Tuesday, 4 January 2011

£3,000-a-week Racecourse charge 'bombshell'

Echoes of Hamilton in new deal

Wrecsam's Plaid Cymru Assembly candidate has described news that Wrexham FC's owners are planning to charge the football club £3,000 a week to play on The Racecourse as a "bombshell" for fans.

Marc Jones said:
"The news that the club's two owners Ian Roberts and Geoff Moss intend to charge both the football club £150,000 per year to play on the Racecourse is outrageous. That's £3,000 a week and contradicts previous statements they have made."

In 2009 the owners put out a statement stating:

'Wrexham FC (2006) Limited ('WFC' Ltd) is the company that runs the Football Club and which owns the freehold assets such as the stadium and training ground.

Both the Racecourse and Collier's Park training ground will remain in the ownership of Wrexham Football Club (2006) Limited and will not be at risk as a result of the development... All development profits will be retained for the benefit of the Football Club. For the avoidance of doubt this means 100%.'


Mr Jones, who is contesting the May election for Plaid, said:

"The owners need to explain to fans and other interested parties such as Wrexham Council why this has changed and why they now feel able to charge the club to play on a pitch it already owns. Any additional costs for the club will make it more difficult for the club to pay for players and continue to press for promotion. Far from being to the benefit of the football club, the involvement of Wrexham Village in this is very worrying."

He said the news brought back unpleasant echoes of the Alex Hamilton era, when a previous owner had to confronted by fans to prevent him from moving the ownership of the Racecourse from the football club to his own company.

Mr Jones said:
"Hamilton secretly sold the Racecourse to a company he owned in 2002. As well as a clause to kick the club out of the Racecourse, he proposed to charge £30,000 a year in rent. Hamilton would have got away with this had it not been for the determination and tenacity of the fans, who exposed his secret deal and challenged him in court.

"It's a huge concern that the present owners seem to be trying the same tactic and piling further financial pressure on a club that by their own admission is losing money. Wrexham fans deserve assurances that we are not seeing a re-run of the Hamilton era and I would urge the owners to re-think their plans."


Back in 2004, I produced a BBC Wales programme called Week In Week Out that helped fans expose Alex Hamilton's dealings re the Racecourse.
Hamilton was recently banned from being a company director for his role in Wrexham FC.
One footnote: While asset-stripping Wrexham FC, Hamilton also sold the Lex training ground on the Mold Road by Gwersyllt to himself for £90,000.

6 comments:

Crusader said...

Where have you found this information? Could the Wrexham Supporters Trust could help Wrexham FC pay Wrexham Village the money as I hear they have huge reserves.

I suppose you can't blame the owners who have pumped thousands of their own money into the club to keep it going. Had they not done so the club would have gone bump a long time ago...

Anonymous said...

Wrexham Fc, the oldest football club in Wales with proud history and loyal following, once again at the mercy of carpetbaggers seemingly intent on stripping the club of all assets. When will we be free of this kind and return the club back to the community that built it. A club to enthuse the town and a stadium to benefit the whole of North Wales.

Anonymous said...

Wrexham Fc, the oldest football club in Wales with a proud history and a loyal following, once again the victim of carpetbaggers seemingly intent on stripping the club of all assets. When can we rid ourselves of this kind and return the club the community that built it. A club to enthuse the people of Wrexham and a stadium to benefit the whole of North Wales.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Crusader - take a look at http://tinyurl.com/35jzd6f

WST has 367k to spend in buying a share in the club.

Anonymous said...

The current board would certainly like the 367k, but there's no chance of a directorship! The whole point of the village development was to provide long term funding for the club, well at least that was the 'stated intention' when plaaning permission was sought from the council...

Robins31 said...

Wrexham (A)FC has always been a community based Club, and long may it continue to be. As a WST member, I support it's aims; and feel that the current owners - like Hamilton before - are only confirming that belief for many fans! Please God, when will it end? Come on the Town. Fans United!