North East Wales

Wrexham FC owner reassures fans and invites offers

Wrexham FC and Stephanie Booth
Image caption Hotel owner Stephanie Booth is meeting the club's owner on Thursday

Wrexham FC owner Geoff Moss has tried to "counter newspaper headlines and to reassure fans" the club does not face imminent administration.

He said the club continued to operate and still hoped for promotion to the Football League.

Mr Moss, who is selling the club, wants all interested parties to contact him, but warned "time is of the essence".

Local hotel owner Stephanie Booth said she was due to meet Mr Moss to discuss a possible purchase on Thursday.

Ms Booth owns a chain of hotels and has been the subject of a fly-on-the-wall TV series, Hotel Stephanie.

She said she believes the Racecourse should be owned and managed by the community and would consider buying the club if the sale was done "properly, openly and honestly."

She told BBC Radio Wales that she had bid to buy the club when it was in administration several years ago.

Ms Booth said the Racecourse ground needed to be "multi-use", adding: "It needs to have shows, concerts, as well as rugby, and that subsidises the football."

Referring to her current interests, she said she ran a "swathe" of businesses.

She said: "None of them are football clubs but the problem is clubs call them [supporters] 'fans' - I would call them customers and Wrexham hasn't been customer-focused, it hasn't done what the fans want it to do."

On Wrexham's failure to stay in the Football League, she said: "That's the vital part of it but you cannot do that unless the club's financially viable and at the moment Dean [Saunders] and the squad are probably more worried about what's going on off the pitch than on the pitch."

Mr Moss said he and club chairman Ian Roberts had "got the message" that fans wanted them to leave, and said "we are acting on that as quickly as we can".

He added: "Obviously, with my decision to stand down, it is clear that I will not continue to fund the club.

"We have been open with potential purchases [sic] that investment needs to be made in the short term, in particular to fund the playing squad we assembled to make that push for promotion.

'Time, money and effort'

"But that is standard with any takeover.

"Big games at the next few home games will boost the players on the field and will financially assist any incoming owner."

Mr Moss said he would prefer to sell to a fan-based consortium, and has held talks with Wrexham councillor Phil Wynn, who is trying to assemble a consortium.

The Wrexham Supporters' Trust has said it is also in discussions with the local authority and wants to put together a community-based bid.

He added: "I have invested a lot of time, money and effort into the club over the last few years and I am hoping for promotion as much as anyone and I want to be able to hand the club on to someone or a group who will positively benefit the club.

"That is perhaps most likely with ownership by fans or a fan group, but any new owners will at the very least want to enjoy the support of the fans.

"If anyone feels that they have the best interests of Wrexham FC at heart, is able to invest in the necessary areas and can command significant support, then I would be pleased to sit down with them and talk about a sale, whether that be with Phil Wynn, the Wrexham Supporters' Trust, Stephanie Booth or anyone else.

"To use the analogy of a house sale, I have put the club on the market and the accountants are preparing the particulars. It is now up to interested parties to contact me."

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