Rugby League: Crusaders and Wrexham FC face huge rent demands from owner Geoff Moss

FOOTBALL and rugby league fans have been united by plans to charge Crusaders and Wrexham FC £300,000 per year joint rent to play at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.

A groundswell of opposition is already building, with messageboards and an online petition attracting support from across the UK with almost 2,000 people registering their displeasure.

Multi-millionaire Geoff Moss, who owns both clubs, only revealed his plans on Tuesday.

With Crusaders now out of administration he announced his intention to place the full weight of the running costs of the Racecourse Ground on them and Wrexham, a cost he claims amounts to £300,000 per year.

It means the clubs may be charged £150,000 each in rent, although Moss’ business partner Ian Roberts has insisted Crusaders be treated as a separate entity, paving the way for the rugby club, with a shorter season, to pay less.

Moss also hinted he planned to set up a ‘Racecourse Company’ to formally lease the ground to the clubs on a permanent basis, despite the fact Wrexham FC – who are for sale – own the stadium.

It is a plan which will sound familiar to fans of the football club.

Former chairman Alex Hamilton attempted a similar move, which resulted in him trying to sell the entire Racecourse ground for development and wind-up Wrexham FC in 2004, but intense pressure and scrutiny from fans group Dismal Jimmy and the media helped the club win the freehold of the ground back in court and save it from extinction.