A Tweet was posted on the Wrexham Supporters Trust twitter feed, @WSTtweets, from an unknown source last Sunday (April 19).
The content of the Tweet related to the club’s finances in 2016, and we would like to issue the following clarifications.
We would also like to apologise for the delay in responding. Finance director Mark Williams, who has summarised the following points, has been extremely busy working on the submission of furlough details for club employees on behalf of the club, which obviously had to take priority.
First, regarding the unauthorised access to the Twitter feed. The WST’s Twitter feed was protected by a password, with access to the account limited to a very small number of WST Officers, past and present, who had knowledge of the password. We have acted swiftly to take the necessary security measures to protect the account and reviewed the protocol with regard to it.
We can confirm the security concern relates only to the Twitter feed – there has been no breach relating to wider data.
Next, please see the following summary regarding the club’s financial situation in 2016.
Wrexham AFC took operational control of the Racecourse Ground on August 1. The first rent payment was due on September 1 for £100,000 plus VAT. We always knew the first year was going to be a difficult trading year as we took on running costs.
Not only did we have the increased costs of operating the stadium, but these were front loaded to the beginning of the operational period. At the same time, cash receipts from the stadium were spread across the year with particular weighting to May 2017, when the first concerts were held.
Additionally, there were budgeted professional fees in relation to securing the lease as identified in our accounts.
As a result of this small cashflow issue – relating to less than five per cent of our annual turnover, with a time span of no more than six months to cover – a bank overdraft was considered. Ultimately, it was decided this was not feasible due to general bank policy on unsecured loans to football clubs.
We also considered approaching suppliers, but a lot of these suppliers only had a couple of months of history with the Football Club.
A supporter had previously offered the Trust board, in confidence, financial support should it be required. The Society Board unanimously agreed in favour of approaching the supporter.
This resulted in us contacting the aforementioned supporter and they agreed to support with an interest-free facility in November. The supporter in question asked that no announcement be made to respect their privacy.
Everything was cleared, as expected, within the initial six months identified and as a result also by the end of the financial year – consequently, the figures did not show in the club’s accounts.
Having traded through the difficult first year of taking on the stadium with front-loaded costs, the club has since not had any temporary cashflow challenges. We can only speculate as to the motives of the individual who decided to breach the Trust’s account for this purpose.
We hope supporters respect the person’s anonymity and once again we thank them for their support in 2016.