Wrexham FC in crisis as tax man wants paying

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A NUMBER of people have stepped in to lend money to troubled Wrexham FC to pay its tax bill.

On Friday HM Revenue and Customs hit the club with a winding up order because of a debt amounting to nearly £200,000.

Following the announcement it has been revealed that three or four parties have stepped in to lend the money needed to pay the bill.

One of those who is believed to have lent £50,000 interest free is former MP and lifelong Wrexham FC supporter John Marek.

Mr Marek told the Leader: “I’m 99 per cent sure there are enough of us, three or four, to be able to find the money and pay the money by May 11.”

The club is due to appear at a HMRC court hearing on May 11.

Mr Marek, who is also the prospective Conservative AM candidate in the forthcoming assembly elections, added: “I have lent them money before and the money has come back.

“When it has to be done we need people in Wrexham to do it.”

Meanwhile negotiations to purchase the club are still ongoing and both businesswoman Stephanie Booth and the Wrexham Supporters Trust say they are working on a bid.

Mrs Booth said she hoped a sale process could happen before any HMRC court hearing.

She said: “It may be that an agreed sale could be done by that date. We have had offers of help from several parties but they want to stay anonymous.”

The supporters trust is calling a special general meeting at 7.30pm tonight at Wrexham Lager Club to update members on the bid.

Speaking about the threat of a winding up order, Richard Owen, chairman of the Supporter’s Trust said: “This is a short term hurdle and we are very much focused on the long term and securing the future of the club.

“We want to focus on getting a bid in.”

Responding to the winding up order on Friday the club’s directors vowed to do “everything within their power” to secure the future of the club.

A statement said: “That HMRC should take this action at all is a source of great disappointment and frustration.

“The club ‘holds its hands up’ in full acceptance that this situation has been allowed to escalate and realises that football clubs in general understand that there now exists something of a zero tolerance relationship between them and HMRC.”

Bosses said cash flow problems were a “constant headache” and they needed 4,000 fans through the gates for each game to have a chance of meeting the current budget.

Owner Geoff Moss was unavailable for further comment.

See full story in the Leader

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