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Wednesday, 27 July 2011 08:25

WST Statement 27th July 2011

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wstlogosmallFollowing the withdrawal of Crusaders' application for a Super League licence and the subsequent statement from Chief Executive Rod Findlay signaling that one of the options is that the Crusaders simply cease to exist, the Wrexham Supporters Trust is calling on the directors of Wrexham Football Club to make public their intentions for the Club. The statement made by the directors and the action taken with the Crusaders franchise has created a lack of certainty at a time when agreed proposals were being finalised. 

The Board strongly rejects any suggestion that any delay in the completion of due diligence and offer for Wrexham FC is within its control. The Trust initially made an offer to take control of both the Club and its assets in early June - and approached Wrexham Council for financial support to do so . This bid was rejected in mid June and left the Trust in the position of preparing a second approach in a very tight time frame. 

Financial due diligence was delayed because significant preparatory work had to be conducted to develop a full understanding of the Club's forecasted cash-flow. The Club's accounts did not enable us to complete due diligence quickly, so we spent considerable time - at our own time and expense - developing projections to enable us to complete the process properly. 

Following this detailed exercise it became clear that the Club had significant debts which were due to be paid by the start of the season. Given this situation and the fact that the owners rejected the initial Trust offer to purchase the club and its assets the Trust looked for new ways to protect football in the town and to protect the Racecourse ground and Colliers Park . This involved working with both the club and Glyndwr University . This deal provides the opportunity to secure the assets and clear a considerable amount of the clubs debt, exactly as required by the owners. The reference to a 6-8week delay has not emerged from the Trust and it is not at all clear how the directors have arrived at that position on a deal for which they knew the time frame from the start. 

The owners have been aware from the outset that this deal could not be completed until the end of July at the earliest. They accepted this proposal in full knowledge of the time they were likely to conclude the deal and were fully aware that the Trust could only progress in the same time scale. The owners were well aware of their need keep the club going until the deal is completed. We are disappointed and upset by the continual pressure that the owners seek to place on the Trust by referring to delays when the owners have been aware of these timescales. In addition, during this period, key decision makers at the Club have been on holiday, delaying matters further.  

Regrettably,(and despite the owners retaining full control), the owners have not made public any steps they have taken to improve the financial position of Wrexham FC by managing costs and income since they indicated their intention to sell and since they first mentioned the high costs of running the club,. They have not made public any actions they have taken to improve the financial position or improve cash flow.

Following the sad news yesterday about the Crusaders, we are now publicly calling upon that the owners of Wrexham FC to confirm that the Club and the squad that they have assembled during the close season is supported until the proposed sale is completed. 

In view of the latest development we feel it necessary to pause and take stock of our discussions with the Club until the owners make their intentions publicly clear.  We have not withdrawn our  proposal,  which has been agreed in principle with the club as the basis for securing Wrexham FC. We are willing to resume immediately upon receiving assurances about the future of the Club. The Trust has never objected to the introduction of third parties to support the survival of the club and we look forward to confirming that the owners are in genuine conversations with parties who are financially able to help save the club and have the best long term interests of sustaining professional football at the Racecourse Ground. However, at this time we have not been made aware of any other serious offer to invest in the club. 

The Board also appreciates the difficulties caused to the staff, players and fans of Crusaders. We wish all the best to the employees of Crusaders RFL affected by yesterday's announcements.

John Mills