The Board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust wishes to share the following important update regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the Football Club.
Following the recent National League announcement, in which it was confirmed the current season would be suspended indefinitely – and in light of ongoing, vital UK Government restrictions – important decisions have had to be made to safeguard the future of the Football Club.
As well as providing reassurance for supporters, we have been making provision to save every penny we can by systematically shutting down the Racecourse and having a structured approach to cost reduction. However, there are only so many costs we can take out from that approach.
As a result, we have today communicated with all employees of the business – including the playing and coaching staff – to ask them to agree to move into the Government-organised Job Retention Scheme. The decision to furlough employees means we can pay them on an ongoing basis under the conditions announced by the Government.
All employees would remain employees of Wrexham AFC under the terms of their employment contracts.
This decision has not been taken lightly, and we need the understanding, sacrifice and co-operation of the employees of Wrexham AFC for the club to survive and move forwards.
Why have we made this decision?
As communicated on March 17, when we stated the initial suspension of the National League would not cause any immediate issues, we have continued to monitor the situation and its financial impact on the Football Club.
Since then, however, the UK Government has imposed restrictions on leaving home and shut down all non-essential business activity.
Combined with the indefinite suspension of the National League, and the uncertainty of how long this will continue, coronavirus is having a serious effect on the financial health of the Football Club.
What has happened to Wrexham AFC due to coronavirus?
- We have lost almost 25% of our home league fixtures (five games) of income from the season and our matchday revenue on the season will be down by in excess of £250,000 versus our budget
- We have had only two home fixtures since January and, as we move into April, this will be a third month with minimal down to no income
- All of our non-match day events at the stadium have had to be cancelled
- We cannot sell season tickets for next season as the future of football is very unclear at this point in time
- We are left with no way of generating any income to try and cover this period due to Government restrictions
This is the perfect storm at the very wrong time of the year and the majority of clubs in our division will be similarly impacted – with some talking to employees about alternative arrangements as early as March.
Can Wrexham AFC survive this crisis?
The Wrexham Supporters Trust has a track record of steering the club through crisis. Ten years ago, we took over a club that was losing £750,000 per year, with debts of £500,000, that had no assets. We are proud to have turned that into a sustainable business that doesn’t spend more than it can bring in in revenue.
However, coronavirus is the biggest impact on society in living memory and the effects of it are a threat to the continued existence of the Football Club.
The decision to furlough all employees of Wrexham AFC has been taken to protect the future of the Football Club.
Had there been no coronavirus then Wrexham AFC would have continued as a financially stable football club, only spending what it can afford, but coronavirus has impacted us significantly and we understand what a distressing time this is for everyone connected with the Club.
We know that this announcement will cause worry and anxiety for employees, fans and WST Members but we want to assure people we will do all that we can to navigate the Club through this unprecedented time and we will only be able to do that as a collective together.
We also know that people will naturally start to ask what they can do to help as we know how much the club means to so many people. We will continue to communicate as best we can in the coming days/weeks to steer the club through this.
The Board of The Wrexham Supporters Trust.