The heat is on as more Wrexham FC fixtures called off

Reporter:

Rich Williams

More Wrexham FC games have fallen victim to the weather.

Wrexham, who have five games in hand on some teams in the Blue Square Premier, were due to travel to Barrow next Tuesday.

However, that game has been called off because Barrow's FA Trophy tie at Maidenhead will be played that night.

Wrexham have not played a competitive match since December 15 - four weeks today - and face a backlog of fixtures in the second half of the campaign.

On Saturday, Wrexham are due to host leaders Stevenage Borough but the Racecourse pitch is currently under a blanket of snow which is due to be moved from 10am tomorrow onwards for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow's Welsh Youth Cup tie against Prestatyn Town has also been postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Meanwhile, the club are desperate to ensure Saturday’s clash against Blue Square Premier clash against Stevenage Borough at The Racecourse goes ahead to end a month of inactivity.

The cold snap has caused havoc with Wrexham’s fixture list – the last six matches have been postponed meaning the Reds last played on December 15 when they lost at Altrincham in the FA Trophy.

Although more wintry weather is forecast this week, chairman Geoff Moss is hoping The Racecourse pitch – still covered in snow and frozen underneath – is passed fit and the game with leaders Stevenage survives.

“We are looking at the weather forecast and we have just got to decide whether to take the snow off the top or not,” said Moss.

“The groundsman will decide when to take it off and we will call for volunteers maybe at some stage.

“We are desperate for a game.”

Recent matches have been postponed because of frozen pitches and Moss revealed that the club is looking to buy covers in the future.

In the short-term, Moss expects covers to arrive to ensure forthcoming home matches – the Reds also entertain AFC Wimbledon the Saturday after next – and the first Crusaders’ rugby league fixture against Leeds Rhinos on Friday. January 29, don’t fall victim to the weather.

“We are investigating all types of covers,” said Moss today. “Carlisle are testing a duvet-style cover at the moment which is quite interesting.

“It is probably not going to happen this season, but in the interim because of the rugby league and Sky television, that game has to be on.

“So they are going to bring in covers. If it is not in time for this weekend’s fixture, hopefully they will be in for the following weekend’s game with AFC Wimbledon and cover the rugby as well.

“We are pro-active. I don’t know who is paying for it but it is not Wrexham Football Club.

“In the longer term, Wrexham are looking at investing in some form of covers which will be equally shared between the rugby and the football.”

The size of the Mold Road Stand means that side of the pitch receives less sunlight and takes longer to thaw, a problem Moss is looking to overcome.

“Eventually, and it would be further down the line, we would put some degree of see-through panels in the top of the stand,” said Moss. “But there is nothing we can do for the time being, although it depends on what kind of covers we go for.”

There was some good news for Wrexham who have played less games than anybody else in the division and have five matches in hand on some teams.

The Football Conference has given Blue Square Premier, North and South clubs earlier-than-due money to help them through the fixture-barren period.

All of the weekend fixtures were postponed and teams such as Wrexham have not played in the league since December 5.

Conference chairman Brian Lee said: “We have to do all we can during this spell of bad weather to ease the burden."

But the Conference says it is not concerned by a fixture backlog: “There is no panic among Conference officials at this time,” a press release read.

“There is still plenty of spare capacity in the fixture list for re-arrangements to be made for the fixtures already lost so far and those which it is known will be lost over the next seven days.”

Meanwhile, Moss is hopeful that Wrexham can strike a deal to sign a striker this week.

After having two bids rejected, manager Dean Saunders has made a third improved offer for the frontman who is his number one transfer window target.

Saunders is desperate to bolster his attack after seeing Wrexham average less than a goal a game in the first half of the season.

A number of strikers have been linked with Wrexham including Forest Green Rovers frontman Andrew Mangan, who has completed a five month ban imposed by the FA in July for breaching betting rules.

Talks are on-going between the two clubs and Moss hopes an agreement can be reached for the striker, who is out of contract in the summer: “Negotiations are still taking place,” said Moss.

“We were a little bit more optimistic yesterday than we were on Saturday. We are closer than we were then.

“There are other irons in the fire if it doesn’t come off. All I can say is we are working our butts off to bring in a player we think will be suitable for Wrexham.

“But negotiations with the club are not quite to our satisfaction and we have yet to agree the player’s personal terms. But he wants to come here.

“We are still trying to reach an agreement. We have made significant progress but we are still not there.

“We are not going to do anything that creates long term problems for Wrexham Football Club.”

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