Football: No match but rumour mill goes into overdrive

PUBLISHED: 07:46 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:09 28 May 2010

THE ABBEY ANGLE By DOMINIC GLENNON THERE were no games for Cambridge United this week due to the club already being knocked out of the FA Trophy, but plenty of news and rumour about the potential relocation of the club. First, John Howard, director of B

THE ABBEY ANGLE

By DOMINIC GLENNON

THERE were no games for Cambridge United this week due to the club already being knocked out of the FA Trophy, but plenty of news and rumour about the potential relocation of the club.

First, John Howard, director of Bideawhile, the company that bought the Abbey Stadium last year, made United's board members sign confidentiality agreements that they would not discuss plans to relocate until the AGM at the end of the month.

Then it was revealed that Howard had had a secret meeting with Milton Parish Council, believed to be about relocating the club to a new stadium built on the Milton landfill site.

As supporters demanded to be told the full story, United Finance Director Nick Pomery issued the following statement: "At present the club has not reached any agreement with Bideawhile to relocate, and has not yet received any formal proposal from them covering the terms they propose for any relocation or the future of the Abbey Stadium.

"At present we are therefore unable to give our support to any relocation plan. We have made the club's objectives in any deal clear to Bideawhile. In addition we have made Bideawhile an offer for outright repurchase."

Meanwhile, Cambridge Fans United, the independent supporters' organisation, issued a statement expressing concern at the level of secrecy in John Howard's plans, and urging him to step down from the CUFC board.

"CFU have issues about the roles that John Howard presently holds being Director of both Cambridge United (tenant at the Abbey Stadium) and Bideawhile (owner of the Abbey Stadium), they said.

"How can he be impartial and which hat is he wearing when talking or negotiating with other parties concerning Cambridge United? How can he fail to reply or respond to offers to re-purchase the Abbey Stadium made by the club in November last year? It appears to CFU that Cambridge United cannot progress until John Howard's conflict of interest is resolved and he is removed from the board."

n United will travel to league leaders Accrington Stanley on Saturday looking to complete a league double against the Lancashire side.

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