Category Archives: Fleetwood FC

Fleetwood Town owner Andy Pilley accused of fraud and money laundering and appears in court in Blackpool

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Fleetwood Town’s owner and chairman Andy Pilley appeared before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court this morning after being charged with fraud and money laundering offences allegedly involving his energy firm.

 

The 51-year-old’s sister, who also works for Business Energy Solutions (BES), faces similar charges, which followed an eight-year investigation by Trading Standards.

Prosecutor Denise Breen-Lawton told the court the “victims” of his alleged “multi-million pound fraud” were “small businesses”.

Mr Pilley, of Thornton, who has guided Fleetwood from obscurity into League One, runs BES, which is the club’s main sponsor.

Fleetwood Town's owner and chairman Andy Pilley arrives at Blackpool Magistrates' Court on the morning of Wednesday, September 22, 2021. He is charged with fraud and money laundering offences linked to his energy firm (Picture: Kelvin Stuttard for JPIMedia)

Fleetwood Town’s owner and chairman Andy Pilley arrives at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on the morning of Wednesday, September 22, 2021. He is charged with fraud and money laundering offences linked to his energy firm (Picture: Kelvin Stuttard for JPIMedia)

He is accused of running a business with the intention of defrauding creditors or others by allowing the fraudulent mis-selling of energy supply contracts.

He is further charged with money laundering, allowing fraudulent mis-selling by sales representatives, and being concerned with the retention of criminal property – specifically the proceeds from the mis-sold contracts.

Mr Pilley, who strongly denied any wrongdoing, faces a final charge of fraud relating to allegations he fabricated content about his own company’s successes on websites like MoneySavingExpert.com, Inspired Energy, and EnergiSave.

Lee Qualter, 51, of Holmefield Avenue, Cleveleys, faces one allegation of running a company with the intent to defraud.

Mr Pilley’s sister Michelle Davidson, 48, also of Holmefield Avenue, faces the same charge.

A fourth defendant, Joel Chapman, 37, of Kingston Road, Willerby, Yorkshire, is accused of aiding false representation by coercing staff to dupe customers.

He is also charged with intending a customer to cause a loss or be at risk of loss.

Prosecutors successfully applied for the case, which is expected to last for three months, to be heard at Preston Crown Court.

Mr Pilley, Mr Chapman, and Ms Davidson gave no indication of a plea.

Mr Qualter pleaded not guilty.

All were bailed to appear at the higher court on Wednesday, October 20.

 

 

Anthony Pilkington impresses Barry Nicholson with his calming influence at Fleetwood Town

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Anthony Pilkington can give a youthful Fleetwood Town side the benefits of his experience this season.

 

That’s the view of assistant boss Barry Nicholson, who singled out the winger for praise after Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Leicester City Under-21s in Town’s opening Papa John’s Trophy group game.

A summer signing following a season in India, Pilkington has featured in all seven Fleetwood games so far this season but has started only one of their five League One fixtures.

Anthony Pilkington's cool-headed play was a positive influence for Fleetwood's youngsters

Anthony Pilkington’s cool-headed play was a positive influence for Fleetwood’s youngsters

But the 33-year-old former Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town star can be a steadying influence in Fleetwood Town’s youthful side, and he certainly was playing from the start against the young Foxes.

Nicholson said: “He was chomping at the bit to get in the team and his performance was one of the better ones on the night.

“He showed some lovely touches. He always brings a calmness to our play and brings other people into play.

“His performance was excellent and I am sure he will be in the manager’s thoughts for the next game against Rotherham.”

But Nicholson believes Pilkington will be far from the only player to have given head coach Simon Grayson food for thought in Tuesday’s comprehensive Highbury win.

“All parts of the performances we are pleased about,” he added: “The start was important. We showed in the first five minutes that we were in control of the game and we went on from there.

“We probably would have liked to have played again off the back of this result,” added Nicholson, referring to the fact Town don’t return to action until a week on Saturday after Wigan Athletic called off this weekend’s scheduled fixture due to their international call-ups.

“But we have had a lot of games since the start of the season. It is a crazy schedule, so I am sure a few of us will be ready for a little break before we get back in to prepare for Rotherham.”

 

Fleetwood Town to talk with in-demand youngsters?

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Fleetwood Town head coach Simon Grayson expects talks to happen which tie down some of the club’s best young talent.

 

James Hill and Jay Matete both have just 12 months left on their respective contracts and have been attracting interest from elsewhere.

Hill is currently away with England’s U20s, a big achievement for the 19-year-old and the Cod Army as their academy product rubs shoulders with talents from some of the biggest clubs in the country.

Matete was the subject of multiple bids during the summer.

Fleetwood Town youngster Jay Matete has been the subject of interest from clubs Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

Fleetwood Town youngster Jay Matete has been the subject of interest from clubs Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

Fleetwood Town new boy couldn’t turn down Highbury move

Grayson feels Highbury is the best place for the young duo but admits the club possesses the safety net of compensation money should they depart.

He said: “The thing with those sorts of lads is that there have been discussions over the last 12 months anyway – and more recently as well.

“I’m sure now that the window has shut, there will be another opportunity to sit down because they know where they’re going to be now.

“There will be a lot of talks between players to tie them to long-term contracts. Ultimately, they are still under compensation next season if they do leave the football club.

“Given the bids that we’ve had in, that is at least a starting point or a benchmark for if players do leave in the summer and it goes to tribunal – if that is to be the case.

“For both of those players, younger players at this football club, there is no better place to develop yourself, learn your trade and wait for that right opportunity if you’re going to leave here.”