Supporters’ Trust moves closer to taking over Reds

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

WREXHAM FC could be only days away from being bought by the club’s supporters.


A dramatic statement issued yesterday afternoon by the club and Wrexham Supporters’ Trust (WST) revealed fresh talks were held between the parties on Monday.


Representatives of the Trust, owner Geoff Moss and new managing director Jon Harris discussed the terms of a deal which would see the club, Colliers Park training ground and the Racecourse Ground moving into the ownership of its supporters and the community.


The statement adds that following the meeting the two sides are now hammering out details of an agreement which could be concluded by Friday.


The statement says: “WST is hopeful the outcome of these negotiations will result in an exciting new dawn for the club.”


It also stresses any deal will be subject to approval by WST’s members at an extraordinary general meeting, likely to be called early next month.


“For the avoidance of doubt Colin Poole will have no involvement in the deal,” the statement adds.


Further details are due to be given at a press conference on Friday.


This latest development in the long-running saga of the Blue Square outfit’s ownership came just a day after controversial businessman Colin Poole withdrew his financial backing – thought to be about £2 million – for Jon Harris’s takeover bid.


He claimed he was subjected to abuse over his involvement by a group of people who confronted him at his luxury home near Shrewsbury.


WST spokesman Terry Heath said yesterday: “We met on Monday night for our discussions with Geoff Moss and Jon Harris and we are going through the details now.


“Until we get the nitty gritty sorted out we can’t really say anything else at this stage.
“However, I would say that it looks quite positive and very hopeful.”


Asked if the WST would be going it alone to buy the club, Mr Heath said: “At this moment in time, yes, although we are open to offers of financial assistance.”


Jon Harris, who only nine days ago announced he was to be the new owner of Wrexham FC, now faces an uncertain future.


He said yesterday: “We will just have to see what the future holds for me.
“I am considering my options but there is a whole new set of circumstances.


“The problems were never going to go away until the Trust were in situ at the club and I think it is a sensible decision to give them a free rein.”


Speaking about his own bid he said: “I believed the best opportunity for the club was for us to have worked together and Colin Poole would only have been in a peripheral role.


“But it seems working together wasn’t really an option.


“Now the Trust has to be given an opportunity.


“It’s a tough ask as many of them have full-time jobs but I know they have the skill-sets required to run a successful business.”


Businesswoman Stephanie Booth, who pulled out of making a bid for the club a few weeks ago, said: “I don’t think a takeover by the WST is the best solution for either the football club or for the town of Wrexham but it’s the only one we’re left with.


“I can’t see them getting any financial backer who would be acceptable to their membership.”


Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “I have always believed that a community-based approach offered the best future for Wrexham FC and today’s announcement brings that goal one step closer to becoming a reality.


“Fans will be delighted to hear this news and I am very much looking forward to the deal being finalised.


“I will be doing all I can to ensure a fan-owned, community based club becomes a reality.”


Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said: “This is truly brilliant news for fans and a tribute to the hard work and professionalism of the WST.


“The hard work to build the future of Wrexham FC starts here – but this is good news for the future of the club.”

Supporters’ Trust president Bryn Law believes Wrexham needs stability off the pitch if they are to be successful on it.


Although he is based in Yorkshire as one of Sky Sports’ commentary team Mr Law gets to as many of his home-town club’s matches as possible.


The Trust’s initial bid to for the club fell through but Mr Law believes the new deal in the offing is the best solution to safeguard the future of the club.


He said: “Sadly there were off the field calamities again this season and it did not help the team.


“I thought I had seen it all but the last 12 months at Wrexham beggars belief.
“The club needs one thing – people with a vested interest in the club taking charge.”


The ongoing saga only strengthened supporters’ fears for the future of their club and Mr Law insists they deserve better.


“The optimism of the crowd in that first leg against Luton, although they were disappointed to lose, it just showed the potential to get people in,” he said.


“But it is never going to happen while the club is a plaything for rich people.”

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