GAINSBOROUGH Trinity owner Peter Swann will make a shock exit from the club at the end of the current season, over health reasons.
The chairman had been working hard on plans for a new stadium in the town, but confirmed on a supporters’ website this morning that he will step down from his role and relinquish ownership.
Swann’s departure will throw the Blues’ future into doubt, although he has vowed to finance them until the end of the season and leave them debt free.
He said: “It is with regret that from the end of the season I will be stepping down.”
“It is my health which has decided my future and one that has made me very sad, and only a few people know at the club.”
“The club is financed until the end of the season and will push for honours, and of course Steve and the players have my full support and will continue to be paid up until the end of their contracts.”
“When I leave the club it will have no debt, no overdraft and a secure lease, here at the Northolme.”
Swann cited ‘traumatic’ personal circumstances for the health problems that began in June, when he was rushed to hospital.
He explained: “Everone thought I had a brain hemorrhage. After scans, a lesion was found on the right side of my brain and diagnosed as a cavernoma.”
“I have recently come off medication and I am trying to get back to what I was doing, but I am finding it impossible and the headaches are reoccurring.”
“With the delay in the new stadium now taking it to a two year project, I just can not commit to two years and so had one last go at trying to secure tenure at the Northolme for the club and fans.”
“This again has been rebuffed by the (Blues Club) committee.”
“I need to spend time away from the club and will try and attend when I can, but my priority is my health and with some more scans and possible treatments ahead, it would be difficult to be full on at Trinity.”
Without Swann’s support, or the emergence of a new financial backer, it is unlikely Trinity could continue to challenge at the top end of the Conference North or maintain the current wage bill.
During his tenure he attracted former Aston Villa boss Brian Little to the club, before sacking him after two unsuccessful seasons.
Little’s replacement Steve Housham, a local man, led the Blues to the Blue Square Bet North play-off final last season and it is hoped they will put together another promotion charge this season.
Swann added: “I am hopeful that a new owner and chairman can be found for the club, although it is difficult to get investors in something you do not own, hence my last try.”
“I want to thank all those fans for their support over the last three years or so and hope to at least chat a few more times before the season is out.”