Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Passion, pride, professionalism

It would have been very easy for last night's public meeting organised by Wrexham Supporters' Trust at the William Aston Hall to have felt deflated after the announcement of a new owner of the football club. The timing could not have been worse.
But the 350 people present listened to a presentation full of passion, pride and professionalism that would have put all the club's previous owners to shame.
There's no doubt that a community-owned club is the only long-term solution for the club, regardless of the latest owner's intentions or capabilities. The WST, together with additional investment from the community and with the support of the local media, has the ability to run the club to serve the community.
It was great to hear of the FC United of Manchester model, who stood up to the corporate might of the Glazers and are making great strides. Likewise with Chester FC, whose rep got a great reception (considering!) because that phoenix club is on the right road under democratic ownership.
Barrie Horne also hit the right note - this is a political movement that challenges the vested interests of fly-by-night millionaires who see clubs as playthings or cash cows or worse. Our vision puts the community back in the club and the club back in the community.
And that's where the council must take a stand.
In the light of developments, the council has to review the planning committee's decision to allow planning permission for Phase 2 of the student village behind the Kop. This was granted on the basis that it would fund the club and enable a new stand to be built. Now that ownership of the club and ownership of the stadium are in separate companies - the former owned by Jon Harris and his anonymous backers, the latter owned by Wrexham Village - that undertaking does not now apply.

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