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Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Ex-soccer club directors' inquiry
Alex Hamilton and Mark Guterman
Alex Hamilton and former business partner Mark Guterman
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is to investigate whether two ex-Wrexham FC owners, Alex Hamilton and Mark Guterman, should be disqualified from being company directors.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas urged the DTI to investigate their dealings at the club.

The League Two club went into administration in 2004, with 4m debts.

The investigation follows a Court of Appeal judge's comments that a position of trust at Wrexham had been misused. Neither man has commented on the news.

Judge Alistair Norris concluded a "fiduciary position in the club has been misused for the benefit of those interested in the exploitation of its property assets" during a failed appeal by Alex Hamilton to retain ownership of the Racecourse ground.

Public interest

Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson is able to ask the courts to ban people from being directors.

Mr Lucas has now received a letter from Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs Minister Gerry Sutcliffe confirming that the DTI will investigate whether it is appropriate to disqualify Mr Hamilton and Mr Guterman from holding company directorships.

Mr Sutcliffe said inquiries were being made to determine whether it would be in the public interest to instigate disqualification proceedings.

Last October, Birmingham High Court decided Mr Hamilton's company CrucialMove had improperly acquired the freehold of the ground.

The High Court also decided to give ownership of the stadium to the administrators. Mr Hamilton launched an appeal, but it was dismissed by three judges.

Mr Hamilton has not yet responded to a request for a comment, and a spokesman for Mr Guterman said he had no comment.




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