Posted: Fri 29th Jan 2021

Updated: Fri 29th Jan

Wrexham AFC “excluded” from UK Government National League funding for being Welsh for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 29th, 2021

Wrexham Football Club is the only club out of 66 other league members not eligible for an avenue of pandemic support due to playing in Wales.

In a statement tonight club owners the WST have said Wrexham AFC “has been excluded from the Sports Winter Survival Package (SWSP) for National League clubs, owing to our location in Wales”.

UK Government had announced spectator sports in England would receive a combined £300 million cash to help them survive the pandemic, with Wrexham’s league getting £11m with an extra £10m allocated for non league clubs via lottery funding with funding appearing league based rather than a geographic / devolved pot.

The release notes Sport England would be administering the funding, with Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport referring to “Britain” being a “sports powerhouse” adding, “this Government will do everything we can to help our precious sports and clubs make it through covid.”

A note at the bottom of the UK Government statement points to the funding announcement possibly being England only, “The devolved administrations have been provided with an upfront guarantee this year of £16 billion above their Spring Budget 2020 funding to support their response to Covid-19. It is for the devolved administrations to decide how to use this funding irrespective of how UK government provides support in England.”

The club learnt about the decision after a National League Clubs meeting earlier today, it means that Wrexham AFC are the only club out of sixty-six fellow National League members to be excluded from further funding.

The clubs have been discussing funding, and an option to ‘pause’ the season until funding issues had been resolved, with the club now saying it will abstain from any vote. It appears there is no appetite from the fellow 66 clubs to split their share slightly to help the 67th.

On Monday the Welsh Government announced a £17.7m grant based fund to support spectator sports in Wales, with football allocated £1.5m of the total pot – as we reported with Rugby Union getting 76% of the funding.

Welsh Government have said, “The funding will ensure the short-to-medium term survival of sports organisations and clubs who have been financially impacted by the restrictions on spectators at sporting events.”

The revenue funding package will be allocated to the sports’ national governing bodies directly from Welsh Government – so it will be up to the FAW how the £1.5m will be distributed and if Wrexham will see any funding.

Wrexham are of course in the middle of a takeover by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who themselves have made a ‘donation’ this week to help with finances due to the lag in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approving the deal. approached the FCA to discover if there was any progress on the takeover paperwork, or if comment was not possible on specific cases could they explain the general processes and timelines involved. They declined to comment.

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