Higgs acts in Pitmen takeover deal

15 March 2024

Leading West Midlands law firm Higgs LLP has played a key role in the takeover of one of the region’s oldest and best-known football clubs.

Higgs LLP acted for buyers Craig and Amanda Gwilt in the full acquisition of Hednesford Town Football Club, along with the Keys Park stadium.

The takeover deal has been ratified by the Football Association, allowing the Gwilts to complete the purchase from former owner Hayden Dando.

It is a huge boost for the loyal Pitmen fans, who have endured a tough season on the pitch in the Northern Premier League West Division.

Joel Nixon, who joined Higgs in December, led on the deal, assisted by Johnathan Hunter and Sarah Bradford.

As well as guidance on the buy-out, Higgs advised on property and employment matters.

Grant Thornton provided financial due diligence and tax support on the transaction, with services led by Jon Throup and Dan Hartland, who were supported by Samantha Phipps and Jack Newton.

Joel said: “We were delighted to assist on this takeover deal, which will be significant and welcome news to the many supporters of Hednesford Town. It has been fantastic to work with clients who are so passionate about their acquisition.

We used our experience of football club takeovers to navigate the FA approval process, including evidencing the longevity and stability of the club moving forward, investment plans of the buyers and giving assurances that the stadium will continue as the home of the club.

I am very pleased that we could demonstrate that Craig and Amanda are in a fantastic position to run the club properly as an ongoing concern and bring the ownership of the club and stadium back under one roof.

It’s great news for the Black Country – and we are proud to be involved.”

Jon Throup, Partner at Grant Thornton, said: “It was a pleasure to support Craig and Amanda on this transaction, and I look forward to following the Club’s progress on and off the pitch under their ownership.”

Hednesford Town Football Club, formed in 1880, has been under financial strain and were said to be “hours from collapse” as recently as December.

Craig Gwilt, a director at Birmingham-based video games company Facepunch Studios, said: “I’m a massive football fan at heart and this club is something special. I fell in love watching my first game here and as a fellow Pitman, I know we will bring the glory days back.

Higgs has been a brilliant partner in helping us throughout this whole process and I'd like to thank Joel, Johnathan and the rest of the team for all of the advice, guidance and professionalism throughout. I know we will continue to work together for many years to come.”

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