Richard Williams: 'Put an end to this farce'

Reporter:

Richard Williams

The Leader's chief football writer makes a personal plea over the deepening crisis at The Racecourse.

IT’S just gone 3pm on Saturday afternoon, the summer break from football has elapsed and the countdown to the new Conference season is on.

The Wrexham players are having a good work-out at Vauxhall Motors as they continue the build-up to the opening day fixture against Cambridge United in a fortnight.

The result is not important; it is more about Dean Saunders taking another step to deciding on his starting XI and players, building up fitness levels, trying to impress their manager.

At least that’s what I should have been writing about but none of this went on at the weekend as Wrexham sank to an all-time low.

I’m not having a go at the players, far from it, after they did not receive their wages on Friday. I wouldn’t feel like writing this article if I wasn’t paid myself.

I fully understand their concerns about picking up an injury and the consequences of that if they are forced to find employment elsewhere.

But when players refuse to play, you know you are in trouble and hopefully this is the wake-up call that is needed to finally give this great club the stability it deserves.

In the seven years I have been reporting on Wrexham Football Club, I have known nothing but trouble.

Mark Guterman and Alex Hamilton taking us into administration and close to going out of business – I thought, was as low as you could get.

But now this.

Wrexham Supporters’ Trust have been involved in a lengthy bid to buy the club from Geoff Moss and co-owner Ian Roberts.

There have been many people linked with a takeover since the club and ground were put for sale earlier this year, but none have been forthcoming.

The Trust may not have the millions of pounds to invest that every club seeks but at least they have the interests of Wrexham at heart. That, after years of worrying if the club will survive, is what everyone craves.

All these people want is to be able to see their team be able to fulfil their fixtures every week, see bills paid and not have to worry that they will have to launch another bid to save their club, something that is happening far too regularly.

I have nothing but admiration for the dedicated people who have put their heart and souls into striving for a better Wrexham FC, simply doing it for their love of the club.

The Trust, and non-members of the organisation, have constantly had to fight to save the club with little help from outside quarters and it is getting beyond a joke.

So far the Trust has been unable to strike a deal with the current owners who refuse to finance the club any longer, hence the reason Wrexham FC risk being unable to take their place in the Conference when the new season kicks-off in less than a fortnight.

There are obviously reasons why a deal has not yet been struck but if this drags on for much longer there won’t be a Wrexham Football Club.

Players, and the rest of the staff employed by the club, as well as the long-suffering supporters, deserve better.

Time is running out but surely the owners have a moral obligation to pay bills and wages until they sell the club because they are still effectively running it until a deal is one.

I am not going to get into a slanging match with the owners but the current situation simply cannot be allowed to continue. Hopefully they will strive to complete a deal as quickly as possible – or at least not jeopardise the club’s future while they still have the keys.

After seeing Wrexham get to the play-offs last season, supporters are excited about their team’s chances of success this term.

We should all be talking about Lee Fowler’s superb pre-season performances and how Danny Wright can fill the void left by Andy Mangan, but this sadly plays second fiddle when the future of the club is at stake.

I have some fantastic memories of watching Wrexham since I first attended a match in 1984, and have been privileged to report on the team I support for the last seven years.

Thousands of supporters have followed the club in its near 140-year existence and never get tired of it, even after relegation from the Football League – it is in our blood.

All I can say to messrs Moss and Roberts is please don’t let us go to the dogs. What do you stand to gain?

Whether or not you have got what you wanted out of the club in your time in charge, supporters will follow the fortunes of Wrexham long after you have gone.

Saturday afternoons wouldn’t be the same without a football match, standing on the touchline or in a press room at 5pm asking Saunders his thoughts on his team’s performance.

Regrettably, that wasn’t the case this weekend.

No friendly at Vauxhall Motors meant no match report for today’s newspaper.

Please don’t let this happen again.

See full story in the Leader

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