COUNCIL bosses last night threatened to call off a meeting with Wrexham FC owner Alex Hamilton.

Wrexham officials said they were only willing to discuss strategies to keep the club at the Racecourse.

The council ultimatum is the strongest message yet to Mr Hamilton who wants the club - with £5m debts - to leave the historic ground and sell it off for development.

Paul Roberts, council strategic director, said the local authority wanted to see the Dragons continuing to play at the Racecourse where 15,000 fans recently supported the club in a friendly against Liverpool FC.

Mr Roberts said: "This is the view expressed by politicians at all levels and, we understand, by the fans and the whole community in Wrexham, and other North Wales councils.

"We are happy to work with Mr Hamilton or anybody else to achieve that objective."

The council wants to protect the public sector investment in the £3.6m Pryce Griffiths stand, opened four years ago.

It supports the view of Alun Pugh, Assembly minister for culture and sport,

that the Racecourse should be safeguarded as a regional venue for league football and international sport.

Mr Roberts said: "At our last meeting we put forward a possible strategy for Mr Hamilton's consideration based upon an in-situ development that would secure the public sector objectives and help ensure that football continues at the Racecourse.

"Any other approach that would ultimately lead to football being taken away from the Racecourse, and the loss of this important sporting facility, would not find political support.

" We are currently awaiting confirmation from Mr Hamilton that he wishes to meet us to discuss the possible in-situ development."

He said if that was not the case, today's meeting would not go ahead.

On Monday more than 500 fans heard the Wrexham Supporters Trust outline plans for safeguarding the Racecourse.

They say developing land next to the Racecourse could prove more profitable than re-developing it.

Last night Mr Hamilton, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, was unavailable.