Racecourse Ground ‘Kop’ stand work delay


New stand at Wrexham will not be open in time Image: Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, Rept0n1x, CC BY-SA 3.0

A new 5,500-seat stand at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, Wales (UK) will not open in time for the next season.

‘BBC’ stated that there is no start date for work on the ‘Kop’, and it is expected to take 12 months to build.

The ‘Kop’ standing area has been unused since 2008 on safety grounds and alone once held as many as 20,000 spectators.

The 10,771-capacity Racecourse Ground, known for sponsorship reasons as the STōK Cae Ras, is a football stadium in Wrexham, Wales (UK). It is the home stadium of Wrexham A.F.C.

The Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales (UK). Formed in 1864, it is the oldest club in Wales and the third-oldest professional association football team in the world. They compete in EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system. The Racecourse Ground serves as their home arena.

‘BBC’ further stated that the club has returned to the Football League after a 15-year absence, under its American actor owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

It said funding for the project had not yet been finalized, despite it securing financial backing from the Council.

The Wrexham Council said there was no delay to the project, but more time was needed to sort out the funding agreement.

The club said it hoped negotiations with the authority would be completed by the end of this October.

There were a number of conditions to be satisfied, said the club.

These include satisfying the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) regulations, diversion of a sewer and removal of an electricity cable running across the land.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Because of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

The development – which will take Wrexham’s home capacity to 15,000 – had an application for the UK Government Levelling Up Fund money rejected in January.

The UK Government Levelling Up Fund was announced in November 2020 as part of the 2020 Spending Review. The purpose of the Fund is to invest in “local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery”. The Fund is worth £4.8 billion.

The Council previously said it would reallocate a “substantial amount” of a £25m Welsh Government grant to the plan.

Leader Mark Pritchard said the rest of the cash would come from a partnership.

This would involve the football club, the Football Association of Wales and Transport for Wales, with the local railway station and transport infrastructure also improved.

Cardiff (UK)-based the Football Association of Wales is the governing body of association football and futsal in Wales and controls the Wales national football team, its corresponding women’s team as well as the Wales national futsal team. It is a member of FIFA, UEFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Zürich (Switzerland)-based the International Football Association Board (IFAB) is the body that determines the Laws of the Game of association football. The IFAB was founded in 1886 to agree standardized Laws for international competition and has since acted as the “guardian” of the internationally used Laws.

Alistair Aldridge, Wrexham Council’s Gateway Project Manager, said there was no “hold up” in the project – “The club needs to be satisfied that it can meet the conditions of the funding agreement. We understand that they are progressing on the matters that they mentioned in their statement and, as soon as they are resolved, we understand that the club will complete the legal agreement.”

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