A Member of the Senedd has called for international football to return to Wrexham.
Ken Skates wants the town’s Racecourse Ground back on the world stage – and says the Reds’ ‘sensational’ comeback win at the weekend shows its more than up to the challenge.
The famous victory – which saw Wrexham come from 2-5 down to win 6-5 in injury time – was even raised in the Senedd yesterday (Tuesday).
Mr Skates, a Wrexham AFC season ticket-holder, said to Trefyndd and Wrexham MS Lesley Griffiths: “Saturday’s National League match at the Racecourse was a phenomenal event. You and I were both present at it, along with almost 9,000 spectators. And it once again demonstrated how the world’s oldest international football stadium can host dramatic and sensational events.
“Would the Government commit to pressing for the return of international matches to the Racecourse as soon as possible?”
Ms Griffiths responded: “The match on Saturday was absolutely extraordinary – I’m still smiling. In my 50 years of attending the Racecourse, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
“I think you make a really important point. As a child, that’s where I went to watch international matches. I know the new chief executive at the Football Association of Wales is very keen to see games played at the Racecourse.”
Ms Griffiths, a fellow Reds season ticket-holder, added: “I think it’s very important for us in north Wales that those games are played, even if they’re only friendly games, in the coming years. So I’m sure the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport will certainly continue to press that with the Football Association of Wales.”
Mr Skates, MS for neighbouring Clwyd South, also highlighted the ‘huge amount’ of funding the Welsh Government has committed to the Wrexham Gateway project – which includes redeveloping the Racecourse’s famous Kop stand.
He said: “Just across from the Racecourse – indeed, part of the Racecourse – is included in the Wrexham Gateway project, to which the Welsh Government has already committed a huge amount of money. Although we’ve been promised levelling-up funding from the UK Government, this is yet to materialise.
“Would you be able to make a statement on whether you believe the UK Government is in a position to fund this vitally important regeneration project, or is it just warm words that we’re hearing?”
Ms Griffiths responded: “Unfortunately, despite the UK Government’s promise we wouldn’t lose a penny less if we left the European Union, that’s not the case. And the funding that is available to the UK Government is much less than had we remained in the European Union.
“I think it’s really vital that the UK Government work with the Welsh Government, and other devolved governments, around the levelling-up fund. It’s got to be a genuine partnership if it’s going to work. So I think it’s really important that we do see that funding.”