Wrexham FC: Rival bids for club

Image caption,
Both bids are for the club, Racecourse ground, and training facilities

Wrexham FC could see two different bids to buy the club by fan-based consortia.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) has confirmed it plans on tabling "a seven-figure sum" for the Blue Square Premier club, the Racecourse ground and Collier's Park training facilities.

It comes as local businesswoman Stephanie Booth pushes ahead with her plans for a fan-backed buyout.

Both insist they offer a chance for a community-led purchase of the club.

In a statement on the WST website, the trust says it has "indicative" offers of support ahead of a meeting with the club owners next Wednesday.

It says it follows "weeks of hard work and lobbying" involving trust meetings with Wrexham Council, the assembly government and local AMs and MPs to share its "vision for a community-owned football club and ground, run for and on behalf of the local community".

The trust added: "We have a crucial meeting planned with Wrexham Village next Wednesday but in the meantime ask anyone with the best interests of Wrexham Football Club at heart to back the WST."

Community shareholders

The WST announcement followed meetings between the hotelier Stephanie Booth and the trust on Thursday evening, along with Wrexham councillor and fan, Phil Wynn.

"Sad to say the WST have decided against everyone else's advice to pursue their own bid independently," Ms Booth wrote on a Facebook group site called "Back the Booth", after that meeting.

But she also insisted that her plans for a fan-based buyout would also continue.

She added: "In a phone call to Geoff Moss by Phil Wynn and myself we were able to state that every party with the sole exception of the Wrexham Supporters Trust will work with us to deliver a community structure that will if it succeeds guarantee that the football club not only survives but has security of the Racecourse for future generations to enjoy."

Ms Booth said she now wanted to see the backing of supporters, including raising match attendance at the club's ground from about 3,000 fans to 5,000.

Setting out her plans, she said the club would be owned by a broad base of shareholders, each share costing £100, with no one person allowed to have more than a 10% stake in Wrexham FC.

The stadium and grounds would be placed in a "community charitable trust" to "ensure it is owned by the community for the community", she said.

The businesswoman said the ground would also become a venue for "big shows and concerts using the money made from these to subsidise the football team".

She added: "Apart from the paid employees no director will receive any payment, no dividends to shareholders although they will enjoy benefits as a result of their investment.

"I want people to become involved because they want to support this great club."

'Appeal for calm'

The WST is also asking for supporters to back its bid for the club, asking fans to let them know how much they would be willing to invest in a community-led buyout.

The WST statement added: "With an important Crusaders match at the Racecourse this weekend we appeal for calm and call for fans to focus on raising as much money as possible for the WST-led bid ahead of our meeting with Wrexham Village next Wednesday."

It is holding a public meeting on Wednesday 14 March at William Aston Hall in the town, where the trust said it would outline its full vision for the club.

Responding to the WST stance on Friday, Ms Booth wrote on Facebook: "If the WST can raise the money, convince the owners to accept their offer and a majority of ALL fans back them then I will gladly stand aside."

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