The plan is to establish a supporters’ trust akin to FC United and run on the principle of one person, one vote. In the meantime, talks are to take place with Gary Lowe with a view to retaining him as manager.
Lowe’s initial agreement ended after the final league game last Saturday. The Hyde board are acutely aware of the need to have a manager – preferably Lowe – in place as soon as possible to start building for next season when the Tigers will be playing in the Evo-stik League.
Today’s announcement came as a surprise to many. In recent months speculation has been rife at Ewen Fields that a consortium of London lawyers was negotiating to buy Manship’s “A” shareholding with a view to developing a sports centre similar to Stockport Sports Village in Woodley.
Hyde chief executive Pete Ainger explained: “Jon Manship told a board meeting last summer that he was finding it hard to run the football club and his record business. There has been a huge upsurge of interest in rare soul vinyl, especially after the release of the film ‘Northern Soul’, and he has been very busy.
“Jon told us he had given it five years and was looking for some down time. He’s 62 now and it’s a long round trip to Hyde and back to his home in Leicestershire.
“He said he wanted to relinquish the club and while he wasn’t going to give it away he wanted to make sure it went into the right hands. Over the last year Jon has received two six-figure offers and turned down both.
“Now it’s up to the fans to rally round and they need to bear in mind that whatever happens Jon won’t be putting anymore money in. Hyde FC has to stand on its own feet. There is no longer any safety net.
“In his time with the club Jon has put in almost £500,000 but now is prepared to let the supporters take ownership for a considerably smaller sum. In my opinion he’s being very generous.”
A ring-fenced account has been set up called Hyde FC Community Programme which is entirely separate to the football club and supporters’ club. Full details are available at www.hydefc.co.uk Fans wishing to pledge money can also e-mail Allan Kenyon - email@example.com
Ainger added: “I hope there are enough of us to put money in. I know Hyde’s not an affluent area but it does have a lot of well-meaning people and it would be good if our 40,000 Twitter followers could get involved. We also need to sell season tickets.
“The £50,000 is just to pay Jon Manship. We also need money to run the club and that’s more difficult now that the Manchester City deal is about to end.
“I also need to stress that there’s more to it than players. We’ve got maintenance, gas, water, electricity and tax to pay for. When we set up the trust the supporters will see what it’s like to try and balance the books.
“But there are a lot of positives on the way. We hope to pursue the sports village idea and I’m grateful that Tameside Council are being very supportive. The FA have indicated they have no objection to us going back to the name Hyde United and that should be approved by the FA Council on May 19.”
The plan for a 4G pitch at the Walker Lane end remains in place. However, costs have increased over the four years since the application was lodged.
Ainger said: “It began as an eight-point application, disappeared into a void, was rediscovered with the help of Lord Pendry and then had to go back in as a 38-point plan.”