Cash benefits from play-offs are vital for the Dragons' survival

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

WREXHAM FC’s promotion dream could lie in tatters if a debt is not paid off, the club has warned.

In a week when Dragons bosses revealed that qualifying for the Blue Square Premier League play-offs was key to dealing with a winding up order from the HM Revenue & Customs over a £200,000 unpaid debt, the club could now face the prospect of being denied a chance to pursue a return to the Football League.

Club bosses have also indicated a failure to arrest the situation could ultimately spell closure and there is no guarantee they can reform in the English league system.

“We are concerned that the Football Conference may prevent Wrexham Football Club from participating in the play-offs, should the HMRC debt not be paid in advance (by May 6),” said a spokesman in a statement last night.

“Obviously, should the company be wound up or go into administration, it could lose its current league status and any phoenix club may be unable to apply to enter the English football hierarchy.”

The spokesman said owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts no longer had funds available to finance the club, despite remaining “heavily committed” to Wrexham FC.

He claimed the club was nearly £4 million in debt when it was taken over in 2006 and the owners had personally invested about £1.8m into the club since July 2009.

“Various attempts to sell the club have been made, with some still ongoing,” added the spokesman.

“However, no potential investors have yet been willing and/or able to commit to a deal.”

The spokesman says selling the Racecourse ground is the alternative option and interest has been shown.

But eviction would appear unlikely as the Crusaders’ rugby league team have a long-term lease to play Super League fixtures at the stadium and any sale “will not impact on their future”.

The spokesman also said Wrexham Village Ltd – a key development project involving the club and Glyndwr University – had so far borrowed £14m from bankers, owners and third parties to cover buying land, construction work and to cover losses, but the owners did not anticipate ever recovering all the money they had put into the Village scheme. “It will be many years before income from the student rooms [by the Racecourse] has paid off the debts of the company.”

- THE importance of protecting the Racecourse has been highlighted by prospective owner Wrexham Supporters Trust.

Safeguarding the stadium is a key component in the trust’s newly-approved framework for involvement in any takeover bid.

Members have also stressed the importance of the team being able to maintain their promotion push while coping with off-field issues.

Trust chairman Richard Owen said earlier this week: “The main concern is the effect things have on the players and [manager] Dean Saunders.

“We are full of admiration for the way Dean Saunders has run the club in these very difficult times.

“We hope this can be sorted out and we can maintain our promotion push.”

See full story in the Leader

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