Soccer legend shows interest in Wrexham FC

Reporter:

Phil Robinson and Garth ApThomas

DEVELOPMENTS over the future of crisis-hit Wrexham FC have been taking place at breakneck speed.

The directors have revealed they have lost more than £2 million in two years on the club, Wrexham-born soccer legend Robbie Savage has been linked to a takeover bid and a mystery former Wrexham player has expressed an interest in financially helping Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) in its bid to gain control.

A statement released on the club’s website says the directors have offered Wrexham Council access to scrutinise Wrexham FC, the Crusaders rugby league club and the Wrexham Village property development scheme by the Racecourse ground.

It discloses that in the last two years the Crusaders has cost the directors £2.5m and the football club £2m plus, adding: “We have nothing to hide, having never drawn a salary, expenses or charged any interest on loans. We had, rightly or wrongly, expected the takeover to be completed by now and then the problems the football club currently faces would not exist.

“We are working hard behind the scenes and have just met with senior members of Wrexham Council to keep them abreast of developments.”

Earlier this week the directors revealed they had been approached by two parties offering to see if they can help the situation.

“Both parties have previous associations with the club. We are meeting with them over the next few days,” the statement said.

The BBC has reported that former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage could be prepared to join a consortium to buy Wrexham if the conditions were right.

Savage is quoted as saying: “I don’t know the ins and outs but if Wrexham were to go out of business it would be so wrong.

“It’s a fantastic club for someone to take over. If I had the money I would but I haven’t got the money. Running a football club or being involved in a football club is very, very hard.

“I don’t know how much Wrexham would cost to take over. I’d be willing to put money into it if there was 100 people who had £10,000, £20,000. I’d be one of them people who’d do it. But there’s not many of them people out there.

“I couldn’t afford to put a huge amount of money to run a football club but I’d be willing to form a syndicate with somebody to try and help them out.

“If there’s a rich businessman in the North Wales area who would be willing to put something to me then I’d like to get involved to help save the team I supported as a boy.”

A former Wrexham FC footballer has expressed an interest in stepping in to financially help the supporters trust take over the club.

The move was revealed by Nick Hencher, chairman of the Former Wrexham Players Association, who has expressed a wish for everyone to come together for the good of the club.

Mr Hencher declined to reveal the man’s identity, but stressed he was not involved in the property development industry.

“There is an ex-player who wants to get involved financially with the WST. Things are at a critical stage. All former players of Wrexham want the club’s problems to be solved and help where we can. Money is of course a key issue and we don’t all have the kind of capital needed.”

Mr Hencher said Wrexham manager Dean Saunders, his back up staff and players were doing an excellent job in difficult circumstances.

He thinks it is possible the ex-player is one of the two parties being referred to in the directors’ statement.

WST chairman Richard Owen said: “We have outlined our position in recent statements and do not wish to say anything further at this point.”

London-based businessman Stephen Cleeve says he is not going to renew his interest in getting involved with Wrexham FC.

Earlier this year Mr Cleeve had been one of the main contenders in the running to take over the club, but last week announced on Twitter he was putting an end to any attempted involvement with Wrexham.

Mr Cleeve said: “I have started to look at another club now. It is a shame because Wrexham had many tremendous fans who sent me messages of support.

“Unfortunately there were a small number who abused me and I don’t need the grief.

“If I were to come in at this stage it would be regarded by some sections as me taking the club away from the Wrexham Supporters Trust.”

Two other businessman who were linked to Wrexham earlier this year, Robert Bickerton and Colin Poole, have both said they are not involved with the club anymore.

See full story in the Leader

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