Trust Directors Talk Us Through Their Roles – Part 8

Squad Photo during the Wycombe Wanderers 2016/17 Team & Individual Squad Photos at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 1 August 2016. Photo by Jeremy Nako.

The latest Trust Board member to talk us through his role is Mark Burrell.

“I’ve been a Trust Board Director for two years, and then joined the football club board in June 2015, working on a purely voluntary basis to create a sustainable football club and group, and build a legacy.

Each director’s role is based on their skills and experience; mine is bringing business transformation and corporate / strategic finance expertise as the Group Finance Director across the finances of all three companies – the Trust, WWFC and Frank Adams Legacy Ltd.  I chair the Group Finance Committee where we grapple with the detail of the group finances and how to make funds work for the best of all, and ensuring we do not have to pay unnecessary tax.

My finance update at the Trust AGM and Finance Forum showed that we have good reason for optimism with the strongest results and finances since the Trust took control.  Some highlights are: we have made real progress both financially and with our systems and processes; we have made significant reductions in debts in the group (including from the well-publicised receipt of the Jordon Ibe monies); we have formalised and extended all outstanding external debt arrangements; and we have agreed repayment plans with all parties as we continue to meet our financial promises.  

Our records and processes are at levels of clarity and consistency not seen before, as I work with Dawn Evans (the club’s Finance Manager) and Martyn Broughton (the independent Group Treasurer), and with our auditors, Haines Watts, who have provided outstanding service and support through the year.

This all builds towards creating a sustainable football club for future generations and, financially, we know where we are and what we need each season for various scenarios. 

We have finance plans in place that, like our competitors, rely on “football fortune” to work, through cup runs, player sales or sell-on fees. We work to ensure this continues, without guarantees, so we need to look at the best model for the ownership and funding of our football club and group.  Trimming our budget or expanding it with inward investment, which would mean selling part or a controlling interest in our Club – as a Trust Board we are investigating routes open to us.

2017 is very exciting for us all both on and off the pitch and we work for the best results we can deliver, constantly and rigorously looking at how best to “balance the books” as a Trust-owned club ensuring we continue to develop, commercially and financially.”