Wrexham FC were sold for just a pound on Monday to the club’s former commercial director Jon Harris. The news was met with anger by fans who had been hoping that the club would be sold to Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST).
A statement released on the club website said: “Current owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts today announce that they have agreed to sell their interest in Wrexham FC to Jon Harris who will assume the role of Managing Director of the club with immediate effect.”
The WST board spoke of their disappointment following the sale, they said: “We, the society board, are bitterly disappointed that it appears that the community of Wrexham and North Wales will not have an opportunity to acquire Wrexham FC, Colliers Park and the Racecourse Ground.” Mr Harris’s purchase of the club did not include the Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park, which he said he intends to buy off former owner Geoff Moss at a later date. The trust have been offered a 25.1% stake in the club by Mr Harris, but as yet have not indicated whether they intend to take him up on the offer.
Concerns have been raised by fans and local politicians regarding Mr Harris’s financial backer Colin Poole who has a directorship ban in place until 2018 and has also been struck off the Solicitors Roll.
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “I raised concerns about Colin Poole, who the club acknowledge is involved with the winning bid, with football authorities last week. “Mr Lucas added that he would be writing to Business Secretary Vince Cable regarding Mr Poole’s involvement at the club. Mr Poole received the directorship ban for his role in Claims Direct, which went into liquidation in 2003, following allegations of customers being overcharged for insurance premiums. It remains unclear whether his involvement at the club would be in breach of his ban; Mr Harris described his role as being only that of “a consultant”. However, if he was found to be acting as a shadow director, this could be seen as a breach of both his directorship ban and the FA’s Fit and Proper Persons Test.
Companies House records also show that Mr Poole is a major shareholder in League Two side Shrewsbury Town FC, holding a total of 40,000 shares. At a meeting held on Tuesday night the WST vowed to continue with their bid for the club despite the agreement struck between Geoff Moss and Jon Harris. WST spokesman Spencer Harris said: “If this deal falls through, we shall have to see what happens, but we’ll be ready.” “Whether it’s next week, next year or five years from now, Wrexham FC will ultimately be owned by the fans.”
Wrexham.com suggests watching the recent BBC1 Wales documentary ‘Week in Week Out’ which highlights further issues: bbc.co.uk/iplayer/Week_In_Week_Out_Pitches_Pride_and_Pom_Poms/