Stockport County dreams of a Hollywood ending with promotion to the Football League for the first time in 11 years ahead of top-of-the-table clash with Wrexham
- Stockport County will get promotion if they beat Wrexham on Sunday
- The club had previously fallen to second bottom in the National League North
- They were later bought by local businessman Mark Stott in January 2020
- Stockport’s strategy to operate ‘like a Championship club’ appears to have paid off
The Hollywood owners of Wrexham bought the club because they wanted to tell the story of a team with a dormant fanbase reviving a town struggling with post-industrial decline.
It worked, with another sold-out crowd of 10,000 for tomorrow’s clash with Stockport County, the National League’s other financial powerhouse.
But the tale of County, who will get automatic promotion if they win, has at times seemed beyond the bounds of fiction during an 11-year exile from the Football League.
Stockport County will regain promotion to the Football League if they beat Wrexham
The club fell dangerously far – second bottom in the National League North – before local businessman Mark Stott arrived, in January 2020, to provide investment and intelligence.
The strategy was bold. Operating ‘like a Championship club’, moving into Manchester City’s former training base, which Bury left, and buying in League One players – Paddy Madden arrived from Fleetwood and Antoni Sarcevic joined Bolton.
Longtime manager Jim Gannon, a Stockport legend, left as Stott sought a more progressive boss.
It did not work with Simon Rusk, hired from the U23 formation of Brighton, but it worked with Dave Challinor, tempted from Hartlepool, which he had just taken over from the National League.
By getting 52 points out of a possible 54, the team moved from 10th to first place, where they are three points clear of Wrexham with one game less. This leaves Stockport anticipating a different type of Hollywood ending.
Dave Challinor (pictured) is set to get the Stockport promotion after being tempted by Hartlepool