Clubs In Crisis
Nobody wins unless everybody wins...
www.ClubsInCrisis.com 09 April 2009 - 20:25

Wrexham

Wrexham FC deal finally complete

03-Aug-2006

From BBC News:

A deal to sell Wrexham football club and take it out of administration has been completed, it has been announced.

The sale to a consortium led by businessman Neville Dickens ends 18 months of financial crisis for the League Two club.

There had been doubts that Wrexham would be able to start the 2006-7 season on Saturday after 11th hour issues over a loan to finance the deal.

But funds were released on Thursday. Mr Dickens admitted it was a 'big relief'.

The administrator David Acland admitted that less than 24 hours earlier, he thought the deal was 'lost.'

He said: 'I've said all along the champagne corks should remain in the bottle. I'm delighted to announce that at 4.20 this afternoon we completed the sale to the Dickens consortium.

'The champagne can be - and really will be - opened.'

Mr Dickens said he was 'delighted'.

'After all the months of to-ing and fro-ing - it's a big, big relief to me. Now we've just got to get on with it.'

Mr Dickens, a car dealer, said the club's ambition was now to press on and aim for the Championship.

He thanked the administrators and supporters for all their support.

Earlier in the day, Mr Dickens said contingency plans had been followed after a potential conflict of interest over a 2.5m loan from Liverpool FC shareholder Steve Morgan.

By lending money to Wrexham, Mr Morgan could in theory exclude himself from becoming a director at Liverpool.

But Mr Morgan confirmed funds would be released on Thursday.

The clock was ticking as under Football League rules, Wrexham had to come out of administration by Saturday so they could fulfil their opening fixture of the 2006-7 season at Wycombe.

Mr Acland earlier on Thursday said he was confident the 2.5m was in place for him to sell the club to Mr Dickens' consortium.

'I'm informed the money should be there to complete the purchase,' he said.

'If the money is there and the paperwork is signed then the deal is done and we can start celebrating.'

Among fans celebrating the news in the Turf Tavern, next to the ground, was Jamie Scott, 25.

He said: 'At the end of the day, footballer is the winner. As long as they can turn the corner and there's no tycoon with a hidden agenda then it's good news for the town, players and everyone.'

==================== Previously ===============
Wrexham buyer eyeing final step
01-May-2006

From BBC Sport:

Prospective owner Neville Dickens is confident the sale of Wrexham is imminent and the football club can soon move out of administration.

A consortium headed by Dickens exchanged contracts with administrators Begbies Traynor on Friday night.

'It's been a long, long rocky road so it's a big relief as I'm a Wrexham lad through-and-through,' Dickens said.

'When I saw what was happening at the club I felt, like all the fans did, that somebody needed to come forward.'

Dickens, a millionaire car dealer, was a club director in the 1980s and one of his garages is on land adjoining the Racecourse Ground stadium.

'I was fortunate enough to be approached because of the circumstances I found myself in with the land,' Dickens added.

'So I accepted along with Geoff Moss to head up a consortium that would do that.'

The League Two club went into administration in 2004 with 4m debts.

A club runs the risk of being expelled from the League if it has been in administration for more than 18 months - with Wrexham's deadline on 3 June.

The only remaining potential stumbling block is that any sale must be approved by creditors and shareholders of the club and be ratified by the Football League.

Former owner Alex Hamilton is one of those creditors and there is a possibility that he could again resort to legal action to block the sale.

Hamilton has previously lost a Court of Appeal decision to retain ownership of the club's Racecourse Ground.

================= Previously ================
Ex-chairman loses Racecourse bid
14-Mar-2006

From BBC News:

Former chairman of Wrexham Football Club Alex Hamilton has failed to seize control of its Racecourse ground.

The Appeal Court in London has ruled that the stadium must remain in the hands of the club's administrators.

The sale of the club will now go ahead and the administrators said the ruling was a 'momentous day' in its history.

They said they were hopeful of a sale before 3 June when the club faces being thrown out of the Football League if it is still in administration.

Joint administrator Steve Williams said the ruling on Tuesday signalled the end of litigation over ownership of the Racecourse and urged everyone interested in buying the club to now come forward with their business case.

He confirmed that there were a 'handful' of offers already on the table, but would not be drawn on who had made them.

Mr Hamilton, Wrexham's chairman from May to October 2004, had challenged a High Court decision last October to give ownership of the stadium to the administrators.

He took over as Wrexham chairman from his former business associate Mark Guterman in 2004.

By the end of 2004, the club had gone into administration with debts of more than 4m.

The Football League imposed a 10-point penalty on the club and in May 2005 Wrexham were relegated to League Two.

Last October Birmingham High Court decided that Mr Hamilton's company CrucialMove had improperly acquired the freehold of the ground.

The hearing was told CrucialMove had negotiated to buy the stadium with plans to develop the site for housing or commercial use.

But Mr Hamilton launched an appeal and on Tuesday three judges dismissed it, saying he 'did not act in good faith' in a transaction critical to the club's future and plans to realise the ground's development potential.

But the judges acknowledged there was 'some evidence' that Mr Hamilton and his joint venture partner, Mark Guterman, thought the club would 'obtain a benefit' from the fulfilment of development plans they called 'The Wrexham project'.

However, the court also heard the stadium will be subject to a legal 'charge' in CrucialMove's favour amounting to the 300,000 it paid for the freehold of the ground and other costs.

Wrexham manager Denis Smith said the ruling would give a much-needed boost to the players and paid tribute to their loyalty during the most difficult of times for the club.

Wrexham fans have also welcomed the decision.

Supporters trust chairman Bruce Clapton said: 'It may have taken time and dedication but justice has been done.

'The ground is now back in Wrexham's hands and this can only help in the fight to save the club.'

But Mr Clapton said everyone must understand that the fight to save the club was still not over and the trust would continue to work closely 'and do our best to move things forward as quickly as we can'.

======================= Previously =============
Deadline To Save League Standing
15-Jan-2006

By Andy Rose, from Wales on Sunday:

WREXHAM have less than six months to stop themselves being thrown out of the Football League.

The Dragons have been in administration since December 2004 and League rules state that no club can remain in that state for more than 18 months.

That ominous deadline falls on June 3.

And despite a previous indication that League officials may reconsider Wrexham's position nearer the time, a spokesman confirmed that there will be NO relaxation of the rules.

'The policy of the Football League is and remains that no club can spend more than 18 months in administration,' he said. 'We absolutely do not want to get into that situation because we are not in the business of losing member clubs.'

The spokesman confirmed that the penalty for remaining in administration would be expulsion from the League.

Although clubs including Accrington Stanley have, in the past, dropped out of the League after going bust, Wrexham would be the very first to fall foul of the League's own regulations.

The rules were tightened up after Notts County went into administration in June 2002.

The League's oldest member club was finally saved from possible extinction when a new consortium took over just six days short of the final deadline.

Officials privately admit that they hope the strict deadline for Wrexham will help to draw a saviour out of the woodwork for Wales' oldest professional club.

However, any potential takeover is being held up by the on-going legal battle between former chairman Alex Hamilton and the administrators over the ownership of the Racecourse ground.

Hamilton is currently appealing against an earlier court judgement against him which returned the ownership of the ground he claims he bought for 300,000.

The appeal hearing has been set for either February 14 or 15 and only after the result of the appeal does administrator David Acland expect to find a buyer for the League Two club.

Hamilton said he feels no guilt for dragging on the legal saga and stated he intends to appeal to defend both his reputation and his legal position. He also hit out at the administrators who he claims are holding up any potential rescue package for the club.

'It would have all been done and dusted and I would have been gone long ago if the administrators hadn't held up matters,' said Hamilton.

'There was a deal on the table last year between myself, Neville Dickens and Geoffrey Moss which I had agreed to over the telephone. Then the administrators stepped in. It is their litigation which is causing anxiety to the fans not me. I have to defend my position, I have no choice.

'But I am ready to do it in or out of court.'

The administrators were unavailable for comment.

============== Previously ============
Administrators win stadium battle
20-Oct-2005

From The BBC:

The administrators of Wrexham FC say they have won the battle to regain ownership of the football ground.
A news conference in Wrexham was told that a judge at Birmingham High Court found against club owner Alex Hamilton.

Steve Williams of administrators Begbies Traynor said that Mr Hamilton could not appeal, but could petition the Court of Appeal against the ruling.

Administrators can now go ahead with the sale of the club, but they must pay Mr Hamilton 300,000 from the proceeds.

Fans gathered

Wrexham manager Denis Smith said the news was a great step forward which would ease uncertainty surrounding the club.

Hundreds of fans were outside the news conference, held at the club's Racecourse Ground on Thursday evening.

Property developer Alex Hamilton took over from his former business associate Mark Guterman as chairman of Wrexham FC in 2004.

By the end of the year, the club had gone into administration with debts of more than 4m and in May 2005 was relegated to League Two following a 10 point penalty imposed by the Football League.

Administrators began a High Court case to seize the Racecourse from Mr Hamilton.

And on Thursday, a judge decided that Mr Hamilton's company Crucial Move should not have bought the freehold of the stadium.

============== Previously ===============
Wrexham Challenge Hamilton Over Racecourse Lease
14-Oct-2005

From The BBC:

Administrators at Wrexham Football Club began their High Court case against owner Alex Hamilton on Friday.

Begbies Traynor, the administrators, are challenging the validity of Hamilton's lease for the club's Racecourse Ground home.

If the administrators are successful in overturning the sale of the ground to a company wholly owned by Hamilton, then they will be in control of the club.

If Hamilton is successful then he may be able to sell or develop the land.

Subject to planning permission, the land could be used for property redevelopment and is worth millions of pounds.

However, even when a decision is reached in Birmingham there may still be further legal action, as either side would be able to appeal.

================ Previously ============
Wrexham Fans March Into Surrey
14-Sep-2005

WREXHAM football fans proposed protest march through Surrey moved a step closer today after Surrey Police agreed and confirmed the march route.

Supporters will march through Woking town centre on 17 September 2005 in protest at the continued involvement of Surrey based property company United Plotholders Association (UPA) in the bidding process for their crisis torn club and ground.

Without a genuine buyer Wrexham AFC faces liquidation after 132 years of proud league status. Most fans blame Wrexham's plight on its chairman Alex Hamilton, who has pledged to bulldoze the club's Racecourse Ground.

But fans are also furious at UPA chairman, and former Surrey County councillor Andy Smith, who they claim has stood in the way of a genuine buy-out of their club. UPA is one of several interested parties seeking to acquire ownership of the Racecourse Ground and the football club.

The Wrexham fans march will start from Woking Station at 11.30am on Saturday 17 September and proceed down the High Street and through the town centre.

Dismal Jimmy (the name of the Wrexham fans movement) spokesman Marcus Viveash said: 'We do not want to inconvenience any Woking residents with this march. We want to draw attention to our club's plight and send out a message to UPA or any other property developer, do not come to Wrexham unless you have the club's best interests at heart. We chose to march in Woking because the chairman of UPA lives there. We are very grateful for the help of the local police force. We hope as many fans as possible will make the trip.'

London based Wrexham fan Barry Jones added: 'Interest is growing all the time. Many of my friends follow other teams but they sympathise with our plight and are supporting us on this march. This is a bigger issue than just Wrexham, it affects all football fans.'

Nic Outterside, a spokesman for the national Fans United movement, said: 'No fewer than 38 of the 72 football league clubs outside the Premier League have either gone into administration or to the brink of it in the past six years. In many cases their problems are the direct result of greed or financial mismanagement by club owners or chairmen. We hope that many Surrey and other Home Counties based football fans will join with Wrexham fans in this protest.'

See also:
United Plotowners Associates
Horsham Today

================ Previously ==============
Legal Action in Attempt to Regain Ground
28-Jun-2005

Press Release from Wrexham Supporters Trust:

You will be aware from previous announcements that we have, since the date of our appointment, been actively seeking a consensual sale of the Club's assets, to include The Racecourse Ground. In the absence of such a sale, proceedings were issued in the High Court of Justice, Birmingham on Friday 24th June 2005 and were today served upon Crucialmove Limited. These proceedings seek an order from the court that the legal and beneficial ownership of the freehold to The Racecourse Ground be vested in the Club.

Crucialmove now have 28 days to submit and serve their defence to the proceedings if considered appropriate.

In the meantime, our plans for the forthcoming season continue at apace.

A 'Steering Committee' has been formed comprising of local businessmen who will assist the Administrators in the day to day operations of the Club and in particular in the promotion of its commercial activities. One of the Committee members is Cliff Finch who has vast experience acting in an executive capacity with Premiership clubs and Cliff will initially provide his services on a gratis basis but ultimately on a performance related basis.

The Steering Committee have agreed with the Administrators to provide certain indemnities in relation to player contracts which should greatly assist Denis Smith in configuring his playing squad for next season. The Wrexham Supporters' Trust are also in discussions with a view to providing indemnities in a similar vein.

One of the first tasks facing the Committee is the issuing of season tickets. Application forms will be issued this week and we would strongly urge all fans to continue to show their unstinting support for the club by submitting an early application for renewal of their tickets.

Finally, we are disappointed to have been forced to take the proceedings in respect of the ground and will continue to explore the possibilities of a consensual sale in the hope that further litigation can be avoided.

Press Release (Statement)
June 05

=============== Previously ===============
Auction of 92 Shirts
18-May-2005

A unique collection of shirts from all 92 Premier and Football League clubs is to be auctioned at Sotheby's on 18 May 2005, in support of Wrexham's fight for survival.

Each Premiership and Football League club was asked to donate a home shirt signed by both players and manager. In a fantastic response, EVERY one of the 92 clubs donated a signed shirt. All 92 shirts were paraded before the 36,000 fans present at the LDV Trophy final in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The shirts will be auctioned as a unique collection to raise funds to enable the Wrexham Supporters Trust to either help purchase the club, or help the administrator run the club until a buyer comes forward. The current owner, Mr Alex Hamilton, has given Wrexham notice of eviction from their 133 year old ground on 21st of July 2005.

The auction will take place at Sotheby's, London on 18 May 2005. It is unlikely that such a collection will ever be seen again. Five of these shirts have been photographed for the sale catalogue, as shown below:

92 shirts

==================== Previously ================
A message from the Wrexham Supporters Trust
07-May-2005

Today marks what is set to be the last game at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground, and the last game in Wrexham FC's history. While all our fans hope we will survive to play in League Two next season, Alex Hamilton may have destroyed our club.

However, there is still some hope of a buyer being found and the club carrying on. The main reason for that hope is the support we have had from the fans of each and every other club in the league. This season has been the hardest in living memory for our club, but it has also shown us just how much goodwill there is towards us from the rest of the 92 league and Premiership clubs.

We salute ALL fans who have visited the Racecourse this season, who have donated to the Supporters Trust, who have joined in events such as the Wear Red For Wrexham Day, or who have helped us in any other way.

The football fans of the UK can stand proud in knowing that they have taken on greedy property developers and other businessmen, and will continue to do so whenever they appear at any club.

Remember - Fans United Will Never Be Defeated.


Fill the Racecourse for Wrexham's last ever game?

ON Saturday 7 May Wrexham FC plays Huddersfield Town in what may be the North Wales club's last ever league game.

This week Wrexham was relegated from League 1 following defeat by Brentford. The club would have maintained its League 1 status but for the ludicrous deduction of 10 hard-earned points by the Football League.

Now in just 35 days time the famous Red Dragons will completely cease to exist unless a buyer can be found before the Football League's AGM on 10 June.

Wrexham faces liquidation after 133 years of proud league status. It will be the first established Football League club to go out of existence since Aldershot FC in 1992.

Fans blame Wrexham's plight on its chairman/property developer Alex Hamilton, who has pledged to evict the club and bulldoze its Racecourse Ground during the summer.

But as profiteer owners have ruined clubs from Doncaster Rovers to York City and Brighton and Hove Albion to Darlington, the FA and Football League have stood by and done little to help, other than agree a toothless 'Fit and Proper Persons' test.

So Fans United is calling on ALL football fans to come to the Racecourse Ground on Saturday (kick off 3pm) and stand shoulder to shoulder with Wrexham supporters in a mass show of solidarity and tell the Football League and FA that enough is enough - step in now and save the heart of British football.

Prior to the game at 2pm all fans are also invited to join Wrexham supporters in a march from the town's Guildhall to the Racecourse Ground. The march is timed to coincide with a similar demonstration in Cambridge and offer solidarity with Cambridge United fans in a similar fight for survival.

Press Release from Fans United, 5 May 2005

================== Previously ===============
Fans' Fear Over Mystery Reds Bid
04-May-2005

From the Evening Leader

Local businessman calls for help to beat off rival offer for The Racecourse

WREXHAM fans feel today they have been dealt a second bitter blow less than 12 hours after their beloved club was relegated.

This morning news filtered through of a new bid for The Racecourse ground by an unnamed party, who, it is claimed, is interested in demolishing the stadium.

Supporters have been left reeling by the latest twist in this roller-coaster ride of a season, which last night saw the Reds relegated to League Two after going down 2-1 at home to Brentford.

The news has also sparked a new rally cry from Wrexham businessman Neville Dickens, who is heading a consortium to take over at The Racecourse.

He owns several car dealerships, including the one next to the ground, and wants to save the cash-strapped club, which has debts of about 4million.

Mr Dickens has made an impassioned plea for more backers to come forward.

He revealed that following talks with current owner Alex Hamilton, another local party has made a higher offer for the club, with the intention of demolishing the ground and redeveloping the site.

Mr Dickens said: 'The people who are interested want to demolish the ground, and Mr Hamilton sees more value in that than the offer we have put forward.

'We've got a figure for what Mr Hamilton believes is the value of the club, and our offer falls short of this at the moment. Whatever happens, the extra interested party has to get planning permission to redevelop the site, meaning that gives us time to get more interested parties to help support us, including Wrexham Council. I'm hoping we'll have something together in the next 10 days.

'Mr Hamilton is convinced he can get more for the club than our current bid. Our meeting was cordial and I'm slightly optimistic at this point that we'll be able to make a deal. We're doing everything we can to save this football club.'

Carroll Clark, chairman of the Official Wrexham Supporters Club, said: 'It is devastating news. I heard a rumour last night that there was another bid, but we don't know any more. It's dreadful news, unbelievable.'

Mr Clark said he believed anyone buying the site to potentially demolish the ground would probably receive an unfriendly reception from local people.

He said: 'People are going to be very hostile to whoever does this.'

Mr Clark was also sceptical as to whether a buyer, wanting to demolish the site, would get planning permission.

He said: 'The Welsh Assembly is keen to keep the site as a sports ground for Wales. It could be years before a developer gets planning permission.'

With the club's relegation confirmed last night, a new and potentially successful bid to redevelop the site would be a double blow to supporters within 24-hours.

Wrexham FC was placed in administration last December, and then deducted 10 points by the Football League - the first club to suffer this penalty for calling in the administrators.

The Reds' final game in League One is on Saturday, at home to Huddersfield.

Wrexham have less than 77 days until the deadline set by owner Alex Hamilton to leave The Racecourse ground.

Bruce Clapton, representative for the Wrexham Supporters' Trust said: 'We think it's a Hamilton negotiation tactic to try and get Neville Dickens to up his bid. We're fully behind Neville's bid, its come to the point that anyone who comes in to save the club we'll unequivocally back them.'

=============== Previously ================
Sign the petition and support the Wrexham Two
19-Apr-2005

From Fans United:

ON Friday (15 April 2005) the High Court in Manchester served an injunction on two Wrexham FC supporters preventing them from distributing or otherwise publishing details of taped conversations with the former club chairman Mark Guterman.

The gagging order - pursued by Mr Guterman - prevents Lindsay Jones and Kenny Pemberton from revealing the truth about the machinations behind the last two years ownership of their club.

Some 23 hours of taped conversations with Mr Guterman - recorded over a nine month period - expose sensational and shocking details. We anticipate this information will be revealed when the terms of this gagging order are overturned, as justice demands.

Breach of a High Court injunction by any named individual or their friends or agents is considered contempt of court and is an imprisonable offence.

But football fans throughout the UK have supported Wrexham in its battle for survival during the past year.

Now Fans United - an ad hoc grouping of thousands of football fans from many different clubs - is asking ALL supporters to back Lindsay and Kenny - known as the Wrexham Two - and sign a petition to help lift the gagging order.

A Fans United organiser and Brighton supporter Nic Outterside said: 'Profiteer owners and their chairmen have ruined clubs from Doncaster Rovers to York City, Brighton and Hove Albion to Darlington and Carlisle to Wrexham.

'Fans have fought back in any and every way they can. In the case of Wrexham, matters have now come to a head.

'All Kenny, Lindsay and others have been trying to do is expose the duplicity and questionable behaviour of those who have taken their club to the brink of ruin.

'The use of a High Court injunction to prevent them telling the truth is the action of a desperate man determined to hide that truth.

'We now call on all football fans to give their support to Lindsay and Kenny and sign the Support the Wrexham Two on-line petition.'

Details of the petition and your opportunity to sign can be found at: http://www.petitiononline.com/wrexham2/petition.html

===================== Previously ================
Fill the Millennium Stadium for the first ever Fans Final
10-Apr-2005

On Sunday 10 April Wrexham and Southend United contest the LDV Final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

But win or lose, in just 70 days time Wrexham FC will cease to exist unless a buyer can be found before the Football League's AGM on 10 June.

Wrexham will face liquidation after 132 years of proud league status. It will be the first established Football League club to go out of existence since Aldershot FC in 1992.

Most fans blame Wrexham's plight on its chairman/property developer Alex Hamilton, who has pledged to bulldoze the club's Racecourse Ground this summer.

But clubs the length and breadth of the UK are in a similar plight: Cambridge United could also be forced to close at the end of the season, and at Bury, Dover Athletic, Hendon FC, East Stirlingshire, Gateshead and Grimsby Town the future is equally bleak.

But as profiteer owners have ruined clubs from Doncaster Rovers to York City and Brighton and Hove Albion to Darlington, the FA and Football League have stood by and done little to help, other than agree a toothless 'Fit and Proper Persons' test.

So Fans United is calling on ALL football fans to have a Sunday away day on 10 April and join with Southend and Wrexham supporters at the Millennium Stadium in a mass demonstration of solidarity. It will be the first ever Fans Final and give everyone a chance to tell the Football League and FA that enough is enough - step in now and save the heart of British football.

A Fans United organiser and Brighton supporter Nic Outterside said: 'There is stark reality here that while the Premier League is arguably the best domestic competition in the world, the rest of UK soccer is dying on its feet.

'No fewer than 37 of the 72 football league clubs outside the Premier League have either gone into administration or to the brink of it in the past five years. In many cases their problems are the direct result of greed or financial mismanagement by club owners or chairmen.

'Over the past four months more than 22,000 fans from over 150 clubs have showed their concern and solidarity at Fans United days at Wrexham and Cambridge.

'We now need to make our voice heard even louder. Wrexham and Southend United are likely to use their allocation of 40,000 seats for the LDV final, but that still leaves 32,000 seats unoccupied. So let's fill the Millennium Stadium! I urge every true football fan to attend the final and tell the Football League and FA that enough is enough!'

Simon Johnson, Wrexham Supporters Trust spokesman added: 'The support that Wrexham fans have received from the supporters of other clubs has been nothing short of amazing.

'This cup final gives us an opportunity to show the world just why Wrexham AFC, and many other clubs like it, are worth saving. It is also a great chance for us to forget our problems and enjoy a great sporting occasion. We would love it if all genuine football fans came along to share our big day with us.'

Trevor Bashford of Southend United Supporters Trust said: 'Football is worth saving - no football club should be allowed to go out of existence. This is our heritage we are talking about.

'The LDV final is a fantastic day out for football supporters - something our club experienced for the first time last year. The occasion can only be enhanced by becoming a Fans Final. It is a unique footballing experience and I on behalf of the fans of Southend United would love to share the day with true football fans from across the United Kingdom, Europe and world-wide if possible.

'The plight of Wrexham, and other clubs in difficulties, needs maximum publicity. Action from the 'committees' running the FA and Football League is urgently required.

'Indeed our own future is not secure so we fully support the sentiment from Wrexham. Please, please join us at the Millennium Stadium on 10 April.'

Fans United Press Release, 30 March 2005

Notes:


Tickets for the LDV final start at 18 (cheaper than most Premier league or Championship grounds) and are available directly ONLY from the two finalist clubs:

The Ticket Office, Wrexham AFC, Racecourse Ground, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AH (tel: 01978 262129). Full details at: www.wrexhamafc.premiumtv.co.uk

The Ticket Office, Southend United FC, Roots Hall, Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, Essex SS2 6NQ (tel: 01702 304090). Full details at: www.southendunited.premiumtv.co.uk

Further information or photo and interview opportunities:

Email:
Nic Outterside seagullnic@aol.com
Simon Johnson simontjohnson@hotmail.com
Terry Jeffreys terry.jeffreys@btinternet.com

Telephone:
07891 397636 (Nic Outterside)
07981 151958 (Wrexham Supporters' Trust)
07814 896684 (Trevor Bashford - Southend United Supporters' Trust)

================ Previously ================
Clubs in Crisis Day
29-Jan-2005

From the Official Wrexham Website:

'Clubs in Crisis' day was a huge success and saw over 50 clubs represented at the Racecourse Ground, with fans travelling from as far a field as Plymouth, Sunderland and Ipswich. This helped swell the crowd to over 6,000, which included nearly 1,000 from visitors Doncaster Rovers, as it was proved once again that people really do care about clubs other than their own and that the small clubs are worth just as much to their communities as the Premiership giants.

We would like to thank those in attendance, and it was particularly refreshing to see fans from Chester, Cardiff and Tranmere putting aside the undoubted rivalry that exists and openly sporting their club shirts in the home supporters sections on another memorable day.

Among the shirts that we saw were:

Wrexham Clubs In Crisis DayAltrincham
Arsenal
Aston Villa
Barnsley
Birmingham City
Blackpool
Bolton Wanderers
Bradford City
Brechin
Brighton & Hove Albion
Bristol City
Burnley
Cardiff City
Chelsea
Chester City
Chesterfield
Colwyn Bay
Coventry City
Crewe Alexandra
Crystal Palace
Everton
Grimsby Town
Hull City
Ipswich Town
Leeds United
Liverpool
Manchester City
Manchester United
Middlesbrough
Millwall
Newcastle United
Northampton Town
Norwich City
Plymouth Argyle
Port Vale
Portsmouth
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers
Rotherham United
Scarborough
Scunthorpe United
Sheffield United
Sheffield Wednesday
Stockport County
Stoke City
Sunderland
Swansea City
Tottenham Hotspur
Tranmere Rovers
VS Rugby
Watford
West BromwichAlbion
Wheatstone United
Wigan Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
York City

Apologies to anybody that we have missed out, and thank again for your support.

See also the BBC story.

=============== Previously ===============
Fans United calls on clubs without a game to rally supporters to Clubs in Crisis day
26-Jan-2005

FANS United is calling on the 33 Football League and Premiership clubs who have no fixture on Saturday to rally their fans to attend the Clubs in Crisis game at Wrexham.

Thousands of football supporters have already pledged to make the event the biggest Fans United day ever.

All football fans have been invited to gather at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday 29 January and stand in their team colours alongside Wrexham and Doncaster Rovers supporters to show their solidarity for clubs on the brink of financial ruin.

Those that cannot get to the game are asked to send a scarf, banner or team shirt to display support.

Two months ago more than 10,000 people gathered at the same ground in a Fans United day to draw attention to Wrexham FC's own plight. The 132 year old club is in financial administration, has been docked 10 points by the Football League and faces eviction from its ground on 21 July 2005.

Last night Surrey based property developer Andrew Smith said he was ready to buy Wrexham FC, but the details are far from clear and many supporters will not believe their club is secure until the deal has been finalised.

Other clubs the length and breadth of the UK also face an uncertain future: Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Bury, Cambridge United, Dover Athletic, Hendon FC, East Stirlingshire, Gateshead and Grimsby Town are just a few.

A Fans United organiser and Brighton supporter Nic Outterside said: 'We are expecting a bumper crowd at Saturday's game with pledges of support from as far afield as QPR, Sunderland and Northern Ireland.

'But with 33 English league clubs without a fixture that day, we are now asking them to rally their fans to join in to help save the heart of British football.

'So from Aston Villa to Wigan, and Liverpool to Torquay, come along in your thousands and let's show the FA and Football League that clubs and fans really do care about each other.'

Simon Johnson of the Wrexham Supporters Trust added: 'Football fans have had enough of being ignored. Let us all stand together and show the powers-that-be that we are desperate to safeguard our clubs for future generations and we need their help.'

Bob Gilbert, an organiser and veteran of Doncaster Rovers own fight for survival, said: 'I urge you, passionately, to turn up at the Racecourse on 29 January to show all these people that millions and millions of us do care.'

Notes to Editors:

1. Any club who wishes to donate a scarf, banner or shirt is asked to send the item to: Wrexham Supporters' Trust, PO Box 200, Wrexham LL12 9WG

2. Among pledges of support:

* Over 20 fans from Wrexham's greatest rivals Chester City have promised to make the 14 mile journey across the Welsh border and stand shoulder to shoulder with their 'enemy' on the Racecourse Kop.

* 25 QPR fans are hiring a coach and travelling from London and at least 100 Bradford City, 50 Barnsley and 40 Chesterfield fans are joining the event - these clubs have all faced similar crises in the past few years.

3. Further information:

Email:
Nic Outterside seagullnic@aol.com
Bob Gilbert bob@doncaster-rovers.demon.co.uk
Simon Johnson simon.johnson@wst.org.uk

Telephone:
07891 397636 (Nic Outterside)
07981 151958 (Wrexham Supporters Trust)

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Help from Bradford
23-Dec-2004

The BBC Reports that Bradford City have promised to donate part of their gate receipts from the Boxing Day game with Wrexham to the Welsh side, who are in administration.
City have budgeted for the arrival of 600 Dragons fans, but will give the money of any above that number entering the TL Dallas Stand to Wrexham.
'We've been in administration twice in three years, you need all the help you can,' said club secretary Jon Pollard.
'This is our way of helping, but I hope the generosity is only off the pitch!'

====================== Previously ======================


from the BBC:

Hamilton offers Wrexham sale hint

Wrexham FC owner Alex Hamilton is considering a new bid for the football club, according to reports.

Surrey businessman Andrew Smith looked to be out of the running, but the under fire Hamilton has now said a deal could be done by the end of the week. 'An agreement could be reached before Christmas - it might happen,' Hamilton told the Daily Post. 'I expect to sit down with Mr Smith tomorrow (Wednesday) to talk about a deal for the Racecourse Ground.'

Wrexham were forced to go into administration a fortnight ago because of debts approaching 3 million.

Another Surrey-based businessman, Paul Buttivant, is also leading a consortium trying to buy Wrexham. Hamilton has so far rejected offers from a supporters' consortium and former owner Mark Guterman.

=============== previously ==================
Hamilton blamed for administration move
03-Dec-2004

Wrexham Football Club have gone into administration and former chairman Mark Guterman has said that the blame for Wrexham plight is down to current owner Alex Hamilton's refusal, to sell up.
'The directors have got no choice, they have to protect the club from liquidation,' Guterman told BBC Wales. 'It didn't need to happen because there was a deal on the table to Mr Hamilton, showing him 1.5m profit.'
The Welsh side is 2.6m in debt, with almost 1m of that owed to the Inland Revenue. As well as refusing the offer from a consortium led by Guterman, Hamilton has also turned down two takeover bids by the Wrexham Supporters' Trust.

======================= Previously =======================

PRESS RELEASE BY SUPPORTERS TRUST
Wrexham fans have been astonished at the level of support we have had from fans of other clubs during our recent troubles. Messages of support and pledges of financial help are being received by the Trust on a daily basis and the sight of fans from virtually every league club attending the recent game with Bristol City was unforgettable.
Huddersfield fans held a collection for us before Saturdays game and Scunthorpe fans are doing likewise on Friday night. There is indeed a football family and we are very much a part of it.
In an effort to repay all these many acts of kindness the Trust have designated Fridays Cup match as 'Wrexham 4 Falmer Day'. Trust board member Lindsay Jones stated,
'We just wanted to put something back in. Fans from every club have been so supportive of us and the Brighton fans in particular have been helpful from the start. Their future still lies in the balance as they await John Prescott decision on their new stadium. As Wrexham fans we are saying 'Come on John do the right thing.' The Trust have commissioned several banners with the message 'Wrexham 4 Falmer' and are taking hundreds of blue and white balloons to the match. We are encouraging travelling fans to make and take their own banners to make this a special occasion.

Notes

1.Sky TV is televising Wrexhams cup match against Scunthorpe live.

2. Brighton have been homeless for seven years since their ex-chairman sold their ground.

3.Falmer is the only possible site for a new stadium in Brighton. The club are currently resident at an inadequate athletics track called Withdean that has a capacity of 7000.

4.Brighton fans were the main movers in organising the Fans United day at the recent Bristol City game.

======================= Previously =======================

A winding up petition by The Inland Revenue against Wrexham football club has been temporarily lifted, staving off the immediate threat of liquidation, giving the club just over 2 weeks relief
The BBC reports that a legal hearing is expected next month to attempt to move the club into administration. By petitioning to go into administration the club has avoided the deadline of the winding-up order.
Club director Dave Bennett said they now have two and a half weeks 'breathing space'. 'We hope someone will come along and save us,' The directors are hoping someone will step in during the next couple of weeks to buy it.
If administration goes ahead, Wrexham would become the first club under new Football League rules to face the 10-point penalty - and as the table stands it would leave them second bottom of League One.
In a statement on Tuesday, the directors said administration was not a solution to its problems 'only a mechanism through which a solution can be sought'. If an administration order is made by the court, then there are adverse consequences, the most obvious of which being the deduction of 10 points.
'However, faced with the alternative of the club ceasing to exist, the directors believe that their decision is in the best interests of the club and the continuation of league football in Wrexham.'
Administration would give the club more breathing space to find a rescue package.
Lindsay Jones from Wrexham Supporters' Trust said he welcomed the move by the club's two directors. "I'm absolutely delighted and it's a big relief. The alternative was liquidation,' he said. 'The directors are to be commended for their courage in doing this. 'We don't want to lose 10 points but we're looking at the next 100 years of Wrexham football club,' he added.
Club owner Alex Hamilton has already rejected two offers from the supporters' trust to buy it.
A consortium involving two former Wrexham FC chairmen Mark Guterman and Pryce Griffiths, former manager Dixie McNeil and Wrexham AM John Marek is still waiting to hear whether their offer has been accepted.
On Thursday a delegation of Wrexham politicians will travel to Cardiff for a meeting with Sports Minister Alun Pugh about saving Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.


======================== Previously ========================

16-11-04
TENS of thousands of football fans are putting aside tribal differences on Saturday in a mass display of unity to save one of the football league's oldest clubs.
The Fans United day of action on Saturday 20 November will see peaceful demonstrations at every football ground in England and Wales as well as a huge gathering of fans from different clubs at Wrexham FC's Racecourse Ground.
On Wednesday 17 November Wrexham FC faces a winding-up petition in the High Court. The action is being brought by the Inland Revenue for 900,000 of unpaid tax.
On Wednesday Wrexham FC faces the prospect of being placed into administration and docked 10 points by the Football League or even forced into liquidation. If the latter occurs, Wrexham will be the first football league club to go out of existence since Aldershot FC in 1992.

Many fans believe the club's plight is due to its owner Alex Hamilton, who wants to sell the ground for over 6million to property developers.In any case Wrexham FC is living on borrowed time after 132 years of league football.
Now supporters of Brighton and Hove Albion - who lost their own ground almost nine years ago - are leading a day of action to draw attention to Wrexham's plight.
Fans United: football fans are being invited to wear their club colours and attend Wrexham's home game against Bristol City on Saturday 20 November - kick-off 3pm. They are asked stand alongside Wrexham fans and watch what could be Wrexham's last ever league game.
Wear Red for Wrexham: those fans who cannot make the trip to the Racecourse are asked to wear something red - or even carry a piece of red card - to their own team's match on the same day. They are asked to stand for 15 seconds at the kick-off to their match to show solidarity with Wrexham FC.

A Fans United spokesman and life-long Brighton supporter Nic Outterside said: 'It is 12 years since Aldershot FC went bust and in that time many other football clubs have gone to the brink. In many cases these crises have been due to mismanagement or sheer greed of club owners or chairmen.
'When we lost our own ground - sold by our then chairman Bill Archer to build a retail park - we came within inches of going out of existence. Even now our club is homeless and survives on a season by season basis.
'The danger of Wrexham folding is real and it would create a domino effect which could see many more towns lose their football clubs forever. 'I urge every right thinking football fan to take part in next Saturday's day of action.'


====================== Previously ======================


The 20th November 2004 is to be 'Wear Red for Wrexham' Day on which fans from clubs around the country turn up to watch their respective club dressed in red.
This will be a striking visual show of support for their cause and will show the North Wales club that they are not alone. It will also show the powers that be that the rest of football cares what happens to the club.
Anyone seeking more information on 'Wear Red for Wrexham' day should email:- fansbehindwrexham@hotmail.com

It is important that as many of you as possible turn up in red to show support so please make the effort and spread the word round your club.
Wrexham fans are among the best and have rallied to help clubs such as Doncaster Rovers and Brighton and Hove Albion despite facing problems of their own.
It is time for the football community to return the favour.
FANS UTD WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED

===================== Previously =====================


29-10-04
Wrexham Football Club chairman Alex Hamilton has resigned during a meeting of the directors, it has emerged. It followed a disagreement with two other club directors.

Earlier, Mr Hamilton was believed to be reconsidering his position and it was reported he may withdraw his resignation. But directors Dave Bennett and Dave Griffiths say they have accepted the resignation and plan to form a new board on Monday. Mr Hamilton was unavailable for comment on Friday evening.

The directors are to hold a meeting with Wrexham Supporters' Trust, which is putting together a takeover proposal for the club, following the appointment of the new board. Mr Bennet said they were also looking to have a meeting with the Inland Revenue as soon as possible to discuss the club's financial position. The club has had its bank account frozen and an insolvency specialist has been called in.

A spokesman for the crisis-hit League One club confirmed that the players will be paid late as a result of the bank account being frozen. The squad are aware of the financial problems but Saturday's game at the Racecourse with Hull City is still on. The new problems come a day after power was cut off for several hours at the ground for non-payment of bills.

Wrexham manager Denis Smith said his players knew they would not be paid on Friday but were expecting to be paid after Saturday's game. He said the team were concentrating on their football and not the problems at the club. 'We just have to get on with it,' he said.

Smith urged fans to put their money where their mouth was and turn up for the home game against Hull. 'We need people there - if they want this club to survive they've got to show up,' he added. 'I don't care if they're Premiership fans - have a day off from Man United, Liverpool or whoever, they don't need the money like we do. 'Come along for the next couple of games, or at least tomorrow.' Captain Darren Ferguson added: 'I'd just encourage as many fans to turn up as possible. I think Hull will bring quite a few which is helpful - it's a big game.'

The club spokesman said there was money in the bank and they were working with HSBC to try to resolve the situation.

On Thursday, Scottish Power-Manweb said it had taken the last resort of turning the power off at the Racecourse after 'failing to resolve issues' with the League One club. The power was restored a few hours later.

Debts at the Racecourse are believed to be up to 5m, including a tax bill of 800,000. The Inland Revenue has already lodged a petition to wind up the club, which is due to be heard in the High Court next month.

Alex Hamilton has previously said it may be 'impossible for the club to avoid administration and or liquidation in the short term.' He said he had already committed 632,500 of his own money to the running of Wrexham by way of an interest-free loan. The controversial owner says his family have now persuaded him not to pay a further 200,000 to help pay the Inland Revenue debt.

Wrexham Council has said it wants to buy the Racecourse Ground to safeguard its location on Mold Road in the town.

=============== previously =================
Now Reames quits (26 Oct 2004)

following his comments removed from the match day programme (see story below) John Reames has resigned as Managing Director of Wrexham Football Club because of the way it is being run by Chairman Alex Hamilton.

However Reames has said that he would jump at the chance of returning, if and when Hamilton leaves. 'My position has become untenable so I have handed in my resignation. Mr Hamilton does not have the best interests of the club at heart.
'Certainly I would like to come back if Mr Hamilton were to leave. Wrexham is a great football club which is a vital part of the town,' he told the Daily Post.
When questioned on the matter, Mr Hamilton wuld only say:
'It will lead to an end to acrimony in the boardroom. I would like Mr Griffiths and Mr Bennett to remain as directors.'

==================== Previously ====================

12-09-04
JOHN REAMES, the Managing Director of Wrexham Football Club, is alleged to have written a half-page article in the match programme for the Bradford game, detailing some of the activities of current Chairman Alex Hamilton over the past two years - activities that Mr. Reames believes to have been detrimental to the club.
Apparently, Mr. Hamilton got wind of this and demanded that club staff tore the offending pages out of the programme before they were sold.
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales directly after the game Mr. Reames said: 'I wrote certain points in my notes in the programme which I understand the Chairman disapproved of and he gave instructions that the pages that contained my notes had to be removed. So that's why we were four pages short in the programme.
'I was trying to make the position quite clear to the supporters. The supporters deserve to know what's happened in the last two-and-a-half years at Wrexham. I was purely pointing out that when the brewery sold the ground some two years ago, they sold it to Wrexham Football Club. The brewery would confirm that is factually correct, and yet within hours of that the football club then transferred the freehold to one of the Chairman's other companies. Now I don't believe that's in the best interests of Wrexham Football Club and I thought people should be aware of that fact, and also be made aware of the fact that a year ago again the Chairman changed the lease to the football club of the ground and then in fact gave the club some weeks ago notice to quit in a year's time. Again, I thought the fans should be ware of that.
'And more recently, which I guess was in my time, and therefore the final straw with me, was when he decided that in lieu of monies that he had put into the club, that he would also transfer an asset of the club again (Stansty Park) into one of his companies. Now my position has become more and more untenable.
'He's the owner, he's the Chairman. I don't think there can be room for both of us. I can't manage the football club under the kind of regime that he obviously wants and intends to run at Wrexham.
'Therefore regrettably my days are more than numbered. He had called an EGM to remove myself and two other directors. He's failed as I understand it to send out the necessary notice, but that doesn't change my position. My position is extremely difficult and I'm going to have to make a final decision on this in the next week.
'What I hate doing is running out on what I think is a magnificent club with great supporters, and the town, the football club, deserve more than they've been given at the moment. Wrexham's a club that could and should go forward. But under the present leadership I fear for it's future. Because as I understand it, and Mr. Hamilton will have the opportunity to correct me if I'm wrong, but he's going to come up with a plan D which he's going to put to the council, as I understand it, before the end of the month. But if the council don't accept that, then he's also going to apply for housing on the whole of the Racecourse Ground. Now that's a typical way he operates, which I think is the bully boy kind of tactics, and I can't see the Council just caving in and giving him permission on any plan that he comes up with. Therefore I have real fear for the future of this football club.'


===================== Previously =====================

12-Aug-2004
Wrexham could face a winding-up order within the next week, unless they can find 1m to pay the Inland Revenue with, reports the Robins on line website.
The Club are almost 7m in debt and while it looked as though the club could have made it to the end of the season, it now seems unlikely that the tax bill will be suspended or quashed, which means the club is facing serious problems.

Chairman and owner Alex Hamilton told Daily Post. 'The situation is worse than grim following my conversation with the Inland Revenue on Friday afternoon. The winding-up order is going to happen. The Inland Revenue have told me we need to come up with concrete proposals to show how we are going to pay our debt to them. 'The club is insolvent, everything I do and every action I take now is for the benefit of the creditors and I want people to understand there is little time left,'
The only way that the club can now survive at all is to place itself into administration, unless a fan with a cool 1m can be found to pay ofthe debt.

Under new rules the club would be docked 10 points and would have to sell off its players in a bid to help itself out of this crisis. That of course will only make matters worse!

===================== Previously =====================

28-07-04
As predicted Wrexham chairman Alex Hamilton has admited he is looking tomove the club from the Racecourse Ground after meeting with council officials on Wednesday.
Many fans are against moving and the supporters trust has unveiled a 12m rescue package to save the club.

'Detailed discussions on the future of the club at the Racecourse took place and significant common ground has been identified,' Hamilton told the BBC.
Hamilton had said the club was 5m in debt and the only alternative would be to leave the historic ground and build a new stadium.
On Monday, members of the supporters' Trust put forward an alternative plan in which the kop terrace would be replaced and 140 luxury flats built.
Charles Wardle, a property developer and trust board member, estimated the flats to be worth a total of around 16m, giving Hamilton a profit of around 4m.
Hamilton said he welcomed the alternative plan for the Racecourse and he is expected to meet a delegation next week. He added that he would not stop protests against the club's restructuring as long as they were 'lawful and peaceful'.

=================== Previously ===================

24-05-04
In a worrying series of events Chairman Mark Guterman has resigned although it has now been revealed he was never the real owner.
Instead Mr Gutterman was acting on behalf of another propery developer, a Mr Alex Hamilton, with the true share ownership hidden from public view behind a nominee. Of course, we cannot be sure he is the real owner either.
Mr Hamilton is the gentleman who secretly bought the freehold to the ground a couple of years back. Cheaply, as the club had just paid for a 125 year lease.
Mr Hamilton admits to having no interest in the 'footballing side of things' and is in the business of realising the 'value of assets'. The plan is to turn the ground around 90 degrees, release some land for redevelopment meanwhile moving the club to Widnes Rugby ground while this all takes place.
Fans are very sceptical and have good reason to be so.
I have seen no assurance that the club will move back to Wrexham once the has moved to Widnes.
Please help by signing our petition at
http://www.petitiononline.com/WREXHAM/petition.html (link below)

====================== Previously ======================

8-05-04
The Dismal Jimmy fanzine has produced around 5000 big red cards which will be given out free of charge before the game with Brighton & Hove Albion.
It is intended to hold the red card protest during the game at 3.10. On one side the card has printed 'GUTERMAN OUT!'. On the flip side are the words to song.
The players are said to be supportive of the Jimmy fanzine, several say they have read it and enjoyed it, some of them even paid for it. They are surprised that so little dissent has been shown.
Brighton fans who also have their own problems which can be read on this site have joined with Wrexham supporters and will join in the red card protest and in return Jimmy will be displaying a 'Pro Falmer' banner in support of their campaign for a new ground.
It's a good story really. Brighton want a new ground and Wrexham want their old one.
Brighton fans will display an anti-Guterman banner in the away end.
Dimal Jimmy have made this request.
Remember this is a peaceful protest. We need everyone to turn up and make a noise. Bring that mate who stopped going at Christmas, bring your kids, it's only a quid. Get behind Denis and the team, get behind the Jimmy, get right behind Guterman and kick his arse back to Chester.

===================== Previously =====================

Fans are starting to worry that Chairman, Mark Gutterman, (a property developer) sees the club as a property investment and a way of making a fast buck
Mark Gutterman bought 78 per cent of the shares and became chairman of Wrexham in June, 2002 at a time when the club was in a pretty dire financial state
There were question marks about Mr Gutterman straight from the off. A previous spell as chairman of Chester City proved to be disastrous which ended with the club dropping out of the league. Now just like at Chester players are not being paid on time.
Guterman has sacked two of the Wrexham directors when he came into the club and said he'd replace them with 'flesh blood'. He never has. Now in the last couple of months there's been a steady trickle of things- players not getting paid, bills not paid, electricity being cut-off, legal threats from unpaid suppliers etc.
Fears that he was going to sell the Racecourse Ground were pretty much quelled in the early days by the fact that the freehold was owned by Martsons a local brewery. They owned the 125 year leasehold which contained a restrictive covenant limiting use of the land to recreational purposes. However when a concerned fan started to investigate he claims to have discovered that back in 2002, days after Gutterman had become chairman, an off-shore trust company called Damen had bought the freehold from the brewery for 300,000. The director of Damen is Alexander Hamilton a business acquaintance of Gutterman's who is also, coincidentally, a property developer.


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