Today Wrexham Football Club released its accounts giving an indepth look at not only the financial health of the club but an insight to the dire state the club was left in during its previous ownership.
Breaking from the tradition of the last few years the new owners, the fans themselves, went over and beyond what is required by company law publishing a fuller set of accounts than just a abbreviated set.
Previous owners, ‘businessmen’ Geoff Moss from Farndon and Ian Roberts from Ruthin based ‘Roberts Homes’ generously sold the carpark of the club to a company they themselves owned to develop student flats on, sold the Racecourse ground itself to Glyndwr University and sold the club to fans group Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) for £1. Prior to their takeover the club owned the freehold to the carpark, the ground and was being run at a break even point under administration.
At the time of the student flats development fans were given promises that all revenue raised would be ‘safeguarded to go back into the club’. There is currently no ongoing benefit from the flats to the club, with revenues estimated at around £30,000 per week based off Glyndwr’s official website figures.
The Racecourse Ground is now owned by Glyndwr University, who have agreed a licence (not lease) with Wrexham Football Club for 25 years – with currently 24 years remaining – for use of the ground and Colliers Park training ground. Today’s figures reveal the licence fee equates to £119,583 however this is offset by the University’s sponsorship.
The club itself which was sold for a pound was in a £442,000 black hole at the time of purchase. Today’s details show this included a £100,000 cash injection from the WST to keep the company going during the drawn out purchase saga. Another part of the debt included a £24k VAT bill that was unpaid, and a £129,986 loan due to Roberts Homes – former owner Ian Roberts’ company.
The disgraceful manner which the club was previously run still echos forward impacting even today despite new owners, with the club having to pay VAT monthly rather than the usual quarterly, plus having an inconvenience of a VAT inspection recently.
Fans have not had sight of such detailed accounts for over a decade, with today’s figures showing the situation from the day the WST took over ownership on the 30th November 2011 – the Darlington home game that season.
The club turned over £1,400,000 . Projected losses were thought to be around £750,000 however hard work on and off the pitch means this has been reduced to a projected loss of ‘just’ £200,000.
Footballing costs in terms of player and staff wages are still kept confidential to enable a competitive advantage, however in the spirit of openness even that decision is being put before WST members.
Wrexham FC’s youth setup, the Centre Of Excellence, is also covered in these accounts, with the overall net cost to the club being stated at around £10,000 . However one youth player (Ward, Goalkeeper) was sold to Liverpool during this period for around £100,000. The breakdown of the accounts show transfer revenue of £5000 attributed to the Centre of Excellence rather than the full £100,000 of the Ward deal.
The club received a total of £330,000 in transfer income during the period covered by the accounts, which as well as the Ward deal, included the sale of pacey wing back Curtis Obeng to Premiership side Swansea for around £200,000 plus addons.
Policing costs were not given an exact figure, however a graph was shown to fans indicating it was just under £25,000.
Mark Williams, Wrexham Football Club Director, said things were “Alot better!” as “We budgeted to lose £700k so this is a fantastic achievement”.
He went on to explain that “The plan is to make this a sustainable business and we are on course for that”.
(Pictured: WFC board and chairman present to the fans, the owners of the club)