Wrexham FC fans have raised £127,000 in one day to save their club from potential oblivion. Following financial difficulties the Football Conference had threatened to throw the Welsh club out of the Blue Square Bet Premier. However, this nightmare scenario has been avoided as Wrexham FC have been given the green light to compete.
A statement on the club’s website said: “Verbal confirmation from the Conference that we’re okay to proceed...after an amazing day at the Racecourse, during which the fans have just been tremendous, we have raised the amount required to satisfy the requirements of the bond.
“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming - which just showed once again what the football club means to so many people. The Conference still have a few minor issues to clear up, but this is not anything that will cause us to miss starting the season on Saturday. Loans have been coming in all day and reached a figure that satisfied the Conference.”
The Football Conference ordered the club to meet four conditions encompassing a £250,000 bond, proof of payment to past football creditors, detailed business plans, and a lease guaranteeing the club a home for the 2011/12 season.
The Dragons’ owners sold the Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park training facilities to Glyndwr University last week – a move which was welcomed by Wrexham Supporters’ Trust (WST). The University plan to share these facilities with the club which WST said was “a mutually beneficial partnership which paves the way for a vibrant, successful Wrexham Football Club.”
This settled three of the four conditions say the club, leaving the £250,000 bond issue as the remaining stumbling block. Wrexham FC co-owner Geoff Moss put up £150,000 of the total by Monday’s 5pm deadline, leaving the club £100,000 short. The club were granted a 24 hour extension by the Football Conference and, astonishingly, the shortfall was raised by fans in one day.
Carroll Clark, Chair of the Wrexham Supporters’ Association (WSA) and FSF Treasurer, said: “There have been some amazing donations, a Canadian fan sent £10,000, two guys turned up with the deeds to their property offering them as collateral, a 10-year-old lad came along with his £35 savings! Others offered up their life savings and it just goes to show how fans will stick together when the chips are down.”
Over the past 12 months the WSA has put £20,000 into the club to support various projects. The Football Conference also recognised the extraordinary lengths that supporters have gone to in order to save their club over the past days, weeks, and months.
“It is recognised by the Board of the Football Conference that over recent days a number of people, often under difficult and delicate circumstances, have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome,” said a Football Conference statement. “The fans of Wrexham FC, drawn from all walks of life, have gone far beyond the call of duty to their club. It would be wrong to single out individuals, so well done to all those who have contributed, in whatever way they did so.” Hear, hear.
The club had also been in negotiations with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs but co-owner Geoff Moss said he had put £500,000 into the club, settling tax and VAT bills, leaving it “virtually debt free”. The WST has convened a special meeting to take place on Thursday 25th August to ratify a possible takeover deal with the club’s current owners.
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