Before home games I normally drop my Grandparents off at Cashconverters, which provides me with just enough money to get a seat behind the goal. It’s quite a cosy shop, or so my Grandparents tell me when I pick them up on payday. On the way to the ground it gives me a great thrill when Mark Griffiths (International Goalkeeper, etc ,etc , etc) waves to me from his helicopter, as it lands on his private pad on top of Glyndwr University. He kindly pays me a pound for every article I write for Wrexhamfan , although I actually receive 50p. Mark says this is for complicated tax reasons, and I’m very grateful he sorts it out for me. It’s an unequal world, so are Wrexham fans willing to do anything about it?
The Trust, Club, and supporters groups can generate sufficient income to provide a ‘top five’ playing budget. Let’s be clear about how unequal the playing budgets are in the Conference. An educated guess at Wrexham’s playing budget is £600,000, Salisbury’s has been quoted by its chairman at £400,000, Luton’s and Forest Green’s budgets are estimated to be around Two million. Luton have a lot of fans, Forest Green have a lot of money, is this fair? How can we ever get out of the Conference if between two and four clubs spend significantly more money on players than we do, and can sack (and compensate) managers until they find a good one.
Michel Platini’s reaction to inequality in football is the ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules. Basically he wants clubs to live within their football incomes. I appreciate the sentiment, but am entirely unconvinced the goals are achievable and more importantly there is any point to achieving them. Football has to sell clothing, cars, mobile phones and beer. This is the global purpose of football, everything else is incidental. No fan can hope their team will meet all others on an equal footing, and I think most fans enjoy the David and Goliath aspect of games.
Don Bircham’s plan to tackle our perceived unfair share of football spoils is a popular one. He has advocated we must use our resources to climb back into the league as soon as possible, and this is the top priority. I think that aim would have the backing of most fans of the club, it doesn’t have my backing. I think Don Bircham is setting us a target we cannot guarantee we will reach, and in aiming to achieve it so single-mindedly we may fail to achieve a far more important goal.
Nearly losing the club made us realise how precious it is. It is precious to Wrexham and can be an even greater source of community pride, pleasure and adhesion. I’ve just been reading about the Joe Clarke Project’s (a newish fans group) curry night with Joe Clarke attending. It sounds like everybody had a great time, made new friends, and wanted to do more together. That’s the point of the Club! and investing in this aspect is guaranteed to bring reward to the community.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to get back in to the league, but I value the Club not by its league or financial position, but by the amount of value it is giving to its community. We can’t generate enough funds to guarantee promotion, so I want some consideration given to funding successes we can achieve. If the club invests solely on promotion season after season, and we fail, then the money is lost. If we invest a bit in the community then the rewards are lasting. What do you want? and when do you want it?