Stephanie the choice to lead buyout bid

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

HOTELIER Stephanie Booth says she feels humbled to have been chosen to lead the bid for a community-based consortium to take control of Wrexham FC.

Now the process of trying to raise millions of pounds to help turn her proposals into reality is under way.

The decision by the club’s present owners to choose Mrs Booth as the co-ordinator of the community takeover was announced in a statement which she read out to the crowd shortly before kick off at Saturday's home game against Forest Green which Wrexham went on to win 2-1.

She told The Racecourse faithful the police had advised it was best if the owners themselves didn't make the announcement.

The statement said: “As you know, the co-owners of both Wrexham Football Club and The Racecourse said that the best solution is to transfer them both into a broad-based community ownership.

“Because of her reputation for openness and transparency, and her successful track record in several projects, we are asking Stephanie to co-ordinate these processes.”

In a rallying call to fans, Mrs Booth urged everyone to unite as one for the good of the club and its future.

“I am humbled by your faith in me. I hope that I can live up to your expectations,” said Mrs Booth.

“I promise to put both The Racecourse and Wrexham Football Club into a community-based ownership so that never again can one person or group of persons endanger them.

“I promsie that every penny that is earned by the ground and the club will be re-invested into the club.”

She added: “Now your club is safe, I want you to sit back and support Dean Saunders and his team because they are the best asset we have.”

Following the announcement Mrs Booth raised patriotic fervour by asking the crowd to stand and sing the Welsh national anthem.

Mrs Booth has outlined her plans for Wrexham FC’s future in an information sheet, with thousands of copies being made available at Saturday's match.

It highlights the stark financial situation facing Wrexham, stating: “The club will lose somewhere around £750,000 this year, so I need at least this amount to cover this year and the same again to give me the 12 months it will take to make it profitable.
“£500,000 is needed for capital expenditure and improvements, so we are going to spend a total of £2 million.

“Although The Racecourse and Colliers Park training ground will require independent valuations my best guess is we will not get it for less than £2 million.

So I have to raise £4 million as a minimum and ideally £5 million to provide a safety net. As I stated publically no person can own more than 10 per cent and that includes me so I need a lot of investment.

“Although this limit restricts my shareholding, I know that I will need to inject other money on a short-term basis which will be made on an interest free loan basis repayable when the club is able to.

“I need to know that all fans are prepared to support the team through this difficult time so I am asking all fans that can afford it to make a donation of £100.”

The infomation sheet goes on to cover a range of other issues including details on shareholding arrangements.

There will be three groupings available – class A will need to invest a minimum of £50,000; class B £10,000; and class C £1,000 - with a range of benefits on offer.
Mrs Booth is planning an open evening to meet investors and answer questions.

Mrs Booth added that every genuine fan needs to support the bid and she will only do it if 5,000 supporters want her to.

She plans to arrange a star-studded event at The Racecourse as soon as possible.

See full story in the Leader

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