LEE FOWLER has described the Wrexham manager's job as a "poison chalice" while there is such a huge divide between board and fans.

Wrexham Supporters Trust may not be in charge for much longer as Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are interested in taking control at The Racecourse, but Fowler admits things needed to change before the duo were revealed as potential investors.

Dean Keates is the man currently in the Racecourse hotseat and he rebuilt his squad over the summer following the relegation battle in 2019-20, with the Reds finishing 20th - just one point above the drop zone - after clubs voted to end the season in April due to the coronavirus crisis.

It was the worst campaign in Wrexham's history and the Supporters Trust board came in for fierce criticism from disgruntled fans ahead of a 13th season in non-league.

Keates, who turned Wrexham into promotion contenders before leaving to take charge of hometown club Walsall in March 2018, returned for a second spell as manager in October but still has to convince some supporters that he is the right man for the job.

It has not started well for Wrexham who have lost their last two matches against teams sitting bottom of the table, the Reds taking six points from a possible 15.

And with so much animosity at the club, former Reds midfielder Fowler admits it makes it far more difficult to get things right on the pitch.

"There is a lot of angst there at the moment and I don't see any stuff getting cleared up in terms of behind the scenes," said Fowler.

"Ultimately if it doesn't get cleared up behind the scenes, it is going to reflect on the pitch with it.

"For me, Dean is swimming against the tide anyway. You only have to look at fans' forums and speak to people around, they are anti-Dean anyway which is nonsense.

"His record there has been very good once he has been in sole charge of recruitment; I think Wrexham were third when he left to go to Walsall.

"But until the club gets sorted out above, I genuinely believe it is a poison chalice for anyone because there is so much stuff going on and bickering.

"The politics around it is just going to make it worse for Dean. He could be winning every single game but they are still going to be moaning about something.

"There is discontent off the field and it is a big divide between the fans and the board.

"For me, if you don't get the top of the house sorted then there is no structure or routine all the way through."

Fowler, who had a successful spell with Wrexham from 2011 to 2012 after being brought in by Dean Saunders but was surprisingly hardly used by Gary Mills after returning to The Racecourse for the 2015-16 season, believes avoiding relegation last season was not a foregone conclusion.

Wrexham had nine matches remaining when the season was halted due to the pandemic and "points per game" was used to compile the final league table.

Fowler admits he feared the Reds, who appointed Keates as Bryan Hughes' replacement following the poor start to the campaign, would not get out of trouble.

"You can't really blame Dean because he got left with the players that had been brought in," said Fowler.

"I do think Dean brought some good players in; younger lads who were a little bit more hungry.

"You spend that money and you finish down the bottom, and I genuinely believe it would have been very tight down there if it wasn't for Covid-19.

"You can't really blame Dean because they weren't his players but lessons should have been learned."

Hughes was handed a seven-figure budget and Fowler insists the recruitment wasn't good enough.

"I don't see where the budget adds up in terms of the talent that was brought in," said Fowler.

"I look around other teams, especially Barrow, and pound for pound they were much better in terms of a group and individual players as well.

"It's all about recruitment."

Keates has been criticised for adopting a defensive style of play, something Fowler believes is unfair.

"I do think Dean gets a little bit of stick about the style of play he plays," said Fowler.

"I have had this conversation with Dean and the team we had in the 98 points season, we did play football but we also played long as well.

"We earned the right to play football but it wasn't total football.

"I know we had me, Glenn Little, Jay Harris and Curtis Obeng flying down the wing, but we still had to work very hard and it was quite similar to what Dean is doing now."

Fowler is backing Keates to revive Wrexham's fortunes this season.

"It is a massive club," added Fowler.

"I just hope he gets given the time and the issues upstairs get sorted out quickly."