Off-the-field capers are making us a laughing stock

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

FANS have reacted angrily to news that former Chester City boss Stephen Vaughan was part of a consortium set to take over Wrexham FC.

In an exclusive Leader interview yesterday, the businessman revealed he was a stakeholder in Van Morton Investments, the company granted an option to buy the club.

Lindsay Jones, of Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST), described the news as “a nasty shock on a Monday morning”.

He added: “The lads are doing their best on the pitch and off the pitch seems to be an absolute circus – it’s a laughing stock.

“We urge the owners of Wrexham to give some thought about who to sell to, that will be their legacy.

“Mr Vaughan’s track record is a matter of public record record.

“There is anger as much as concern.”

Mr Vaughan became owner of the now-defunct Chester City in 2001 and took the club to victory in the Football Conference three years later.

But financial problems followed and, in 2009, ownership eventually transferred to Stephen Vaughan Jnr, Mr Vaughan’s son.

Stephen Vaughan Snr was later disqualified from acting as a company director for 11 years following his alleged involvement in a £500,000 VAT fraud.

Cllr Phil Wynn, who recently called for Wrexham Council to consider taking over The Racecourse, said of the latest development: “It will be a sad day for the fans if they are not given the opportunity to take over the ownership of the club and the historic football ground.

“The possible involvement of somebody associated with the demise of a proud football club such as Chester City is bad news.

“I hope politicians in this area take note of this and The Racecourse is secured for the sporting fans of North Wales.”

One of Wales’ premier historians has also spoken of the importance of preserving Wrexham’s famous Racecourse ground.

Professor John Davies was a guest speaker at yesterday’s official re-opening of Wrexham Museum & Archives following a £2 million facelift.

During his speech he referred to the importance of Wrexham and the Racecourse to the rich football heritage of Wales.

And he told the Leader: “The preservation of the ground is very important. I believe it was the first ground in the country to be built as a dedicated venue for football.

“No doubt the current problems with the club are financial but that is something which is shared by many of clubs at the moment.”

- A WREXHAM match was featured in prime-time BBC1 series Hustle. The show featured footage including a goal by Andy Mangan.

The clips related to a plot in which match footage was re-edited for a con involving a dodgy football agent.

See full story in the Leader

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