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Fans United for Clubs in Crisis - Sat 29 Jan 2005
Fans United for Clubs in Crisis - Sat 29 Jan 2005

YCST - supporting other supporters

THOUSANDS of football fans are putting aside tribal differences in a day of unity for clubs on the brink of financial ruin.


On Saturday 29 January fans from all over the country will descend on Wrexhams Racecourse Ground -  for their match against Doncaster Rovers - in a mass display of solidarity to tell the Football Association and Football League: Act now or clubs across the land will go out of existence.


Two months ago more than 10,000 fans gathered at the same ground in a Fans United day to draw attention to Wrexhams FCs own plight. The 132 year old club is in financial administration, has been docked 10 points by the Football League and faces eviction from its ground in just 183 days, on 21 July 2005.


Unless a buyer for the club is found Wrexham faces liquidation and will be the first football league club to go out of existence since Aldershot FC in 1992.


Many fans believe the clubs plight is due to its owner Alex Hamilton, who wants to sell the ground for over 6million to property developers and has served the club an eviction notice.


But Wrexham is not alone.


Clubs the length and breadth of the UK are in a similar plight: Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Bury, Cambridge United, Dover Athletic, Hendon FC, East Stirlingshire, Gateshead, Grimsby Town, Rotherham and even former Premiership giants Leeds United are all currently facing uncertain futures.


Many more clubs have come close to collapse in the past year Bradford City, York City and Notts County are high profile examples while Telford United FC actually folded.


Fans from all these clubs are now being invited to gather at the Racecourse Ground and stand in their team colours alongside Wrexham and Doncaster fans in what promises to be a festival of a day.


Supporters from other clubs are also urged to attend to show their solidarity in the biggest display of fan unity ever seen. Those that cannot get to the game are asked to send a scarf, banner or team shirt to show support.


A Fans United spokesman and Brighton supporter Nic Outterside said: It is 12 years since Aldershot FC went bust and in that time many other football clubs have gone to the brink. In many cases these crises have been due to mismanagement or sheer greed by club owners or chairmen.


When we lost our own ground sold by our chairman Bill Archer to build a retail park we came within inches of going out of existence. Even now our club is homeless and survives on a season by season basis.


The danger of Wrexham folding after 132 years of league football is real, and others are close behind in what could be a domino effect which would see many towns lose their football clubs forever.


I urge every football fan to take part in the Clubs in Crisis day and tell the Football Association and Football League that the time has come to step in and save the heart of British football.


Simon Johnson of the Wrexham Supporters Trust added:  Football fans have had enough of being ignored. These are our teams and our stadiums and we wont let the incompetence or greed of a few wealthy individuals take them away from us.


Let us all stand together and show the powers-that-be that we are desperate to safeguard our clubs for future generations and we need their help.


The game against Doncaster Rovers is particularly poignant as the South Yorkshire club were themselves on the brink of extinction in 1998 with spiralling debts, relegation to the Vauxhall Conference and their owner Ken Richardson jailed for conspiring to set fire the clubs grandstand.


Bob Gilbert, an organiser and veteran of Doncaster Rovers own fight for survival, said: Like at so many other clubs, nothing more than personal gain lay behind the ruin of Donny Rovers.


In seeking that gain one man trampled on the dreams of thousands. And neither he, nor the FA nor the Football League ever cared.


So I urge you, passionately, to turn up at the Racecourse on 29 January to show all these people that millions and millions of us do care.



Notes to Editors:


  1. All 92 football league club press officers and their fans internet message boards have been contacted about the Clubs in Crisis  day of action.


  1. BBC Television Sport and BBC Radio 5 Live have given their support to the fight to save Wrexham FC.


  1.  Any club who wishes to donate a scarf, banner or shirt to the day of action are asked to send their item to:   Wrexham Supporters Trust, PO Box 200, Wrexham  LL12 9WG


  1. Photograph and interview opportunities are available on request.


  1. Further information:


Email:             Nic Outterside

Bob Gilbert

Simon Johnson


Telephone:    07891 397636  (Nic Outterside)

07981 151958 (Wrexham Supporters Trust)



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