Wrexham Crusaders’ survival hopes boosted

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Staff reporter

Super League club Crusaders could be up and running again within a fortnight after successfully ring-fencing their inherited debt.

The Wrexham-based rugby league outfit went into administration on Friday after being unable to pay their growing list of creditors.

The bulk of the club’s debt was a legacy of the previous south Wales-based administration and was overlooked during the hastily-made move to Wrexham 12 months ago.

That debt grew into a millstone around the club’s neck but the directors of Wrexham Village, the parent company of Wrexham FC who bought the Celtic Crusaders last year, are expected to conclude a deal with the administrators by the end of the month that would see them relaunch the club debt-free.

“It’s early days, but in simple terms we will be looking to sell the club’s assets so that it can continue,” said joint administrator Simon Weir of O’Hara & Co.

“I have already had approaches from two sets of interested parties.

“We are looking to complete the sale by the end of November.”

The administrators say they are fairly sure the club will stay in Wrexham.

Speaking on behalf of the Crusaders Supporters Club, Maurice Jones said: “It’s very sad but I think it’s not the end of the world.

“The administrators are positive and they have said they are going to keep the team and that is a good thing.

“They have got a good ground and a good fan base.

“The Racecourse has got good facilities and we need the fans to stand behind the club now to make sure we have a really good season.

“The club will continue to run and the games are still going ahead. They signed two players this week.”

Ian Hunter, who has supported the Crusaders since the club came to Wrexham a year ago, said: “It’s a bit devastating because I’ve paid for a season ticket next year and I’m not sure where I stand with it.”

The new club, which could be called Welsh Crusaders, is likely to start next season with a deduction of up to six points after falling foul of the Rugby Football League’s insolvency rules.

But, crucially, the club will still be allowed to apply for one of the next round of Super League licences that will be awarded from 2012.

That follows a recent meeting of Super League representatives who voted to change the rules that had previously disqualified any club entering administration
from any subsequent application, a fate which befell Widnes in 2008.

The RFL are keen to build on the interest generated by the club’s move to North Wales and also the success of the national team under coach Iestyn Harris, the newly-appointed Crusaders boss.

The winding-up petition that had been brought against the club by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and other creditors earlier this week and deferred until next
Wednesday, has now been dropped.

See full story in the Leader

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