A Day Of Conflicting Rumours And Confusion At Wrexham


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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33 Responses

  1. John Beech says:

    Excellent piece Ian. Wrexham fans deserve so much better than what has been on the table so far.

  2. Jertzee says:

    “and it may be a harsh reality that the club may have to cut its cloth accordingly while it adjusts to not haemorrhaging money with every passing day” – no, not “harsh reality”, but bloody plain obvious.
    It is simple….you don’t live beyond your means. End of.

  3. ian says:

    It is simple, isn’t Jertzee. Until you actually look at some of the issues.

    The question we should be asking is precisely why we’re haemorrhaging money, particularly when we exited administration as a profitable football league team.

    Possibly one reason is that attendances are down although we’re still one of the better supported teams in the division. Another reason is frittering away large wages on shit players over the last few years, although the fact that we lost money in a season when we had a playing budget of 35% of turnover suggests more serious problems. Our playing budget this season at least is hardly excessive.

    A more plausible reason is the utter shambles that is our commercial department. Since the Crusaders have moved in, there has been zero effort to develop the commercial side of the business. Sponsorships go unsold, the club shop has no stock, even things like the matchday program are neglected to the point that no-one would hand over the £3 for it. At the same time, assets are pillaged.

    Then you look at some of the wages being paid to non-playing staff. We’re currently paying roughly as much on non-playing staff as we are on players wages. The largesse afforded Dean Saunders over the last few years pales into insignificance compared to the sums lavished upon incompetent cronies of Moss (including, lets not forget, two charity scammers).

    Then there’s other one-offs. The club was the only party (other than the Cru’s unfortunate creditors) to lose money on the Crusaders’ admin.

    Unfortunately, it’s not just a matter of cutting wages. The club needs rebuilding from the bottom up after a decade of being run into the ground.

    Smug Wimbledon fans are beginning to piss me off no end. You’re not the only people capable of understanding the need for football to be run sustainably. I think any Wrexham fan would trade the decade long pillage we’ve endured for the clean break afforded Wimbledon fans.

  4. Martin says:

    I’m not sure many other fans would like the “clean break” that we were “afforded” Ian, if you think about it for a second.

    Wrexham should chose their friends more carefully:


  5. ian says:

    We were in the middle of a frantic battle to save our club. We were entitled to take help where we could get it. Or would you prefer it if we’d sacrificed our club for you?

  6. ian says:

    P.S. My comment about Wimbledon fans doesn’t extend to your trust who have been fantastically supportive and a massive credit to both your club and football in general.

  7. Martin says:

    Of course I don’t begrudge you seeking help wherever you can, even from the supermarket property development that needlessly killed my club.

    Just be honest about it, that’s all. You need our help now and I hope we do all we can to publicise YET ANOTHER set of asset-stripping owners tonight on sub-prime telly.

    Your clean-break was out-of-order and could only come from someone who has no real experience of what completely losing your club actually involves.

    At least if Wrexham did die (and I hope not) you won’t have a loony salesman with several thousand casual customers dancing around the lower portions of the League with its corpse.

    Our fans are our Trust are our Club.

  8. Martin says:

    “The Wrexham trust invited supporters from franchise to watch a game at the Racecourse as guests of theirs when they did a match sponsorship. It resulted in a very nauseous love in between the Wrexham trust and the franchise, at a time when there was still an official FSF boycott. The fact that it could have easily been MK Wrexham escaped their notice. Wankers. But good of our DTB to show that principles can override bad actions.”

    I happily invite the fans of every struggling club to a wonderful “clean-break” and restart in the (much harder than you imagine) County leagues…

  9. Martin says:


    “We are working to support Wrexham in a number of different ways” he says. “Because they are in a situation where they could end up moving a significant distance away from their conurbation and just like any other football club we don’t think that’s right.

    “We will do whatever we can to play our part as part of the football club community to stop it happening. So no – we don’t think franchising is right.”

    So they were against it but happily support it?

    Shame on you all.

  10. Jertzee says:

    Ian, I am not posting as a Wimbledon fan. I am posting as a pissed off tax patyer who is sick of bailing out clubs that overspend.

    It is still simple.
    All those overspends were avoidable or should have been budgetted for.

    I am not blaming Wrexham fans or having a smug pop at you, but I suggest if you want our, or anybody elses help, you admit that you have been badly run and try to get the best for your club.

    And don’t get me onto the clean break…..

  11. Martin says:

    “You do realise a few short years before you accepted help from the franchise and in return lent them some legitimacy, we did not own a ground, shared at our rivals and were facing our club being destroyed by a supermarket property deal and what looked at the time like a near certain ending of the Wimbledon name in professional football? Sensibilities of Wrexham fans were regrettably not at the forefront of our mind when our priorities were more like taking help wherever we could get it. Desperation makes us all do things we’d rather not.”

  12. Martin says:

    “North Wales being unlike London where there’s a football ground round every corner”

    Stunning ignorance and a dig Ian. Nice one.

  13. ian says:

    “I am not blaming Wrexham fans or having a smug pop at you, but I suggest if you want our, or anybody elses help, you admit that you have been badly run and try to get the best for your club.”

    No-one’s saying we’re not badly run. We’ve been run into the ground over the last 7 years.

    I made the ‘smug’ comment because there always seems to be a comment (mainly from Martin) whenever a club’s in trouble suggesting they were asking for it.

    The ‘clean break’ comment was perhaps unfortunate (what with the abomination in Bedfordshire still around). But I’d certainly rather however many promotions and a well run community club than two relegations and serial mismanagement and very little prospect of getting out of this division any time in the next decade even if us fans do ever get in charge.

  14. Martin says:

    No club is “asking for it”

    Too many fans just do nothing about it, that’s the problem.

    I shall be working our turnstiles for nothing tonight.

    When I see the likes of you doing something similar at some new fans-owned club and ground squeezed somehow into the dense urban jungle and sky-high property market that is Clwyd then I’ll believe you have learned the lesson.

    Until then I’ll remain smug, thanks.

  15. peter says:

    adomination is bedfordshire? Why are Luton being called an abomination.. v.harsh.

  16. Martin says:

    You can’t expect Ian to know what county the franchise are in. He has his own problems to worry about.

    He’s from a completely different country and he was probably too over-whelmed by their desperate hospitality when he visited them ;)

    Seriously Ian, if you want to discuss it I’ll be in turnstile 4 tonight before the game (that’s a home one BTW).

  17. piggeh says:

    Why don’t Wrexham have a ‘clean break’ if it’s easier? Our clean break only meant fundraising of £2.5m to be able to get a ground, I’m sure if you have £1m in Wales you can build a ground of your own. So really, if all the fundraising, administration, finding a league, getting a competitive team together, is that much easier, I would recommend it as the way for Wrexham to (in the words of Koppel) ‘move forward’.

    However I do agree, in a time of trouble you will take whatever is being offered, and I don’t hold the majority of Wrexham fans responsible for anything to do with the FSF.

    I might put a few quid into the Wrexham bucket this evening, but I’m surprised that the tone of your post infers you think all Wimbledon fans think the same.

  18. ian says:

    I’ve never been to the Franchise, Martin. And, yes, I appreciate they are actually in Buckinghamshire.

  19. Martin says:

    Well you’ve just gone up 200% in my estimation then :)

  20. Ian says:

    Piggeh: The problem for Wrexham ST breaking away and starting a new club is one of what set-up they would play in. An exception is made by the FAW to allow them to stay in the English pyramid and there is, so far as I am aware, no will on the part of Wrexham’s support to join the Welsh Premier League or the Welsh system.

    If this incarnation of Wrexham FC were to go bust, on the other hand, they may be considered a continuation of the old club and be permitted to keep their place in the English pyramid, but it’s difficult to think of a reason beyond “because the supporters want to” why an exception would be made were a supporter-owned breakaway club to start while the old Wrexham FC still exists.

    Feel free to correct me if I have misunderstood any part of this.

  21. Martin says:

    Newport County fans successfully fought for their historic right to play in the English football system so I don’t see why Wrexham would be any different.

    Unless you think their fans are more able and effective than Wrexham’s of course.

  22. Jertzee says:

    Indeed – the precedent has already been set by Newport.

  23. Wibble Wobble says:

    @Martin, why don’t you wind your neck in?

    In one sense, Ian is right; whatever the cause of it, we did get a ‘clean break’ as a club, and don’t forget the majority of us only woke up very late to what was going on at our club. Don’t make us out to be some kind of example in the long-in-tooth campaigning stakes; Wrexham fans have been fighting for seven years+, so I think I know who has more right to be smug, and it’s not us.

    And @Jertzee, you might not like the taxpayer bailing out clubs, but however you look at it, these fans can’t be blamed for this, and are – have been – trying their hardest to do something to stop it for all that time.

    Now, at a tricky time, can’t you both at least give them a fecking break and a bit of support instead?

    Remember what it was like being told that we were the engineers of our own demise in 2001/2002 (and since)? It’s not nice, is it?

    And @Piggeh – unfortunately he’s probably a bit put off by some of what @martin and @jertzee have been posting.

  24. ian says:

    Jertzee, Martin – I’m not convinced that that Newport do demonstrate a precedence. I think they showed that the FAW couldn’t kick them out of the English system.

    That’s not the same as being able to enter the English system as a Welsh club.

  25. Martin says:

    I think Wrexham and its fans would have enough about them to take on the ludicrous FAW and win in any such situation.

    I’m surprised that you don’t think so.

  26. Jertzee says:

    @wibble wobble – I think you’ll find I didn’t blame the Wrexham fans.

    but why let that get in the way of a comment….

  27. Wibble Wobble says:

    There is apparently an agreement in place between the FA and FAW which says that the FAW has in effect first refusal on a new club based in Wales, and the right to demand that the club enter its system. That was established after the Newport case. Merthyr only got allowed to re-enter the English system because the FAW agreed they were technically a reformation, meaning that they were judged under the FA’s (old) rules on that, and not as a ‘new’ club.

    Problem is it doesn’t really have any system like England, where clubs of a certain size or ‘grading’ get placed further up the pyramid.

    And @jertzee, maybe you’d like to revisit your comments, because you hardly put them diplomatically.

  28. Jertzee says:

    @wibble – diplomatic?? Ian asked if it was simple – I replied yes. Not too sure what was undiplomatic about that.

    I would argue his comment on being pissed off about smug AFCW fans was undiplomtic.

    As long as people like you think it is ok to constantly have to pay for the lost taxes then I will carry on being “diplomatic”.

  29. Rob says:

    I am glad someone is using the ‘oldsite’ archive :)

    http://www.redpassion.co.uk/oldsite/ for those who want a historic delve…

  30. Gary says:

    Martin said: “You can’t expect Ian to know what county the franchise are in. He has his own problems to worry about.”

    Funny that coming from someone who a couple of posts earlier mentioned Clwyd …

  31. Martin says:

    Gary, whoosh!

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