By Dave Woodhall.
It seems that there has been a reprieve for Halesowen Town. After it was revealed last week that owner Graham Ingram had refused to back them any further comes news that the club has been sold. Despite the club’s website refusing to reveal his identity, Staffordshire businessman Steve Lynch has been named as the new owner of Halesowen Town FC.
Little is known about Mr Lynch, who is believed to be semi-retired and to have had some previous experience of non-league football. His arrival has met with the cautious approval of supporters group the Yeltz Trust, whose chairman Gary Willets told the Press that he first spoke to the prospective owner on Saturday night, just hours before the Trust AGM at which members were expected to approve the formation of a new club.
There can be little doubt that the prospect of this new club being formed in time for the start of next season forced the hand of Graham Ingram, who is believed to have been in negotiations with Lynch for several months. Willets said of the new owner, “He wants to work with the Trust and involve the whole community in the club. He’s made the right noises so far; he seems to be talking sensibly and realistically.”
Given the uncertain nature of events at Halesowen over the past few years there is understandable caution amongst supporters, and the Trust AGM which took place on Sunday saw members give the go-ahead to continue plans for a new club. However, these proposals are expected to be put on ice pending further discussions with the new owner, who is due to meet with Trust directors this week and has already agreed to an open forum at a later date to which all supporters of the club will be invited.
Let’s hope that this optimistic mood will prevail and the future of one of the oldest clubs in non-league football can be assured.