Stephanie Booth today (Thursday, February 24) issued this statement on the future of Wrexham FC.
"WREXHAM FOOTBALL CLUB
I first became involved with the Club several years ago when it was trading in administration. Over several months looking at the business and talking to fans before home games, I put together a detailed proposal.
At the time Cliff Finch denounced it as rubbish and allegedly threw it across the boardroom and subsequently our bid which was one of three submitted failed with the club going to Geoff Moss and Neville Dickens. We were somewhat surprised as Nev had said quite openly that he would only be involved until the property deal had been done.
When we walked away I wrote down a prediction of how I thought it would play out and it has faithfully followed my predictions until we now face a repeat of the financial crisis.
I can clearly state what our plan was back then but of course much has happened following the creation of Wrexham Village and the banking crisis and before I can update the original ideas or produce a completely new vision I need to understand where we would be starting from. This will require the cooperation of the current owners as we undertake the due diligence process.
So here is my original plan which may or may not now be relevant.
As the only major stadium in North Wales the assets should be owned by the community to prevent any individuals selling off assets or reaping any personal financial reward, in fact if it operated as a charitable institution then investments by fans would qualify under the governments gift aid scheme which would add 28p to every pound donated.
I would expect WAG and Wrexham County Borough Council to be involved with the club as Wrexham is the only league team in North Wales with a large stadium. Fans need to buy in to their dream both financially and with by their support at matches both individually and via support groups such as The Wrexham Supporters Trust. The more widely the shares are distributed the less likely it is that any one group could exploit the club or its assets. The fans must have representation on the board
The Business Model
If Richard Branson ran his planes on the same model as WFC he too would go bust. An expensive asset which the Racecourse is needs to be used more intensively for shows, exhibitions, conferences, concerts etc which will generate income that can be used to support the football team. Originally we had Elton John lined up to star in our opening launch party and we have the contacts to make this happen.
This year we are bring Jennifer Ellison to Theatr Stiwt as a judge for the WreXfactor talent competition we are running in conjunction with The Wrexham Leader. We have Jason Donovan and other stars such as Sonia lined up for Dee Valley Events productions this year.
We need to be as passionate about making the club financially as we are for Dean and his team to win on the field because only then will we guarantee the long term finacial viability of Wrexham Football Club. How they have managed to concentrate on playing football with all of this going on is beyond me and I think we all need to let Dean and his player how proud we are of them.
The way I run all of my enterprises whether it be for profit, charity and even chairing The Wrexham Chamber of Trade & Tourism is with total transparency and my personal viewe is that is the way WFC should be run.
In this day and age there is absolutely no reason that a club cannot engage in 2-way communication with its fans (who are remember its customers) We would look to send out a weekly e-mail newsletter, maintain a dialog via Facebook and Twitter, undertake surveys pre-match. As a business, we need constant feedback to ensure that we are meeting the demands and expectations of the supporters.
Although employed staff have to be paid, no director or shareholder should expect financial reward and the income generated either by catering, tickets sales needs to be kept in the club to guarantee its long term viability. This will ensure that anyone involved is a true supporter and donates their time and/or money for the right reasons.
As soon as I have gathered the necessary information regarding the present situation of the club, it’s assets and liabilities I will tell the world. No more secrecy, no more cronies, no more backroom deals with me you get exactly what you see like it or not.
Stephanie Booth – 24th. February 2011"