[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Agreement signed for Wrexham sale
Fans of Wrexham FC
Wrexham's fans have campaigned to save the troubled club
A consortium led by a local car dealer which is hoping to buy Wrexham FC has signed an agreement with the administrators of the troubled club.

The club must be sold by 3 June - when it will have been in administration for 18 months - or face expulsion from the Football League.

Wrexham's administrators say they have an "exclusivity agreement" with the consortium led by Neville Dickens.

The administrators said the bid was "in the best interests of the club".

Wrexham went into administration at the end of 2004 with debts of more than 4m.

All our efforts are purely to give Wrexham Football Club a future
Neville Dickens

The Football League imposed a 10-point penalty on the club and in May 2005 the Dragons were relegated to League Two - English football's bottom tier.

After a several court cases, London's appeal court ruled earlier this month that the administrators and not former chairman Alex Hamilton should retain ownership of the club's Racecourse Ground.

The ruling paved the way for the sale of the club before the 3 June deadline after which the club could be expelled from the league if it is still in administration.

In a statement on Wednesday announcing the agreement with the Neville Dickens-led group, administrators David Acland and Steve Williams said: "The agreement allows for exclusivity until 30 April 2006, during which time it is hoped that contracts will be exchanged for acquisition of the club's assets.

The Racecourse Ground. Photo: Ted Blair
The consortium says it will safeguard Racecourse football

"We feel that the Dickens bid is in the best interests of the club and its stakeholders."

Mr Dickens was a club director in the 1980s and one of his garages is on land adjoining the Racecourse stadium.

He made a bid to buy the club in April 2005 - a move welcomed at the time by the Wrexham Supporters' Trust.

Speaking on Wednesday after the signing of the agreement, Mr Dickens said he wanted to secure football at the Racecourse and to "put Wrexham Football Club on a secure financial footing to enable it to go forward".

He said he wished to retain manger Denis Smith and promised "sufficient financial backing to allow them to compete at the top of their division".

He concluded: "All our efforts are purely to give Wrexham Football Club a future.

"There are a significant number of hurdles still to overcome, but we are working hard to achieve a positive outcome."




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific