Swindon Town Fanbase Make Huge Statement Against Owner

Swindon Town‘s end to the 2023/24 Sky Bet League Two season was underwhelming to say the least, with the club finishing 19th in the fourth tier, the worst-ever finish for the Robins in a league season.

Whilst there don’t seem to be too many positives coming from an on-field perspective for the club, their situation off the field seems to be worsening each day.

Coming up to the third year since taking over at Swindon Town, there is increasing concern amongst supporters if chairman Clem Morfuni is leading the club in a backwards direction, following a survey published this week from the Swindon Town Trust group, known as “Trust STFC“.

In March 2024 the club were fined £10,000 by an Independent Disciplinary Commission, for failing to declare a transfer of shares within the club, subsequently breaking EFL regulations. It was later revealed that shares were transferred to the wives of Chris Kiely and Eddie Parladorio and despite CEO Rob Angus saying at a fans forum event that these shares have been bought back, there is no published evidence to say that this is the case.

Morfuni after being charged took full responsibility for failing to disclose to the league any significant details of a shareholder and also failing to update the official club website for public record – A moment that completely contradicted what he had told the fans six months before.

And in January 2024 the club were charged again, this time £2,000 along with a transfer window restriction, meaning that Swindon Town were prohibited from paying or committing to pay any transfer fees during that window. This was a result of Morfuni paying the HMRC five days late in October 2023, not for the first time, as the Australian also was a week late to pay the same company in June.

The Australian businessman attended a fans forum in January and promised the supporters that there would be more communication from the people at the top end of the club to the people who pay to watch their team week in week out. Disappointingly, they have not heard from him since. Even when he visited the Town for a week, he did not produce any official interviews or articles to the supporters.

Dating back to May 2023, an official Swindon Town “fair game” document was released and outlines the fact that the club was £6 million in debt at the owner’s expense following the conclusion of the 2022/23 season, which sparked initial question marks as to if the club was in the right hands and running properly.

Morfuni started the new season by wanting to get the fans on board with his project, claiming that he was the full owner of the entirety of the club and had not and would not sell any shares to interested buyers.

We spoke to Tom as part of a Real EFL exclusive, a spokesperson for Trust STFC and Swindon Town fan expressed how a dreadful season on the pitch could have resulted in a lot worse for the club as a whole:

“If it wasn’t for the good start with Jake Young and Dan Kemp, we’d have been fighting relegation“.

The Robins have never been out of the Football League before, but there is a growing amount of apprehension around the club that if they continue to play how they did in the second half of the season, with just six wins from the start of December, they could be in real trouble next season. Loanee Dan Kemp winning Player of the Season, who left the club in January, perfectly highlights the awkward atmosphere around the club currently.

Trust STFC have highlighted their concerns about the ownership of the club following an online survey that they released on the 9th of May. Over 2,000 supporters answered to give their interests on a wide range of topics concerning the club, both on and off the pitch.

The worrying results showed just how severe the ownership crisis currently is, with 85% of fans “dissatisfied” with the leadership of the club and a staggering 84.1% of fans dissatisfied at the direction that the club is going in.

Those figures combined with over 35% of fans who took the survey either undecided or not renewing their season ticket next season, which could subsequently negatively contribute to the club’s finances. 

The survey has acted as the final nail in the coffin for Trust STFC, who have today released a letter of no confidence in the chairman and ownership of their football club, with the core of the text simple:

“Today, TrustSTFC, are declaring that we have lost confidence and trust in the leadership and ownership of Swindon Town Football Club in an open letter to the Chairman.

“We call for:

“- An immediate and significant investment in the form of money and recruitment of experienced personnel into the Club;

“- A clear and credible funding plan for the Stadium re-development; and

“- A commitment to complete transparency and honesty in more frequent communication.

“Alternatively, we are calling for the Chairman to seek and sell the Club to a new owner who can provide the investment to capture the incredible potential of Swindon Town Football Club before we lose our Football League status that we have enjoyed for well over 100 years.”

It is clear to see here that the fans are not asking for much. They just want to see their football club run properly. It is not a demanding letter that orders the chairman to leave, but one that they hope will open his eyes to see that the direction that the club is going in is not a good one, and if this uncertainty carries on into next season, there could be real trouble for the Robins

Speaking to Tom, he thought he spoke for a lot of Town fans when he said that a relegation battle could be on the cards next campaign if the crisis is not put to an end, and delivered an ultimatum that seems to be widely agreed with amongst the rest of the supporters

“We want Clem to either run the club properly or sell up”

With this letter of no confidence, you can sense a last chance for Morfuni to put things right and prove to the fans that he can be trusted ahead of the new season to steer the club in the right direction. Alternatively, it poses the chance for a real sour response to the supporters of the club that he owns the majority of.

You do feel like this could be the beginning of the end of the bad ways at Swindon Town with the owner now coming under all sorts of pressure and scrutiny from his own fans. The ideal solution would be a change of ways from the Australian to run the club properly before the club runs into more and more debt, and potentially even relegation.

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