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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 August 2006, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Wrexham FC deal finally complete
Administrator David Acland and Anthony Fairclough, club chief executive and Neville Dickens (right)

A deal to sell Wrexham football club and take it out of administration has been completed, it has been announced.

The sale to a consortium led by businessman Neville Dickens ends 18 months of financial crisis for the League Two club.

There had been doubts that Wrexham would be able to start the 2006-7 season on Saturday after 11th hour issues over a loan to finance the deal.

But funds were released on Thursday. Mr Dickens admitted it was a "big relief".

The administrator David Acland admitted that less than 24 hours earlier, he thought the deal was "lost."

He said: "I've said all along the champagne corks should remain in the bottle. I'm delighted to announce that at 4.20 this afternoon we completed the sale to the Dickens consortium.

"The champagne can be - and really will be - opened."

New owner Neville Dickens and administrator David Acland after completing the deal on Thursday
The administrator said 24 hours earlier he feared the deal was "lost"

Mr Dickens said he was "delighted".

"After all the months of to-ing and fro-ing - it's a big, big relief to me. Now we've just got to get on with it."

Mr Dickens, a car dealer, said the club's ambition was now to press on and aim for the Championship.

He thanked the administrators and supporters for all their support.

Earlier in the day, Mr Dickens said contingency plans had been followed after a potential conflict of interest over a 2.5m loan from Liverpool FC shareholder Steve Morgan.

By lending money to Wrexham, Mr Morgan could in theory exclude himself from becoming a director at Liverpool.

But Mr Morgan confirmed funds would be released on Thursday.

The clock was ticking as under Football League rules, Wrexham had to come out of administration by Saturday so they could fulfil their opening fixture of the 2006-7 season at Wycombe.

'Turn the corner'

Mr Acland earlier on Thursday said he was confident the 2.5m was in place for him to sell the club to Mr Dickens' consortium.

"I'm informed the money should be there to complete the purchase," he said.

"If the money is there and the paperwork is signed then the deal is done and we can start celebrating."

Among fans celebrating the news in the Turf Tavern, next to the ground, was Jamie Scott, 25.

He said: "At the end of the day, footballer is the winner. As long as they can turn the corner and there's no tycoon with a hidden agenda then it's good news for the town, players and everyone."

"I think we found the right buyer at the right price"

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