Dear Wrexham Supporter,
As you may be aware, I have recently accepted an invitation to become the President of the Wrexham Supporters Trust. As a lifelong fan and a member of the Trust since its inception, I was delighted to take on this role.
I attended a Trust meeting in February as my first official duty and was heartened to see such a full room and many new and returning members. As my second official duty, Im launching a membership drive to try and encourage as many people as possible to join up, so, if youll spare me a few moments, Id like to explain why I think this is so important.
The Trust was established and flourished in troubled times at the Racecourse. The attempt to kill the club at that time convinced many fans that the only way to ensure this didnt happen again in future was to seek greater involvement in the way the club was run. This remains the aim of the Trust.
As I begin my Presidency, I look at the state of the game beyond Wrexham and see that many others are soon going to be attempting to do something similar to save their own beloved clubs. Remember how Cardiff City supporters gave us great backing in our troubled times, well they recently been in contact with our Trust board seeking advice and guidance as they try to stave off their own crisis and the very real possibility that their club could soon cease to exist.
Even closer to home, of course, our border rivals are now facing the prospect of starting all over again, as their club, Chester City, is effectively dead. No more derbies, no more banter, no more ridiculous kick-off times. Again, their fans have joined together to try and provide an alternative, but theyll restart a long way down and its long journey back.
They had a history, they had a fan base but they also had an owner who didnt have the best interests of the club at heart. People think clubs dont go bust, that they always cling on, well, we have the proof that they do and its staring at us on the Flintshire/Cheshire border.
I could go on - Portsmouth, Notts County, Bournemouth, Southend - all clubs on the brink and down in the non-league set-up the picture is arguably even worse.
In so many of these cases, fans have seen their club; the club they will support emotionally and financially all their lives, hawked around by incompetent or deluded businessmen whos motivations have little or nothing to do with the long-term success of the team.
Without a boardroom presence, these fans have been unable to bring any influence to bear on the direction in which their club is being pushed. In many instances, the fans have not had any sense of the looming crisis being created until it has actually come upon them.
The games authorities seem reluctant to investigate the motivations of those being given permission to run our clubs, if they wont help, we have to help ourselves.
Wrexham Supporters Trust is in a stronger position than most. It is well-established, has an energetic board and, perhaps most importantly, a sizeable sum in the bank. However, that sum needs to be bigger before the Trust can realistically approach the clubs board to talk seriously about investment. We are not talking about a takeover, we are talking about being given the chance to invest in the club like any other successful local business-investment in return for a place at the boardroom table. Then, and only then, can we get a sense of the direction in which the clubs moving, can we have a real say in the big decisions being made by others about the future of OUR club.
More members means more money but more members alsosignals clearly that the majority of Wrexham supporters are united in a belief that this is the right path to follow. Trust membership levels were well over a thousand at their height, theyve dipped down to half that level more recently but I would love to see them back at and way beyond that previous high. Exeter City have membership levels of over 2000, look how theyve risen from near-extinction from a potential fan base similar in size or even smaller than our own.
It doesnt cost much to get involved, as little as £12 a year (Thats £1 per month!), there are many fringe benefits to being a member but most of all, in time, you might be able to say that you played an active part in Wrexhams return to a level more befitting the clubs history and status in the game.Wrexham For Ever,
Wrexham Supporters Trust President.