We conclude our Q&A with the operational board for now.
We will be inviting supporters to ask questions of the WST board members next, and re-visiting the Operational Board at a later date.
Craig Matthews asked: The recent past is the past and will always divide opinion, so have/will the board consider having a football operations director employed by the organisation? This paid role would surely allow for scrutiny and accountability of the highest order on all things football related.
Gavin Jones: Hello Craig. The operational board has discussed the option of employing an operations manager many times and in an ideal world where financial resources weren’t an issue we would. Even in the National League, the cost of this appointment to “make a difference” we have calculated that it would be circa £60k-£75k. The only place to spend this money would be from the playing budget. This is the dilemma.
To counter this, the club have appointed five “executive” managers – Commercial, Stadium, Finance, Youth and Football which report into the operational board.
To support this relationship, each position is supplemented/accompanied by club board members daily assisting directly in matters such as Commercial, Stadium and Finance and with liaising with external organisations such as Council, Welsh Government, University, etc.
This doesn’t mean that with will always be the case.
Mark Griffiths asked: Why does Carl Darlington seem to have so much influence within the footballing side of the club, whether that be recommending managers or even setting tactics and training schedules when he is only there 1 day a week and on match days?
Spencer Harris: Hi Mark. Please see the answer to Ken Davies & Peter Jones’ questions re Carl’s role at the Club. Carl is a highly experienced and valued member of the staff.
Ultimately team tactics and training is the accountability of the First Team Manager and not Carl. Carl leads the Coach education programme for the FAW Trust which is highly respected across the Football World and so is training some of the upcoming coaches and managers to Pro Licence Standard. We will always take intelligence about players, managers and other staff from multiple sources to aspire to get the best people we can for Wrexham AFC.
Lee White asked: Each season we fail to fulfil the club's expectations to get back into the football league. As a board what are you going to do to fulfil this no point sacking manager after manager you have to give funds to Dean Keates to get players in?
John Mills: Hello Lee. Success on the pitch is a difficult task to ensure, as described in previous answers. As a Board, one major thing we can, and continue to do, is ensure that the Club is secure and growing, and an attractive place for a player to ply his trade. Over the past 9 years we have had to rebuild what in effect was a Club with nothing, to being in a financially secure position, with a 99 year lease on its ground, concerts and commercial income that allows the Club, to be competitive against millionaire owned teams, an upcoming new permanent training ground, the probability of a new Kop stand and further soon to be revealed further new initiatives that will enhance the Club’s future.
However, we fully recognise that it is the on the pitch efforts that fans are primarily concerned with. We will ensure we maximise the budgets available to the manager to run a competitive team in what is a financially unbalanced league. We have already increased this year’s budget 20% above what it was last year and have made extra funds available for Dean to use to enhance his squad in the January transfer window.
Also, the fact that, as a Welsh team, we are the only Club in our league who have to adhere to the international transfer window. This is very much a handicap in our current position in that we can only bring in loan players until then. However, Dean seems to have recruited well in this department (injuries apart!).
Robert Harrison asked: Why has the net been put up in the tech end?
Mark Williams: Hi Robert.The netting was put in place as a result of the actions of supporters at the match against Stockport County where missiles were thrown at Stockport County supporters in the lower tier that struck stewards and police officers.
The plan of putting a net in was to create a safe segregated area to prevent any injuries to opposition supporters, club employees and police officers.