New Reds boss: ‘I’ve had a passion for football all my life’

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

A DREAM come true and unfinished business.

That is how the new chairman of Wrexham FC describes taking over at the helm of the club.

Software businessman Robert Bickerton told the Leader he is a man driven by a passion for football and wants to be a part of Wrexham’s success story.

The Blackpool-born 51-year-old says he intends to take up all three options of ownership of the club, The Racecourse ground and Colliers Park training ground - although he stresses that at this stage he can’t give a timescale on when the purchases could be completed.

Mr Bickerton said: “I have a passion for football - I have been watching the game all my life.

“I want to help a club in any way that I can to be successful. I am prepared to give the energy and effort.

“My reward would be participation in success, that is my motivation.

“I have been away from involvement in football for 18 months and there is unfinished business. I am doing this because I want to, my personal circumstances allow me to do it.”

As part of the new regime, Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts are stepping down from the club’s board and will become vice-presidents.

Tony Allan is coming in, taking on responsibility for running the club as chief executive.

Mr Bickerton said: “He has many years of involvement in running football clubs, with tremendous experience.”

Mr Allan began his administrative career with Notts County and has also served Wigan Athletic, Chester City and Port Vale as secretary.

Mr Bickerton’s own ties with football include serving on the board of directors at Macclesfield Town FC in the roles of finance director and chairman, and also on the board of Shrewsbury Town FC as managing director.

Mr Bickerton pledged he wants to be inclusive in the way Wrexham is run and said he knows how important the team is to the community.

“I can put my hand on my heart and say my motives for the club are true.

“Trust is everything in my business and personal life - I understand that has to be earned.

“We are looking forward to meeting supporters and all parties that are interested in the destiny of Wrexham.

“We welcome support and opinion. We will listen and talk with them.”

Mr Bickerton said he did not want to go into details about Dean Saunders, but he stressed: “I want promotion but that is down to the manager and the players on the pitch. I can say they are doing a good job.”

Many fans have expressed disappointment that the overall business deal involves an option to buy the club as soon as possible, with the Racecourse and training centre to follow at an unspecified date.

They fear Wrexham FC will lose control of its beloved stadium, which represents the heart and soul of the club.

But Mr Bickerton said: “I can’t stress more strongly this is not about only purchasing the club, it is about all three options. To get to where we want to be we have to secure all three.

“But this is day one - we only started yesterday. As and when things develop we will let people know.” 

MEMBERS of Wrexham Supporters’ Trust have raised hopes their organisation may be given the opportunity of buying the Racecourse ground.

Spokesman Lindsay Jones said he has had an initial discussion with Robert Bickerton about the businessman’s takeover bid for the club.

Mr Jones said: “It has been indicated they could be favourable towards the trust purchasing the freehold of the stadium.

“We take this as a positive sign towards the prize of a community owned asset and are looking forward to discussing it with them more fully when we have a meeting.

“Obviously this is a very sensitive time and many people are feeling concerned about the takeover.

“There have been a large number of disappointments over recent years. I’m learning quite a lot about the business world through following Wrexham FC.

“There are people who are looking at this takeover deal and asking why the club is being purchased without the Racecourse ground.

“The trust has issues which we are seeking clarification on, one of the most important of which is full details on the company behind the deal and who is backing them.

“The fans are entitled to look at what has been happening at Wrexham and ask just what has been going on at the club, how have we got to this point.”

See full story in the Leader

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read