Source: Daily Post
by Mark Currie, DPW West, May 19 2011
SUPPORTERS of Wrexham FC have been told not to give up on their dream of one day owning the club and running it for the benefit of the wider community.
The message from Jules Spencer, a founding member of FC United of Manchester, was delivered at a public meeting that had been arranged by Wrexham Supporters’ Trust before Monday’s announcement that a bid by Shrewsbury businessman Jon Harris had been accepted by club owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts.
Although bitterly disappointed by the decision, the Trust decided to go ahead with a detailed presentation of the substance of and rationale for its own proposals designed to secure the long-term future of the club and the Racecourse Stadium as a community-based asset.
FC United director Spencer recalled he had spoken 12 months ago at a meeting that led to the formation of a fans-owned Chester FC after the city’s previous club had gone out of business under the chairmanship of recently jailed businessman and disqualified director, Stephen Vaughan.
“Chester fans did not know which way to turn because they had been kicked from pillar to post,” he said.
“They wanted their club back but you could sense the doubt and unease in the room because supporters had been told year in and year out to know their place, hand over their money and stand on the terraces.
“But (clubs like) AFC Wimbledon, FC United of Manchester and Chester FC have proved that to be wrong and, given that opportunity, you (Wrexham fans) can prove it as well.”
New Wrexham owner Mr Harris, formerly general manager at Shrewsbury Town, said on Monday his successful bid had been backed financially by millionaire Colin Poole, the disgraced former co-founder of Claims Direct, who is both a disqualified director and has been struck off as a solicitor.
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, a member of the Trust and backer of the Trust’s ownership bid, has called on Business Secretary Vince Cable to examine any potential infringement of company law. Dave Boyle, chief executive of nationwide fans organisation, Supporters Direct, has asked the football authorities to subject both Mr Harris and Mr Poole to its “fit and proper person” test.
Trust chairman Richard Owen told the meeting: “We can still do this. We have a credible plan in place and we are ready to implement it again should we be given the opportunity.”
Asked whether the Trust would take up Mr Poole’s offer of a 25% shareholding in the club and a seat in the boardroom, Owen added: “We are still reeling from the news (of the takeover) and we need to meet as a board to discuss this.
“We need to understand exactly what the club is offering.”
But Kevin Jaquiss, a specialist lawyer with Manchester-based firm, Cobbetts, warned the Trust’s constitution was very specific with regard to any potential investment.
“The directors of the Trust have to be satisfied that any of its money it spends will be for the benefit of the community.”
An emergency motion was set to be put forward to Wrexham Council last night to discuss the club’s position.