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Fanscene by Peter Davies

The news that some Reds fans had hoped for, and some had dreaded, emerged in

The news that some Reds fans had hoped for, and some had dreaded, emerged in the following statement:

"Mr WP Griffiths today announced the sale of his majority shareholding in Wrexham AFC to Mr Mark Guterman. Mr Guterman was elected chairman of the club at a meeting of the board of directors held on Tuesday 11th June. Mr WP Griffiths resigned from the board of directors at this meeting, and was elected to the position of life president of the club. Mr WP Griffiths thanked all those directors, staff, supporters and supporters associations who had given him so much help and encouragement during his chairmanship of the club. Mr Griffiths stated that the way forward for the club was for all those people who had loyally supported him, to please give Mr Guterman their full support during this critical time as the club attempted to regain a place in the second division at the first attempt."

On reading this press release, I was struck by several things.

First, in the light of goings-on at Bradford City and, more recently, Carlisle United, I feel that, as Wrexham supporters, we are very lucky to witness an orderly transfer of power at the top of the club, rather than a doom-laden scenario involving administrators, mass sackings and the prospect of extinction.

On the basis of what they know about Guterman's background, some Dragons fans are seemingly unwilling to support the new man. For my part, I think it would be churlish not to back him. He has already chipped in to cover players' wages, and apparently he was also instrumental in brokering the deal to bring star man Lee Jones back to the Racecourse on a permanent basis.

To my knowledge, wealthy businessmen are not falling over themselves to invest money in WFC, so I really feel that all supporters, even the most sceptical, should give Guterman a chance. Would Pryce Griffiths - "Mr Wrexham" - really entrust the future of his beloved club to a man who lacked the necessary credentials? Personally, I doubt it very much.

Second, I'm pleased the former chairman is still on board as life president. Some fans have their criticisms of Griffiths, but I think his achievements at the Racecourse are all too easily underestimated.

His period in charge witnessed a decade of second-division solidity plus a variety of extraordinary giant-killing acts - and all on a shoestring budget. And that is not forgetting the building of a new stand and a new training ground.

Some of his public outbursts have been ill-judged, but I have great admiration for individuals in top jobs who say what they think - and Griffiths scores well on this count. The fact that he will still be around, and watching over the new regime in a very general sense, can only be good news.

As the official club statement indicated, chairman Guterman and manager Smith have a massive challenge ahead of them - and I'm delighted this boardroom switch has been made in the middle of the close season.

Now the hard work begins.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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