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Football: Don't let the Racecourse die; Fans plan march in support of Dragons.

Byline: By TOM BODDEN

WREXHAM fans plan a final match-day march on the Racecourse today pinning hopes on a legal challenge to save the historic ground from developers' bulldozers.

Football fans from across Britain were urged to join the demonstration this afternoon ahead of the last League One game of a troubled season against Huddersfield Town.

The show of defiance is against owner Alex Hamilton's plans to evict the club this summer to sell the eight-acre Racecourse site for redevelopment.

It follows an announcement - revealed in later editions of yesterday's Daily Post - that Wrexham FC's administrators propose to resist the notice to quit the Racecourse in 75 days' time, through the courts if necessary.

Bruce Clapton from Wrexham Supporters Trust said there were 'encouraging signs' that eviction could be averted and that local car dealer Neville Dickens' bid for the club might yet be accepted.

'Any other bidder for the Racecourse would need Mr Dickens' site to ensure a worthwhile development, and he has said he wouldn't sell to anyone who would harm the Racecourse.'

The cash-strapped club went into administration in December and were immediately docked 10 points by the Football League as a penalty, a decision which ultimately plunged the team into relegation.

The march is being co-ordinated by Fans United, a broad-based umbrella organisation for clubs whose survival has been threatened.

A Fans United spokesman said: 'Wrexham face liquidation after 133 years of proud league status. It will be the first established Football League club to go out of existence since Aldershot FC in 1992.

'Fans blame Wrexham's plight on its chairman, property developer Alex Hamilton, who has pledged to evict the club and bulldoze its Racecourse Ground during the summer.

'But as profiteer owners have ruined clubs from Doncaster to York and Brighton to Darlington, the FA and Football League have stood by and done little to help, other than agree a toothless 'Fit and Proper Persons' test.

'So Fans United is calling on ALL football fans to come to the Racecourse Ground on Saturday and stand shoulder to shoulder with Wrexham supporters in a mass show of solidarity and tell the Football League and FA that enough is enough - step in now and save the heart of British football.'

'Prior to the match, at 2pm, all fans are invited to join Wrexham supporters in a march from the town's Guildhall to the Racecourse Ground.

'The march is timed to coincide with a similar demonstration in Cambridge and offer solidarity with Cambridge United fans in a similar fight for survival.'

Meanwhile, the club's joint administrators said that Wrexham FC will not be vacating the ground despite a notice to quit issued by Hamilton.

The administrators, David Acland and Steven Williams, of Begbies Traynor have been conducting an investigation into transactions entered into by the club in respect of both the freehold and leasehold of the Racecourse Ground.

In a statement, the administrators said: 'As a consequence of these investigations our solicitors have now served notice on Crucialmove Limited (formerly Damens Limited), the current landlords that we do not accept the validity of the break clause in the current lease and will not be vacating the ground in July 2005.

'Furthermore, notice has been provided that in the absence of an amicable resolution/consensual sale in the imminent future, proceedings will be issued seeking to set aside the current lease and seeking to have the legal interest in the freehold transferred back to the club

CAPTION(S):

The Racecourse Ground could stage its final ever match this afternoon when Wrexham take on Huddersfield Town
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 7, 2005
Words:597
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