Source: Daily Post
* by Steve Bagnall, DPW East
* May 12 2011
THE battle for Wrexham FC intensified today with the club’s largest supporter group launching the second phase of their bid to buy the Dragons.
Buoyed by the success of their “Million Reasons” sharehold venture – which secured more than £200,000 in indicative offers from fans to buy shares to run the club – the Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) today unveiled their “Roadmap” scheme.
With the Dragons out of the play-offs to get back into the Football League after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Luton Town, WST believe now is the time to push to buy the club, The Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park training ground.
Yesterday they revealed they were ready to fully launch a community share scheme facilitated by Supporters Direct and law firm Cobbetts Law, who have facilitated similar plans for other clubs.
They said they were aiming to get a majority ownership of the club and give the assets back to the community.
And with prospective buyer Stephanie Booth now out of the race and Colin Poole remaining tight lipped on his position, the trust revealed more details on how they would create a sustainable club.
An open meeting has been set for Tuesday next week at Glyndwr University to hear about the progress of the bid and the Roadmap to achieve community ownership.
Chairman of Wrexham Supporters Trust, Richard Owen said: “This season has been full of twists and turns, like no other.
“Whilst we just fell short in our efforts to win promotion back to the football league, there is a chance to make a long lasting difference off the pitch and the time is right for the community to take on this challenge.
“I urge Wrexham fans and potential investors to turn up in numbers on Tuesday 17 May to show your support for our club.
“A community based bid for Wrexham Football Club led by the Wrexham Supporters Trust.”
The Roadmap plan includes details on acquiring the club subject to membership approval.
The trust want to invest their £400,000 in working capital and finalise a business and budget plan for next season following due diligence of the club’s finances.
They want to asset lock the Racecourse by placing it into a community interest company (CIC), generate more income through maximising assets and look to attract outside investment to return the Racecourse to an international standard venue.
At Tuesday’s meeting they will hear speakers with experience of delivering similar plans including Kevin Jaquiss of Cobbetts Law, FC United who have raised over £1.4 million in a community shares scheme, and Chester FC who are back on the way up after supporters took ownership.
Yesterday Wrexham MP Ian Lucas backed the Trust’s venture.
He said: “I’m delighted to support the WST’s bid to acquire Wrexham FC and hope that the owners take this opportunity to leave a legacy of community ownership for the people of Wrexham.
“I believe that this community-led bid is in the best long-term interest of Wrexham as a town.”
l THE WST launch meeting will be held in the William Aston Hall at Glyndr University starting at 7:30pm.