Trust Matters: League One – Saturday 4th August 2018

The following articles first appeared in today’s match programme ‘Parklife‘ and were emailed to members earlier this week. This is now an updated version.

Meet your Trust Board: Alan Cecil of WW Trust

Alan is one of the longest serving Trust Directors having been first elected to the Board in April 2011. He retired from a 40-year banking career in December 2012 and immediately put that experience to work by helping to improve the financial position of the Trust and the Football Club.

He continues to help out with the finances and has been the administrator of the Trust’s Community Share Scheme since its inception in 2015 which involves a great deal of admin in his own time, whilst he’s also a Trustee of Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust and a graduate of their second FFIT course.

From working in several customer service roles, Alan knows how  important communication is to our members and he took on the role of Trust website editor as well as  managing their Twitter account and  Facebook page. Alan will regularly read the  views of members and other fans and bring their issues to the Trust Board for discussion.

He has been a Chairboys fan since 1993, rarely misses a home game and travels to about half of those played away. His wife and family are all involved  in supporting and/or working roles and both Alan and Gaynor assist with various other voluntary duties for the benefit of the Club including programme selling and distributing team sheets on matchdays.

The Trust and League 1

This season will be the first time since the Trust owned the Club that we have been in League 1, so it will be a new experience for us all. We all start with excitement and hope for the future and a determination from the Trust Board to put the Club on as sound a financial footing as possible. We still face the issues of short term cash flow and profitability and how to compete against the majority of Clubs in League 1 who have budgets many times our size.

Chairboys Funders Update

The initial scheme reached its 5-year end date at the start of May.  Chairboys Funders Limited therefore issued  further Loan Notes to continue this vital and successful scheme and these were fully subscribed by some of the original Funders, whilst others have understandably taken repayment.

The Trust Board would like to place on record its appreciation to all the supporters who stepped up in 2013 as the original Chairboys Funders. It is also very grateful to those who have agreed to ‘continue with us on the journey ahead’ and support our exciting new future in League One.

Notes from Recent Trust Board Meetings

The short term cash position in June and July has remained challenging and detailed discussions are in progress with potential lenders to help resolve this funding issue over the next few months.

Budgets for 18/19 have been reviewed by the Trust and a monitoring process agreed for on-going review at Trust board meetings.

We have been informed by HMRC that shares to be issued under the Community Share Scheme will no longer qualify for tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme, or EIS. This means that we are, regrettably, no longer able to make EIS relief available for future share issues. All existing shareholders that this ruling affects have been written to explaining the how this affects them. The Trust Board will consider the future of the Community Share Scheme as we approach the end of our initial 5-year plan, and these changed circumstances will mean that we will do this as soon as possible.

A working group within the Trust board has been set up to determine the best way of engaging with our fans and keeping them up to date with developments.  Trust Directors are now also attending Fans Council meetings on a regular basis.

Why the Trust Matters

Trust ownership has given the Club a level of stability that had been lacking previously. The Trust passionately believes in the preservation of the heritage and history of our Club and seeks to share it with the wider community. The Trust is a volunteer led, democratic organisation which seeks to foster a real sense of ownership amongst the Club’s supporters. The Trust is an ever-changing entity, not constrained by the whims of individual Directors or owners.  All Trust members are equal and anyone of them can be elected or co-opted onto the Trust Board and, from there, onto the Club Board. The Trust’s annual subscription of £10 per annum makes Trust membership accessible to all. If you are not yet a member of the Trust, or if your membership has lapsed, now is a good time to join. Contact John Bignell at johnbig@btinternet.com

Trust Matters Feedback

If you have any queries about Trust Matters or if you would like us to consider adding something to the next edition, please contact Trust Matters editor, Nigel Kingston on nigel@ascom.net