The Non-League Football Paper

Frustrated fans step up the pressure for a Southport buy-out

A WEBSITE aimed at forcing change at troubled Southport has been launched to put pressure on the club to consider a buy-out attempt.

The site – www.backthebid.co.uk – is aiming to give Port, relegated from the National League last season, a fresh start.

Back The Bid are unhappy that an offer to buy the club by Phil Hodgkinson, a successful local businessman, and lifelong fan Nigel Allen was not considered.

A recent poll saw the duo backed by 96 per cent of the club’s supporters. The pair are wanting to change the face of the club and even help build a new stadium but claim their takeover attempt was ignored.

The bid has the backing of club legend Liam Watson and the website group hope to turn heads and ensure the buy-out is put back on the agenda.

Back The Bid demand change because, they say, the club has ‘had little success in recent years, the occasional cup run, but in the main consistently fighting relegation, a fight which was finally lost this season’.

They also say the huge turnover of managers and players has damaged Port’s reputation, and believe the club’s “dwindling” fan base have become disenchanted.

According to Hodgkinson and Allen, the club are at a crossroads and blame the lack of communication with fans or the supporters’ trust for creating a ‘closed shop’ environment.

Southport will seemingly be managed by Alan Lewer next season, with former England defender Mark Wright teaming up with the former Weymouth and Histon boss.

Lewer last week agreed a deal for ex-Eastleigh man Adam Dugdale, the 29-year-old defender who left Southport ten years ago.

“We’ve been pursuing Adam for a while. He wanted to move back up north and we’re very happy to have him,” he said.

“We want to get the spine of the team right, and we’ve got Adam at the back, Steve Jennings in the middle and Jack Sampson up top. We’ll be adding to that over the next few weeks but we’re very happy with where we are so far.”

And this week the boss has added midfielder Brad Jackson on a season-long loan from Burnley and former Shrewsbury goalkeeper Mark Halstead.

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