You have to feel for fans of Weymouth FC, you really do. A couple of weeks ago we told you how they’d been saved from collapse at the 11th hour by businessman Stephen Beer, who agreed to put £300,000 into the ailing club.
Except the Terras are now back to square one after Beer suffered a stroke 30 minutes before the press conference where he was due to make his donation.
It now seems unlikely that Weymouth will see this money. In a statement, Beer’s wife said the businessman failed to realise the level of difficulty the club was in at the time and was worried he wouldn’t get a return on his donation.
While it goes without saying that everybody wishes Stephen Beer a speedy recovery, you do have to ask what exactly the man hoped to get out of the club if he was just intending to put a donation in. Which is, funnily enough, exactly what Weymouth fans are doing.
Much of the supporters’ ire is focused on Weymouth’s Chief Executive, Gary Calder, who brokered the deal. In doing so, Calder rejected offers from a consortium of nine local businessmen as well as a group headed by former chairman and journalist Ian Ridley.
Now it appears Calder will have to go back to either of these two groups, possibly accompanied by a large slice of humble pie on a plate. Even then it may be too little too late.
The £300,000 Stephen Beer was offering would have probably seen the club to the end of the season, but wouldn’t have cleared their debts, which are rumoured to stand at around half a million. It was clear from the outset that further investment was needed in the Terras, which makes Calder’s decision to dismiss the other two offers somewhat short-sighted and has wasted two weeks of much-ndeed money talks.
Calder, then, has become the fall guy of choice for Weymouth fans and it doesn’t appear that he has made some bad decisions. However, those Terras fans calling for his resignation has should take into consideration that, at the moment, Gary Calder is the only thing keeping Weymouth alive at the moment. If he goes, there will be no more Weymouth.
Since their 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Rushden and Diamonds, Weymouth have experienced defeat afetr defeat, although the performances have significantly improved.
But with no sign of any investment some of the players manager Alan Lewer persuaded to stay may have no choice but to leave. Lewer and assistant Marcus Browning, who’ve been working largely unpaid since Christmas, may also decide enough is enough.
Weymouth’s future now rests in the hands of the nine businessmen or Ian Ridley, and this future could well involve administration, voluntary relegation and even folding to form a new club further down the pyramid. All the hope surrounding the Wessex over the past 10 days has now been exstinguished.
The only crumb Weymouth can take from their current situation is that they don’t support fellow crisis club Lewes. But that crumb is tiny indeed.