North East Wales

Football conference seeks Wrexham FC cash answers

The Football Conference is seeking urgent assurances that cash-strapped Wrexham will be able to complete its fixtures in the coming season.

Around 115 staff at the club have not been paid including the players and two pre-season friendly matches have been cancelled.

Owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts say they have run out of money.

But they say there are no plans to take the club into administration unless a deal to sell it falls through.

Meanwhile, supporters have launched an emergency fund to try and raise money to pay the players.

Both the Welsh Government and Wrexham Council say they cannot provide financial assistance.

Wrexham Village, the holding company which owns Wrexham FC, also owns the Racecourse ground and the club's training facility.

Glyndwr University is discussing plans which could see it buy into the Racecourse with the Wrexham Supporters Trust buying the football club.

In a joint statement Mr Moss and Mr Roberts said: "The current sale has been on the go since May and the delay in completing has left us with a severe cash flow situation.

"Everyone is working hard behind the scenes to overcome the present difficulties.

"Despite certain myths, the current owners do not have the available cash to cover this current shortfall, until a sale is complete.

"This is likely to be a difficult couple of weeks."

"Matter of urgency"

The Football Conference said it had contacted Wrexham for assurances and awaited a response.

In a statement it said: "The Football Conference is concerned about on-going events at Wrexham Football Club and has requested, as a matter of urgency, that the club furnish full details of their position immediately."

Wrexham's pre-season friendlies at Colwyn Bay on Thursday night and at Vauxhall Motors on Saturday have been cancelled.

Wrexham's 2011-12 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign is due to get underway at the Racecourse against Cambridge on Saturday, 13 August.

The Supporters Trust said it was confident it could complete a deal to take over the club.

Meanwhile, it has given its backing to the Wrexham Supporters Federation which is appealing for fans to help pay the players' wages.

Trust chairman Richard Owen said: "Our constitution does not enable us to make donations to Wrexham FC without our members approval.

'Finest traditions'

"So this independent initiative by Wrexham Supporters Federation gives us the breathing space to continue discussions with all parties to secure the future of the club."

The club shares the same owners and Racecourse home as the Crusaders, whose withdrawal from Super League was announced on Tuesday. Crusaders players have been paid.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he was "extremely saddened and concerned" about Wrexham's situation.

"Wrexham has one of the finest traditions of any football club in the country and we believe it is critical that they are able to find a way forward and continue to create that tremendous sense of passion and community spirit for which they are famed," he said.

"Whilst we are unable to offer any direct financial assistance, we feel that the best way for the club to return to its former glories is for it to be run by people with its best interests at heart."

Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths has written to the Professional Footballers Association and the Football Association Wales asking them to offer assistance.

In a statement, Wrexham County Council said that it has remained consistent in its message to all parties - that it wishes to ensure that the Racecourse Ground is safeguarded as an international sports stadium for North Wales.

The council said it was instrumental in bringing forward the redevelopment of the Mold Road stand in the 90s and that it would continue to work with owners past and present to secure the redevelopment of the Kop.

"The immediate threat to the future of the Racecourse Ground could be overcome if negotiations between Glyndwr University and the current owners are successful," the statement notes.

Council leader Ron Davies said: "I have spoken to both parties to encourage them to reach agreement and I know that they are working hard to do this as soon as possible."

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