punch Taverns since June 2007, and there was even a "Save Mo" group set up on a social networking website.
Former Crown manager and Stanley stewardess Hazel Street quit both roles last spring after voicing her exasperation in front of the TV cameras on Granada documentary Accrington Stanley – Exactly.
But Stanley chief executive Rob Heys confirmed, following a meeting on Tuesday, that Mr Owen and his partner Tracey Treanor were going nowhere.
He explained: "We have been speaking to Mo quite a bit over the last few weeks about the ways we can reduce costs as the licensing trade is in decline.
"The Crown is still taking quite a bit of money and we’re happy that we’re running it, but as a small club we cannot afford to subsidise any part of the business.
"There have been an awful lot of rumours flying around and people asking why we have sacked Mo but people have got the wrong end of the stick."
Mr Heys added that in the near future they were hoping to introduce lunchtime food at the pub, which is very popular with Reds’ fans because of its close proximity to the Fraser Eagle Stadium.
Last May, just a month after taking over the Crown, Mr Owen had a narrow escape when a tree fell down in the beer garden in high winds while he was setting up for a party. And two months later he had his car stolen after a burglary at the pub.