sport

Watkins: Ritchie sale necessary

Swindon say the sale of Matt Ritchie was necessary to secure the money to tide them over until their new owners are approved.

Majority shareholder Andrew Black exchanged contracts with a consortium to acquire the League One club on Wednesday and that approval is expected to arrive in the next few days.

Just hours after those contracts changed hands Ritchie was sold to Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee.

"The club was put in a situation recently when the principle shareholder Andrew Black said he wished to withdraw funding from the club,"Robins chief executive Nick Watkins told the Swindon Advertiser.

"We were then in a very compressed timeframe required to try to seek new investors for the club.

"Had we not been successful in finding new investors I think every one of you would be aware that the club potentially was faced with a major financial reconstruction, and that could have led to administration.

"Luckily we were successful in identifying new owners to take over the majority shareholding of the club but there is now a short period of time between the transaction and the Football League agreeing to the owners and directors tests.

"During that time there is a requirement to fund the club and it was agreed between the current shareholders and the prospective new shareholders that the way to achieve that was to accept an offer from AFC Bournemouth from Matt Ritchie."