Posted on 4th April 2018
The rebuilding of Wrexham
This is a story from the SD archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
When Wrexham Supporters Trust took control of the club back in 2011, they took on a business that was losing over £1 million a year and had just sold it’s main asset, the iconic Racecourse Ground. Next week at their AGM the 3,000+ owners will hear how the club have made another profit and continue to make progress off the pitch. We believe that their story is worth sharing and proof that despite the regulatory system rewarding clubs that lose money and take risks, you can still succeed with a model that is committed to long term success.
Board Member Spencer Harris shares an insight into what they have achieved and how they operate below:
“The six years of ownership of the Wrexham Supporters Trust has required us to work extremely hard with a loyal and committed fanbase from when we took over in November 2011. Back then the under previous ownership the club had lost all of its assets including the stadium and training ground and was in a financially distressed state on the brink of collapse without a single policy in place to govern how the business is run. Today we have good business governance in place and have got back effective control of the stadium with a 99 year lease and have a new training ground in the centre of town with exclusive use of a local authority owned sports ground under a licence agreement and are competing at the top end of the National League.
It has not been easy, and whilst we have had some success on the pitch (reaching Wembley three times), we have not yet achieved our ambition of a return to the Football League and hope that we can do it this season. Off the pitch there is a long list of successes including average crowds up to over 4,700 per game under fans ownership (we get more through the gate than some League one sides with limited away numbers to swell that number) and increasing commercial revenue with turnover rising to £2.6 million in the last recorded financial year.
To achieve these results we have benefited from the dedication of a good team of staff and a number of volunteers. Any business is only as good as its people and we have had a consistent team behind the scenes in place which now has lots of experience on how football works and the supporting infrastructure required to be successful. Ultimately the supporters of the club know that the only motivation of the club is to be the best it can be and do good in the local community and we believe this makes all the difference. Fan engagement levels are higher than ever referenced by the increasing gates, £1 million invested by fans in the 6 years and our ‘Build The Budget’ initiative raising over £100,000 in just 10 months by individual fans and supporter groups.”
We wish Wrexham well on their ambition to get back to the Football League, and their continued success under community ownership.