Millionaire helps directors secure Non-League Paper

Emery: ‘optimistic’ enough to introduce a Friday edition of the paper

The Non-League Paper has been saved by a management buyout and an injection of cash by multimillionaire Chris Ingram.

Under its new ownership, the paper is to get a Friday edition and a Welsh edition.

Three of the former directors of Non-League Media, which went into administration in June, and three members of staff have put their own money into a new company, Greenways Media. With the addition of the lion’s share of the capital from Ingram – former chairman of the Tempus media buying group – through his new investment company, Genesis, Greenways made the highest bid – said to be about £500,000 – for the  football newspaper’s assets.

None of the five journalists is being made redundant and the paper will retain its office in Archway, London, while the head office in Wembley will close.

Contributors have been guaranteed payment during the three-month administration period, but any historical debt will be subject to whatever administrators Hurst Morrison Thomson can secure for non-preferred creditors.

The three directors involved are David Emery, managing director and editor-in-chief, Jonathan Stobart, finance director, and Steve Ireland. None of them has been paid for a year because Non-League Media and former chairman Geoff Gutteridge became embroiled in a row over £272,000 missing from the company.

Emery said contributors had been very supportive of the paper: "They understand our problems and that we have done our best to bring it through. We have all lost a lot of money. We have not had wages for a year. We are not sure whether we are going to get any of the money [that Gutteridge transferred] back.

"But I am very, very delighted [with the deal] because in lots of ways it secures the paper and all the journalists who have worked so hard to keep it going through a bad time.

"The last year has been horrible. We have been treading water, just getting the product out week by week, wondering what’s going to happen. At least now our fate is in our hands and we can face it with some optimism.

"I want to start a Friday edition in early November, which will cater for the midweek matches and preview Saturday and Sunday games. The Welsh edition is likely to start before then." Emery will look for another sub-editor and more freelances for the Friday edition.

Sales of The Non-League Paper average 51,000 a week. Greenways will also take over the women’s football magazine She Kicks, the Non-League Magazine and the annual Non-League Directory.

Ingram has recently bought non-league football team Woking FC.

By Jean Morgan

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