A community football club in Wales has apologised to supporters after it accepted a £5,000 donation from Andrew Tate.
FC United of Wrexham, a non-profit team, says it has handed back the donation to the controversial social media influencer and his brother, Tristan Tate. The club said it “regularly” asks celebrities for retweets and donations but decided to hand back their donation after the club’s sponsors pulled out and local organisations and fans condemned the team.
The Tate brothers are unable to leave Romania after being charged with rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang. The duo have denied all allegations of abuse and trafficking, with a trial due to take place.
FC United of Wrexham is attempting to raise funds to ensure the club’s survival and has previously been helped by Wrexham FC owner and Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds. But head coach Andrew Ruscoe sent back the donation to the Tates as it wouldn’t be “morally right”. This was despite the money pushing them closer towards their GoFundMe target.
Explaining his decision, Ruscoe said: “On Saturday we recieved a large donation of £5,000 from Mr Tate which resulted in our sponsor pulling out of the club, many organisations locally condemning the club and people calling for the club to send the money back. After seeking advice from club associates and organisational representatives we were advised to return the donation with immediate effect.”
Ruscoe said the club were in an “awful predicament” but “had to listen” to the local community, who are their “bread and butter”. He said the money would have paid for football kits and covered hall fees.
Tristan Tate angrily responded to Ruscoe on his podcast, accusing him of messaging him multiple times to ask for funding. He said that Ruscoe “should be ashamed of himself” for giving in to “public outcry”.
’We never intended to upset people’
Ruscoe was careful to highlight that the club did not ask for donations and apologised “to all those affected and offended”, while also apologising to Tristan Tate “for wasting his time and clearly upsetting him on his podcast”. He added: “We never intended to upset people or make a mockery of things but simply help people…
“We are just a small club trying to work our hardest to make young kids realise their dreams… If we are guilty of anything then it’s being guilty of being passionate and proud of the work we do.”
Yahoo News UK has contacted FC United of Wrexham and Andrew Tate for comment.
Why is Andrew Tate so controversial?
Andrew Tate has amassed a huge social media following but is extremely divisive due to his comments on being a self-proclaimed misogynist. The 37-year-old former professional kick-boxer has been banned from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. His account on X – previously known as Twitter – was also banned but restored last year.
Tate has made several offensive remarks about women, including that women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted, while also describing how he would attack a woman who confronted him for cheating. However, he claims to speak for "disenfranchised" young men and pursues a narrative around male self-improvement.
Speaking on Piers Morgan's Uncensored show on TalkTV, Tate was asked why he has become so famous. He replied: "I think there's a whole swathe of the population, especially young men, that feel disenfranchised. They feel disenfranchised with the media machine and the things they are supposed to believe. They don't feel an affinity with the educational systems and the culture.
"And they look at a person like me, who stands up and says the things that many young men think... I am seen as a bastion of free speech and a bastion for masculinity as a whole because a lot of men are largely forgotten about."
In June last year, Romanian prosecutors said Andrew and Tristan Tate, along with two Romanian nationals, formed an organised crime group in early 2021 to commit human trafficking in Romania, the UK, the US and other countries. Alleged victims were taken to buildings in Ilfov county in Romania where they were intimidated, placed under constant surveillance and control and forced into debt, a statement said.
It is alleged the defendants forced them to take part in pornography which was later shared on social media. Andrew Tate has repeatedly claimed that prosecutors in Romania have no evidence against him and there is a political conspiracy designed to silence him.