Richard ULRICH – Candidate Statement
My name is Richard Ulrich, I am 39 years old and I was born in Wrexham and I have lived here all of my life. I am currently in a relationship with my girlfriend of three and a half years, I am employed as an Operations Specialist for a financial company that has offices in Wrexham and worldwide. I am a very passionate life long supporter of Wrexham AFC after being taken to my first match at around the age of six by my Dad. As I got older, I then started to attend matches with mates from school where we would stand at the back of The Kop and join in singing along with Jacko and the rest of the fans. My all time favourite player is Gary Bennett and I have been lucky enough to meet the legend himself.
I am a season ticket holder in the Mold Road Stand where I moved to sit after The Kop was sadly closed. I have been a member of the Wrexham Supporters' Trust for around 13 years now and I have always tried to attend every members meeting and AGM where possible as I believe that getting involved is the key to the future success of Wrexham AFC and that is why I also to decided to contribute to the Community Share Scheme. Thursday 28th July 2011 is a date that will forever stick in my mind and from that date onwards, I have offered my services to the WST and Wrexham AFC at every opportunity. You may recall on that date it had been announced that the players had not been paid and that the pre-season friendly games against Colwyn Bay and Vauxhall Motors had been cancelled. At that point I began to be very concerned about the future of our club and knew that something had to be done and that it was time to stand up and fight for our beloved Wrexham AFC.
I went to The Turf to ask if I could organise a meeting of supporters that evening which they agreed to. I then called or text every Wrexham fan in my phone book and I also put an appeal out on Red Passion for as many fans as possible to attend The Turf that evening. Around 60 to 70 fans turned up and although there were some heated discussions, it was a roaring success and we sent a bucket around everyone to ask for donations towards the players wages and I think that we raised around £460. It all snowballed from there really and a further meeting was arranged for the Saturday afternoon at the Wrexham Lager Club where even more fans turned up which led to a march around town by fans with buckets asking fans for donations. I think there was over £2,000 raised over that weekend to go towards the players wages.
Then came 'Fans Bond Day' on 9th August, which is also my birthday! I was out of work at the time after being made redundant and I withdrew £500 from the bank which was all I had to my name and walked up to the club shop to hand it over to help pay the £250k which the Football Conference had requested to enable us to start the season. The message came through outside the club shop at around 5.00pm that we were allowed to start the season and we all celebrated in The Turf, that is a day that I will never forget! Since then I have gone on to organise and volunteer for as many things as possible. Myself and three mates organised a gig and an auction night at The Nags Head in Ridley Wood in August 2011, the night was a great success and we raised £1,270 for the WST. In the past, I also worked as a volunteer on the WST stall in Wrexham town centre which used to be outside the old Marks and Spencer store and I have also worked in the WST shop next door to The Turf.
Since being elected to the board in 2014, I have attended 34 out of a possible 37 monthly board meetings (91.89%). I attended 27 consecutive monthly board meetings from my first board meeting in June 2014 up until 11th July 2016, which I missed due to illness.
Membership has hovered around the 3,500 mark for the past three years, hitting a high of 4,174 in April 2015 due to the Stoke City FA Cup third round match in January 2015. If I am re-elected, my aim is to break the 4,000 member barrier by carrying out email and social media campaigns, recruiting membership co-ordinators in towns across North Wales and handing out membership forms in and around the ground at our high attendance matches. We had a total of 3,237 members for the 2016/17 season, approximately 1,200 of those pay by standing order or PayPal which means that their subscription automatically renews and reduces the membership team’s workload considerably as we don’t have to manually renew their membership. I would urge all members that make a one off payment to switch to paying by standing order or PayPal wherever possible, as it gives us more time to work on benefits for members and ideas for increasing the membership. Membership for the 2017/18 season begins on 1st June and we have been extremely busy for the last six weeks or so renewing memberships and also signing up new members. I am pleased to say that we have 1,572 members already signed up before membership officially goes on sale for 2017/18 on 1st June.
It has been an absolute honour to be involved in the running of Wrexham AFC for the past three years and I dearly hope that you will consider re-electing me for another term to serve the membership and the great fans of OUR beloved football club.
Nominated by Stephen Matthias and Stephen Gilbert