Wrexham could pay terrible price for glory

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The Independent Football

The LDV Vans Trophy may not be football's most inspiring or glittering silverware, but it is easy to forget that for most lower division clubs, it represents the only chance of cup glory. Next Saturday's final at the Millennium Stadium against Southend will be Wrexham's first-ever national cup final - leaving aside specifically Welsh competitions - in 133 years of existence.

The LDV Vans Trophy may not be football's most inspiring or glittering silverware, but it is easy to forget that for most lower division clubs, it represents the only chance of cup glory. Next Saturday's final at the Millennium Stadium against Southend will be Wrexham's first-ever national cup final - leaving aside specifically Welsh competitions - in 133 years of existence.

That history is still, however, at serious risk of crumbling if the club's owner, Alex Hamilton, makes good on the 12 months notice he served on Wrexham to vacate the Racecourse Ground this July. Hamilton, who bought the club for £300,000 in 2002, acquired the freehold for another £300,000, then paid a further £300,000 to replace the club's 125-year lease with one year's notice period, issued the notice to quit last July.

He has said he wants "a fat cheque" - a figure of £5m has been mentioned - to sell the ground and club, which is now in administration. So far, no bidders have come close to that, although the Supporters Trust has tabled an offer.

Fans across the country have been urged by Nic Outterside to show their solidarity with Wrexham's plight and make Saturday's match a "Fans' Final". Outterside is a Brighton fan driven to organising Fans United days at threatened clubs after his own became homeless in 1997.

Wrexham's administrator, David Acland, of Begbies Traynor, told me he is still hopeful the club will be preserved: "It has great potential, as evidenced by them being in this final. There are realistic bidders out there and we are inviting them to come and talk to us."

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