MARK GUTERMAN has sensationally quit as Wrexham chairman.
The Cheshire-based property developer announced he had sold his majority shareholding in the Second Division club to former business partner Alex Hamilton.
His shock announcement means that ambitious redevelopment plans for the Racecourse Ground are dead in the water, which in turn brings new uncertainty to the financially stricken club.
And it has also fuelled fears that the club could now be turfed out of its traditional home and the valuable site at the gateway to the town sold off for commercial development. Hamilton, a Manchester-based former solicitor turned property consultant, already owns the freehold to the Racecourse where the club has the best part of a 125-year lease still to run.
His plans for the club are unknown as Wrexham's two other board directors, Dave Bennett and Dave Griffiths, have never met the new owner.
Only two weeks ago Guterman announced in the Daily Post that he had agreed to buy the freehold from Hamilton for around £2.2m with completion of the deal set for mid-June.
That would, he claimed, give him the opportunity to press ahead with commercial development at the Racecourse while also securing the club's future on the site. In a statement last night, Guterman said: "Following a board meeting this evening, I have tendered my resignation as chairman of Wrexham Football Club.
"I have also sold my financial interest in the club to Alex Hamilton with immediate effect.
"In the main, I have come to this decision purely for family and personal reasons."
Last night, director Dave Bennett said: "I'm looking forward to meeting Mr Hamilton, as is Mr Griffiths, I'm sure.
"We have never met him or spoken to him but we as directors and the manager, Denis Smith, will be keen to seek assurances about the future of the club as soon as possible."
Guterman, always unpopular with some Wrexham fans due to his previous association with neighbours Chester City and the secrecy surrounding his long-standing business relationship with Hamilton, was hurt by a highly visible "red card" protest during the final home match of the season against Brighton.