Not a grave future for Lilywhites!



MOSSLEY Football Club has been rescued from grave financial difficulties by local undertaker Steve Astley.

Mr Astley, whose company J Mills is Mossley's main club sponsor, is looking forward to the challenge of trying to revive the fortunes of the Lilywhites.

“I have stepped in because I cannot sit back and see 105 years of history and heritage disappear. I am trying to put something back into the area where I earn my living,” he explained.

Mr Astley (44) was invited on to the board by the current directors and installed as chairman after their financial difficulties were disclosed.

Several players were released, the remainder had a 50-per-cent pay cut and the management team of Gerry Quinn and Steve Graley agreed to do their jobs unpaid to help ease the troubles.

“It has been a rescue package because the club was effectively insolvent,” added Mr Astley, who has provided much-needed financial support in the short term.

“What the players and management have done has been gracious and a wonderful gesture. I have rectified that and have agreed a package and settlement with them.”

But looking to the future Mr Astley, who supports Manchester United, says he will be hoping to use his business expertise to bring in extra revenue with the aim for the club to eventually be self-financing.

Mr Astley added that he has been impressed with the set-up at Seel Park, especially the loyal band of volunteers who he says remain vital to the success of the club.

“I have come to Mossley as a friend but I am only one person and there is no way the club could survive without the off-the-field team we have here,” he continued.

Mr Astley added he is not prepared to make promises he may not be able to deliver, but says the goal is to eventually win promotion back to the UniBond League premier division.