Wrexham playing budget could 'suffer' as ground lease leaves £200,000 shortfall

Wrexham's Racecourse Ground
Wrexham played their first game at the Racecourse in 1864

Manager Gary Mills admits his National League playing budget could "suffer" after Wrexham regained long-term control of its Racecourse Stadium home.

The club's board signed a 99-year lease on the ground which has been Wrexham's home for most of its 152-year history.

Glyndwr University has handed Wrexham owners, the club's Supporters Trust, control which has resulted in a financial shortfall of £200,000.

Mills said: "It's about what's right for the club and the way forward."

Wrexham have been working towards promotion out of the non-league since suffering relegation from the Football League in 2008.

But manager Mills added: "When you make the move like the football club have someone has to suffer a little bit and that's possibly me slightly. But that's not an issue to me.

"My job is to make sure I put a team out here to go and win a game of football."

Wrexham's off-the-field difficulties were eased in 2011 when the local Glyndwr University bought the ground and fans group Wrexham Supporters' Trust took over the club in a partnership agreement.

Gary Mills
Gary Mills succeeded Kevin Wilkin as Wrexham manager in April 2015

The trust board signed the Racecourse lease after fans gave their backing in a vote in March, which will see the football club take operational control of the world's oldest international football ground still in use.

Wrexham chief executive Don Bircham confirmed regaining control of the Racecourse Stadium had resulted in a shortfall of £200,000.

"People talk about income streams from having the stadium and that's great," Bircham said.

"Of course there's some significant costs associated with it but we look forward to the challenge.

"We've had a great start with season tickets and the fans have been as supportive as always so we've got money in the bag from that."

Mills hopes Wrexham regaining control of the Racecourse will be the start of a successful era for the National League club.

"It's a great move. I feel it's all going well and hopefully this is the start of something successful," Mills added.

Wrexham, who finished eighth in the National League in 2015-16, host Dover Athletic in their first game of the season on Saturday as they prepare for their ninth year outside of the Football League.

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