Stockport eye Hollywood ending with promotion to the football league

Stockport County are dreaming 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 secure promotion if they beat Wrexham on Sunday 
  • The club previously fell down as far as second bottom of National League North
  • They were then bought by local businessman Mark Stott in January 2020 
  • Stockport’s operate ‘like a Championship club’ strategy looks to have paid off

Wrexham’s Hollywood owners bought the club because they wanted to tell the story of a side with a dormant fan base reviving a town struggling with post-industrial decline.

It’s worked, with another sellout 10,000 crowd for tomorrow’s clash with Stockport County, the other financial powerhouse of the National League.

But the narrative of County, who will secure automatic promotion if they win, has seemed beyond the bounds of fiction at times during an 11-year exile from the Football League. 

Stockport County will gain promotion back to the Football League if they beat Wrexham 

The club fell perilously far — second bottom of National League North — before local businessman Mark Stott arrived, in January 2020, to provide investment and intelligence. 

The strategy has been bold. Operating ‘like a Championship club’, by moving into Manchester City’s former training base, which Bury vacated, and buying League One players — Paddy Madden arrived from Fleetwood and Antoni Sarcevic joined from Bolton. 

Long-serving manager Jim Gannon, a Stockport legend, left as Stott sought a more progressive boss.

It didn’t work out with Simon Rusk, hired from the Brighton U23 set-up, but it has with Dave Challinor, tempted from Hartlepool, whom he’d just taken up from the National League.

Securing 52 points from a possible 54 took the team from 10th to first, where they sit three points ahead of Wrexham with a game in hand. It leaves Stockport anticipating a different kind of Hollywood ending.

Dave Challinor (pictured) is on the verge of getting Stockport promoted having been tempted from Hartlepool 

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