Club Statement | Winners Worldwide Takeover Deal Goes Through

Blyth Spartans is delighted to announce the final signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, transferring the ownership of the Football Club to Winners Worldwide, led by Irfan Liaquat.

This a milestone moment for Blyth Spartans, where the 24-year ownership under Tony Platten is transferred to Winners Worldwide, who are intent on progressing the club both on and off the field to the benefit of the supporters, the town, and the wider community.

Irfan Liaquat commented, “This is a great occasion. It’s so exciting for me and my team to finally close out the deal, and above all “picking up the baton” to take this famous football club to the next chapter in its history.”

“I can fully understand the frustration of the fans and all concerned with the Club in the time taken to get this over the line. Nevertheless, this bears testimony to our due diligence in understanding the financial and practical requirements to successfully run a football club at this level, confirming our capability to sustainably operate and further progress the Club to a 5-year plan.”

“It is our plan to raise the profile of Blyth Spartans by integrating into the community at all levels, including schools, social/support groups, junior football, local businesses, local authority projects, FA wellbeing/inclusivity projects, other outreach initiatives and not least, engagement with our supporters. This initiative will not only involve the town of Blyth but the whole of Southeast Northumberland.”

“On the business and operational side of the Club, we will engage with our existing sponsors, whose support over this transitional period is greatly appreciated. We will also engage with new sponsors ranging from a local level to international organisations. Without going into too much detail, there are many other commercial opportunities that can be built on or established. This can range from business sponsorship in exchange for services to the Club, increased advertising(ground and external), expanding on sponsorship opportunities and improved hospitality packages etc. Importantly, marketing and utilisation of all media platforms will be key to communications as well as promoting and selling the Club.”

“On the other side of the income stream, we have found a number of areas where leakages have been identified or costs can be saved. Addressing these issues also adds to the commercial sustainability of the Club.”

“It is our intention to run the club on a firm commercial footing. This ultimately translates to the quality players that the Team Manager can put out on the pitch, the level of support, and the success of Blyth Spartans. Allied to this, we appreciate the dedication and efforts of our volunteers, management, and staff who “make it happen on the day” andwithout whom the club could not function and look forward to their continuing support to make this a success. Importantly, we have a management team onboard at Winners Worldwide with a breadth of skills and disciplines that can be input into the key areas of the business – Onwards and upwards!”

Outgoing owner and Chairman, Tony Platten, reflected by saying, “It has been a roller coaster of a time at the club over the past 24 years. From leading the rescue of the Club in 2000, sourcing finances for ground improvements to maintain league status, enjoying epic FA cups runs (and the associated prize money!), relegation and promotion, all this leading up to our 125th anniversary and the sale of the Club. It’s also time for me to retire and enjoy a different way of life away from the football club. I, along with Kevin Scott, will still be on hand to carry out any maintenance jobs at Croft Park or any advice we can pass onto to Irfan and his team.”

“I would also like to pass on my gratitude and appreciation to all that I’ve worked with and who have been associated with the Club over the years, as well as the current staff, volunteers and of course our passionate supporters. Without them the club would not exist.”

“The future of Blyth Spartans does not just lie with Irfan and The Winners Worldwide team, who may I say have a greater band width, commercial acumen, and a community plan to make this club a success. It is also up to our existing regular supporters, the people of Blyth and the surrounding areas to support the Club by turning up in numbers. This is the main source of income for any non-league Club and is key to our future. On this subject, and to give you an order of magnitude, our previous financial model required average gates of 1,200 to provide the Team Manager with a suitable budget and the Club to at least break even. It is so important that you support the new ownership and the Club if we are to have a standard of football befitting to the town, the area, and its supporters, who of course are our most valuable asset.”

Spartans host Brackley at home this Saturday, in what proves to be a vital game if they want to stay in National League North. Tickets are available here!

Howay Blyth!

Posted by BSAFC Admin