Trust Directors Talk Us Through Their Roles – Part 9

The latest Trust Director to have had their piece published in the Matchday programme and then on here is John Derben.   John outlined his role on the board of Wycombe Wanderers Trust as follows:

“Good afternoon and welcome to the fans of Portsmouth FC – my old stomping ground when in my teens I saw them win back-to-back Division 1 Championships in 1948/49 and 1949/50.

My allegiance these days is with Wycombe Wanderers and has been for the past 15 years. During that time, I have served on the football club board and currently on the board of the Supporters Trust, where I have several areas of responsibility.

As chairman of the board of Frank Adams Legacy Limited, the actual owners of the stadium, I – together with my colleagues – look after the interests of the supporters. Working together, we provide financial security to the football club who lease the stadium and maintain the fabric as part of their responsibilities.

Volunteers now play a significant role in helping the club to reduce the cost of maintenance and redecoration. Volunteers also sell programmes and run the car parks, with more than 20 in total working around the stadium on matchdays. We are called PALS and have over 100 volunteers signed up. If you would like to join our happy band, contact me on 01494 441145 for the forms.

As chairman of OWWSA (the Official Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Association), I represent the fans on the Trust board and co-ordinate the activities of the PALS volunteers.

OWWSA regularly raises funds for the club through events, run by my wife Sandie, and organising a coach service to all away games, run by Rena Frontalski and Graham Roberts. This amounts to between £6,000 and £10,000 each year. If anyone would like to join OWWSA, it costs just £12 a year – Graham Roberts is your man to contact. OWWSA membership entitles you to a £4 discount on every away coach trip.

The safety aspect of the stadium is overseen by Buckinghamshire County Council through a committee called the SAG (Safety Advisory Group). All the public services play a role on the SAG – police, fire brigade, ambulance service, St John’s Ambulance and Wycombe District Council (environmental health and building surveyors departments).

The club is represented by the stadium manager Gordon Reilly and safety officer Trevor Morgan, director David Cook, and myself. I have attended the SAG for the last five years partly because of my past professional background and partly because of the work our volunteers do to protect our supporters. This is one of those tasks which goes on in the background in the overall running of the football club.

This year, Gordon, Trevor, David and I have been rewriting the safety certificate which governs all aspects of health and safety in and around the stadium. This is a mandatory document designed to protect not only our supporters and staff but all visitors to our facilities. In my role, I attend the pre-match stewards briefings and support the stadium manager and safety officer as and when required.

Life is never boring at Wycombe Wanderers. All the directors of the club and Trust boards give their time voluntarily and it’s a pleasure to work with such dedicated teams and for a dedicated band of supporters.”