North East Wales

Wrexham FC sale thrown into fresh doubt

Racecourse ground at Wrexham
Image caption A takeover deal was struck for Wrexham FC, subject to FA approval, in September

The takeover of Wrexham FC has been thrown into fresh doubt due to legal issues ahead of the handover.

A deal was struck this summer with Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST), pending approval by the football authorities.

But the club's current owners say the Football Association (FA) has asked for "very stringent" guarantees to ensure that in future any existing debtors of the club are paid by them.

The FA said its rules were clear and its requirements had not changed.

In a statement the current owners said they could not issue "an open cheque" and that a set amount and timeframe would have to apply.

This would have to be agreed by the WST, they said.

If it was not, the club warned, it would have to move quickly to find an alternative buyer or else they would "struggle" to keep the club running.

However Spencer Harris, one of the WST's directors, said it had completed financial due diligence on the basis that there was a warranty from Geoff Moss, one of the current club owners.

Mr Harris added: "If there is a change in position on that, our belief is that this would invalidate our financial due diligence which would make our mandate from our members to do the takeover void.

"Our belief is that there has been a change of position since the deal was struck. That would need to be confirmed by our legal team."

BBC Wales asked the English FA for a comment as it has been scrutinising the deal due to Wrexham playing in the Blue Square Bet Premier League, which is in the English structure.

But an FA spokesman would not comment apart from saying that the rules are clear and its requirements have not changed.

'Personal guarantees'

The latest crisis in the long-running takeover bid comes as the club's fortunes on the pitch have taken a turn for the better, with Wrexham top of the league.

In its statement, the club's current owners said: "The FA have set a new directive of what we can only describe as very stringent warranties and personal guarantees on the current owners, in some cases our solicitor describes them as over and above what is the norm in English law.

"He goes on to say that in view of those new requirements the position of both parties will have to change, the FA recognise that we cannot give an 'open cheque' under the personal guarantees required and a set amount and timeframe would have to apply.

"This is an issue that has to be accepted by both sides.

"Our solicitor yesterday wrote to the WST outlining the new FA stance and recommending a solution, we hope to have their response in the next 24 hrs and hope we can make progress.

"With WST no longer helping run the club we will struggle to keep the club running for too long, so time is not on our side."

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