Wrexham FC is up for sale without the enticement for potential buyers of either a home ground or valuable development property it owned until recently.
The Welsh club's owner, Geoff Moss, who made millions from the sale of his Elegant Resorts firm to Thomas Cook in 2008, had injected £4.9m in (at times interest‑bearing) loans in the three years after taking Wrexham out of administration in 2006. In late 2008 Wrexham's wage bill was £1.99m, financed on just £1.895m of turnover; there were also £1.186m of unspecified "administrative expenses" on top. The club repaid Moss £5m of his loans in June 2009 when he bought a tract of its land for £6m, where he is building student digs. Ian Roberts, a Wrexham director since March 2009, told Digger that an independent market valuation of the land was not taken. The club, minus its development land, is now for sale, the £1m land-sale profit spent.
According to the going-concern clause in the club's audited accounts, Moss and Roberts pledged to meet its cashflow needs for "at least 12 months" from last August. But less than five months later Moss has announced he will separate the Racecourse Ground from the club. It will reside with the Wrexham Village parent company he and Roberts own.
"Geoff has never received any money back," said Roberts, explaining that buyers in negotiations want only the club's intangible assets – the player registrations (and associated wage costs) – not its property. So we must assume that prospective new owners would be happy to pay Moss and Roberts £150,000 a year in utility and maintenance costs for use of a stadium they will not own.
FA board's heavy handA review of football's governance is again under way, this time by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee. Responses are due in a fortnight. And in an all-too-wearying paradox, the Football Association's submission must first be run past the non-executives on the FA's main board. Paradox, because many view minute operational scrutiny by the vested interests on the FA board as being the problem with the FA's governance structures in the first place. Digger suspects the FA's board-approved submission is highly unlikely to bring this to light.
Gunners go west?As Thierry Henry switches New York for London Colney to rejoin Arsenal this month for fitness training ahead of the Major League Soccer season, Arsène Wenger's players are expected to head in the opposite direction during England's close season. Arsenal are working on a schedule for their pre-season tour this summer and although the US is not the confirmed destination, it will involve long-haul flights in an attempt to stimulate greater international interest in the Gunners. It represents a big departure from Wenger's previous football-only tours to unknown clubs in the Austrian Alps.
Bookies back CowardIt was pPerhaps unsurprisingly, John McCririck appointed himself spokesman for the industry when he claimed "the whole of racing should be delighted" at Nic Coward's departure last month as chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority. Coward leaves the sport to become the Premier League's first general secretary in April but, as it turns out, even his most implacable adversaries now admit that he has done an impressive job. Last week the bookmakers combined to point to the success of a number of racing's income streams under Coward, saying these are why an increase in Levy payments is unnecessary. "Racing is thriving and does not need an increased subsidy," said the bookies. Who'd have thought it?
Dalglish's bedroom thrillConfirmation that Kenny Dalglish's wife, Marina, bears no grudge after he abandoned a luxury cruise the couple were enjoying last week so he could rescue the other love of his life. At least, according to her remarks on Twitter yesterday, Mrs Dalglish has not booted Kenny out of her bed and told him he can sleep in the spare room. An apparently excited Marina wrote: "Just a thought! Woke up with Liverpool manager lying beside me! Twenty years since that happened!"
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