Owner pledges another £1.5m to U's

COLCHESTER United chairman Robbie Cowling has agreed to plough another £1.5m into the Essex club.Cowling took over from Peter Heard as the new club owner in September of last year, before succeeding Heard as the U's chairman before the start of this season.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United chairman Robbie Cowling has agreed to plough another £1.5m into the Essex club.

Cowling took over from Peter Heard as the new club owner in September of last year, before succeeding Heard as the U's chairman before the start of this season.

The £1.5m to be invested is part of the original takeover, and it should stand the U's in good stead as they hope to retain their Championship status to coincide with next season's move from Layer Road to the new Community Stadium.

United have called an Extraordinary General Meeting to authorise this increase in the share capital of the company by £1.5m, and the issue of 1.5m non-voting shares to be purchased by Cowling.

And the U's supremo also revealed last night that he was going to release a similar amount of money to the club next year.

Most Read

“In addition to the money I paid at the time, I agreed to make an investment of £1.5m a year down the line, and another one of a similar amount a year later (2008),” explained Cowling.

“It's not that Colchester United is in desperate need of investment, because it's on a sound financial footing, as it was when I took over.

“It's money for the long-term future of the club, although the money is already there for George (manager Geraint Williams) to spend whenever he wants.

“George knows that I back his judgement. He's not frivolous, and he's very loyal to his current players. He made a lot of astute buys over the summer, and they have all bedded in well. They are all performing.

“We can't do a lot more for the club at the moment. The development of the new ground is going well, and the team are continuing to defy the odds in the Championship.

“It's just over a year since I became the new owner, and I've really enjoyed it.

“Last season was just amazing (10th place finish). We knew that this season would be a difficult year, but once again the team is faring well.

“I don't think that we've had the rub of the green at places like Ipswich (3-1 defeat) and Coventry (1-0 loss). They're bigger clubs than Colchester, with bigger stadiums, and we'll learn a lot more from this weekend's trip to leaders Watford,” added Cowling.

With reference to the terms of the new investment, Cowling said: “Both Peter Heard and I were, and of course, remain anxious to secure the long-term future of the club at the highest possible level.

“As part of the arrangements I made with Peter Heard to take over the club, I agreed to make further investment into the club. This £1.5m is part of these arrangements.

“The club has no immediate need for additional capital at present. The shares that will be issued to me are 'non-voting' and so the voting rights of all existing shareholders will not be affected.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter