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Mar
14

Investment Update – 14th March

Wycombe Wanderers Trust can provide an update on the process of investment into the football club, following a meeting of the Trust board on Monday evening.

The board assessed in great detail two offers of investment, one from Bill Luby and Jim Collis seeking a majority shareholding, and one from Andrew Harman seeking an initial minority shareholding increasing to a majority holding in two years.

Trust directors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the offer made by Bill Luby and Jim Collis, and will call a meeting of Legacy Members in due course to present the details of the bid and initiate a voting period for Members to determine whether or not the offer should be accepted.

During the Trust’s discussions with both parties following the meeting on Monday, Mr Harman has decided to withdraw his bid from the process.

Members will be updated with details of the next steps once they are finalised.

Mar
7

Trust Members Update – 7th March

Wycombe Wanderers Trust are pleased to confirm that they have received a formal offer for an initial minority shareholding in the football club from Andrew Harman and will be meeting Mr Harman this week to discuss the offer in more detail.

The Trust board will then give full consideration to both Mr Harman’s offer and the one made by Bill Luby and Jim Collis – seeking a majority shareholding – before providing another update to members.


Trevor Stroud
Chairman

Feb
20

‘We’re Wycombe Whatever’ – Please Renew Your Season Ticket for 2019-20 NOW.

The club’s owners, Wycombe Wanderers Trust, are in talks with two parties interested in taking a significant share of the club and opening a new chapter in the illustrious history of the Chairboys, with an outcome likely to be known before the end of the current season.

In the meantime, Gareth Ainsworth’s men have a job to finish on the pitch, firstly guaranteeing survival in League 1 and then potentially achieving their highest ever league finish this century, as well as preparing to strengthen the squad for the 2019/20 campaign.

And it’s business as usual off the pitch, as the club continues to work towards improving its experience for all visitors to Adams Park and strengthening its ties with the local community.

The club believes that many supporters will be sure to book their place for the new season come what may – proudly sharing the ‘We’re Wycombe, Whatever’ tagline – but for some, their allegiance to the Blues may be affected by the outcome of the investment prospects.

The Trust are keen to ensure that the values, traditions and heritage of the club are upheld whichever direction is taken, and that supporters should continue to feel proud to wear the badge and remain attached to the Wycombe Wanderers community.

So with that in mind, the club have made a pledge that anybody who buys a season ticket during the ‘early bird’ window – closing on March 31st – will be entitled to a  full refund of  their season ticket by June 30th, if they choose not to continue their support of the team in this way. Simply contact the ticket office to arrange this.

Click on this link for season ticket renewal information

Feb
6

Updated Timeline for Investment Process

Wycombe Wanderers Trust are now able to update members on a revised timeline in the process relating to potential investment to provide long-term stability for the football club.

As previously communicated, a meeting was due to be held on Monday 28th January whereby Legacy Members would hear a presentation of a formal offer made by two American businessmen – Bill Luby and Jim Collis – who are seeking a majority stake in the club. This presentation, to include more details of Bill and Jim’s vision for the club, would then have initiated a voting process whereby Legacy Members would be asked to approve the deal (requiring a 75% of ‘yes’ vote).

This meeting was postponed at short notice after the Trust Board was made aware that Andrew Harman, a local businessmen and former player, was also interested in submitting an immediate formal bid for investment. Having previously held tentative discussions with the Trust board., Mr Harman met with a number of Trust directors in mid-January 2019 to present the outline of his proposal, which he also shared with supporters at a public meeting, Together with Bill Luby and Jim Collis, the Trust Board has agreed to halt the process in order to allow Mr Harman time to submit his offer.

Mr Harman was initially asked to submit his formal offer in three weeks’ time (week commencing 18th February) but requested an extension of two weeks, which has been granted. While the Trust Board are keen for the process to move forward quickly, to enable the club to undertake long-term sustainability planning and start the planning process for next season. Mr Harman has indicated he needs more time to complete his due diligence and submit his offer.

The new agreed timeline is that Mr Harman will submit his formal offer in the week commencing 4th March, including a meeting with the Trust Board to present his offer in detail. The Trust Board will then consider his offer alongside that of Mr Luby and Mr Collis, and call a Legacy Members meeting to update them on the situation as it stands. Further details of this meeting will be communicated in due course; it is very much the Trust’s intention to hold this as soon as possible after their meeting with Andrew Harman.

At the Legacy Members’ meeting on 28th January, a request was made to reconsider the cut-off date for Trust membership which, providing the criteria is satisfied (i.e. Trust membership and season ticket holding for four consecutive years), would lead to Legacy Membership status.

It has been agreed that the cut-off date for applications for Trust membership that would allow such applicants to become Legacy Members, has now been set at Saturday 23rd February. Applications can be made by completing the form which can be downloaded here or by obtaining and completing a form from the Trust Table at the next home game.

Visit the website for a full summary of the Legacy Members meeting on Monday 28th January, or apply to join the WWT Live Stream group on Facebook to watch the full video of the event (Trust members only).

The Trust board held a meeting for Legacy Members last Monday (28th January) at the Union Baptist Church on Easton Street in High Wycombe, attended by 227 Legacy Members, with a live stream available on Facebook for those unable to attend, plus all Trust members (receiving more than 600 views to date).

During the meeting, chairman Trevor Stroud made a presentation in three parts – the slides of which can be seen here.

The first part covered a timeline of the process which has led to the position outlined above; where the Trust will consider both bids in mid-March and explain the rationale for their recommendation to Legacy Members.

A synopsis of that timeline – which can be viewed in more detail on the slides – is as follows:
– 2015: Trust identify need for additional funding for the football club, and initiate the Share Scheme
– 2016: Share Scheme raises c.£700k but Trust recognise that outside investment is likely to be required
– 2017 (January): Trust introduced to Steve Horowitz, who has completed transactions of football clubs to new owners including Liverpool, Inter, Portsmouth, Crystal Palace and Dagenham & Redbridge. He advises the Trust that he will introduce them to suitable partners that he believes would be good custodians of the club
– 2017 (November): Trust meets Andrew Harman, who puts forward an outline proposal for investment
– 2018 (January): Mr Harman’s proposal is declined due to it being based on club debt, rather than equity. The Trust are keen to learn lessons from the past and not see the club fall into significant debt to any individual or organisation which has loaned money into the club
– 2018 (January): Mr Horowitz introduces Trust to two American businessmen, Bill Luby and Jim Collis
– 2018 (March): Mr Luby and Mr Collis visit the club for introductory meetings
– 2018 (July): Mr Luby and Mr Collis return to the club to meet whole Trust board. Talks with other interested parties are ongoing
– 2018 (August): Trust call members meeting to inform them of board’s recommendation that the club requires investment. At this time, Mr Harman is informed that the club have received two offers – one for a majority stake, one for a minority stake. Mr Harman acknowledges the information in writing and wishes the Trust well with their progress with these two bids
– 2018 (September): Trust outlines the need for investment to members, and asks for mandate to proceed with talks and bring their recommended proposals forward. A show of hands in the room indicates that this mandate is given
– 2018 (October): Proposal offered by Mr Luby and Mr Collis is selected unanimously by the Trust board as the recommended route forward
– 2018 (November): Mr Luby and Mr Collis visit Adams Park to meet members and answer questions. After this point, the Trust enters into formal discussions with a view to an offer being made. Also this month, Trust recognises need for a Plan B in the event of Mr Luby and Mr Collis’s offer not being accepted by Legacy Members, and Mr Harman is asked to sustain his interest in investment
– 2019 (January): Trust are made aware via a post online that Mr Harman wishes to revitalise his offer as a Plan A, and arrange to meet him to discuss. At this meeting, Mr Harman presents an outline proposal which is not rejected but the Trust board raises concern at the timing and the lack of detail in the proposal. Mr Harman calls a public meeting to share his proposal with supporters. The Trust board – together with Mr Luby and Mr Collis – agree to postpone the scheduled Legacy Members meeting and vote in order to allow time for Mr Harman to submit a formal bid
2019 (February): Trust board initially ask Mr Harman to submit an offer within three weeks, but agree to an extension of a further two weeks, as requested by Mr Harman.

Trevor Stroud commented that Mr Harman has been asked to clarify the size of his investment offer, over what time period, and what type (i.e. debt or equity). The Trust board also require further detail on Mr Harman’s plans to settle existing club debt, his recommendation for rent payable to Frank Adams Legacy Limited by the club for the use of Adams Park, and the envisaged ongoing relationship between club and Trust. The Trust would like to explore Mr Harman’s plans for further investment beyond the initial injection of funds, and the structure of the proposed academy, plus its benefits to the football club.

The Trust board have arranged to meet Mr Harman at the end of the five-week window, where he will present his offer and a new recommendation to members will be made. Arrangements for meetings with Trust/Legacy Members will be made in due course. In the event that Mr Harman does not submit an offer, the Trust will proceed with a Legacy Member vote on the offer made by Mr Luby and Mr Collis. Bill and Jim have been kept updated throughout this change in proceedings and have reiterated their desire to see the best possible outcome for the club, appreciating the magnitude of the situation and offering their full support.

At this stage, questions were taken from the floor:

Q) Why was the Trust’s position (from 2016) not communicated to members sooner?
A) The update was given to members at the meeting in September 2018 once a position had been agreed by the Trust board that they should proceed with talks with potential partners. There is a commercial sensitivity to publicly declaring the club is for sale.

Q) Why have members not received details of Bill and Jim’s proposal?
A) Members would have received details prior to originally scheduled meeting on 28th January, but this was placed on hold once it was revealed that Mr Harman wished to make a bid.

Q) It looks as though the Americans might now be changing/improving their bid once they know the details of Andrew Harman’s offer
A) Bill and Jim want to be involved with the club, but they want the best for the club, and recognise that if there is a better offer out there, they will walk away. We’re looking for a level playing field where we have two offers that can be placed alongside each other to enable us to make our recommendation to members.

Q) Were all bidders allowed to take a majority stake?
A) They were all aware that a majority stake was available if they desired. One party wished for a majority stake, one wished for a minority stake – a third party in August was aware of the other two bidders and wished us well.

Q) Why can’t we see both bids?
A) At this stage we only have one bid, and an expression of interest from another. We’ve had lots of expressions of interest down the years but once pushed, they have not made an offer.

Q) Andrew Harman said the reason for his re-engagement in the process was that a Trust director had approached him to do so. Is that the case?
A) We have continued to engage with other parties throughout the process. It had previously been indicated that Andrew was willing to remain in the background as a fallback. The Trust formed a sub-group to explore a Plan B in case the offer by Bill and Jim was rejected. Andrew was asked by one director in November if he would be available to come forward if required with a Plan B, and the answer was yes. Plan B (which was discussed with a team deputed by the Trust Board) was intended to be a fallback, not an alternative, which it now is.

Q) You have said that an equity-based deal is preferable to a debt-based one. Why is that?
A) The Americans would not be coming in as a creditor. They would be coming in as a partner to help us clear debt. We are placing as many safeguards as possible into the deal, to make sure that lessons from the past are learned, and mistakes are avoided.

Q) Have you considered a Plan C – where the Americans and Andrew could work together?
A) That has been put on the agenda for consideration.

Q) Why have other opportunities not been heard about previously?
A) Until 12 days ago we didn’t believe another proposal was there; we now know we will be receiving a second bid. The third offer has been there for a long time but has not been sufficient to bring to members.

Q) Why are you allowing Andrew Harman back into the process now if it could scupper things?
A) It’s fair, and we have to consider the best thing for the football club, so it is only right that we give him the opportunity to make an offer that we can consider. We want a level playing field.

Q) Now we have two offers, can we not just vote on which one we prefer, and go with whichever gets the majority?
A) We will look into the voting process once we have more information about the second bid.

Q) Have you checked for proof of funds from the Americans?
A) We have engaged an independent consultancy to carry out due diligence on both Bill and Jim, and will be doing the same on Andrew Harman. Everything we have received so far has confirmed they are men of substance.

Q) Is Bill and Jim’s proposal based on personal investment, or through venture capital?
A) It would be personal investment.

Q) Are you accepting any new proposals, and are you setting a deadline?
A) We think it’s unlikely there will be any new entrants into the process. We will agree a timetable with Andrew Harman and communicate that. We don’t have long; we need to move forward.

Q) I understood from Andrew Harman’s meeting that he was not aware until January that a majority stake was available.
A) Our communication with Andrew in August explained that we were in discussions with two parties; one regarding a majority stake, one regarding a minority stake. He wished us well with those discussions.

Q) Will you reopen the process for new Legacy Members (i.e. season ticket holders of 4+ years who have not yet joined the Trust)?
A) We will take advice on that from the relevant authorities.

Q) If you go with the minority stake option, could the Trust accept this without a vote?
A) The rules provide that a majority sale requires 75% approval from Legacy Members. There is nothing to say that a minority sale requires any vote/approval. There is a provision that if a significant change is made to the club, the Trust should seek to run a ballot of members.

Trevor Stroud then continued with his presentation, relating to the loan which has been taken out with Bill Luby and Jim Collis, which resulted in a charge being placed on the stadium as security for the loan.

The key points from the slides are as follows:
– A bridge loan was required due to the critical cashflow situation through November and December (which was eased in January due to solidarity payments from the EFL). Bill and Jim were approached and the response was quick and supportive.
– The loan came in two tranches; the first was definitely required, the second was dependent on ‘football fortune’. Once the club had exited both the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy in November, the second tranche was required. While the first tranche carried a charge on the club, the second carried a charge on Adams Park.
– These details were not communicated due to the commercial sensitivity of declaring the financial position amidst negotiations with sponsors and players
– If Bill and Jim are successful, their loan will be transferred to equity, and the charge will be lifted
– If Bill and Jim are unsuccessful, the loan will be repaid by the new investor, and the charge will be lifted
– There has been suggestions that the Trust may have broken rule 102 by securing a loan with a charge on the stadium without seeking approval from members
– The Trust board admitted that this rule was overlooked; the rule was introduced in 2014 after two previous loans had been taken out with charges on the stadium. The board acted on the precedent of these loans
The Trust board has sought independent legal advice which has clarified that the rule has not been broken, but the board will now seek member approval for any future charges against Adams Park

Trevor Stroud then went on to clarify his position:
– His role as chairman of both Trust and club was approved by the Trust board
– The Trust board was elected by members
– His position can be reviewed by the Trust board at any time, and the position of the Trust board can be reviewed by members at any time
– If Bill and Jim are successful, there will be two Trust board members on the club board
– No decision has yet been made on who the two Trust representatives would be
– No Trust or club director would be employed by the club if Bill and Jim are successful, or stands to make any financial gain
– Trevor reiterated that it is an honour to serve as chairman, and everything he and the Trust board does is considered to be the right thing for the club

The floor was then opened to questions:
Q) Have you sought loans from commercial partners?
A) We are in constant dialogue with commercial partners, but have yet to find anyone willing to loan £500,000 unsecured.

Q) Have you sought advice from Supporters Direct?
A) Yes, there has been dialogue with them; Lawrie Read (Trust director) had a conference call just last week.

Q) What would be the makeup of the club board if Andrew Harman is successful?
A) That is yet to be discussed.

Q) Will you change the rules relating to charges being placed on the stadium, to require member approval?
A) Yes – this will be ratified in due course.

Q) Why did we find out about the charge on Companies House, and were not informed before?
A) As a fan, I’d want to be able to tell you everything. As chairman, we had to be conscious of the sensitivity of making things public.

Q) Have you discussed a minority share with the Americans?
A) Yes – they have indicated their preference in a majority share, based on the figure that they plan to invest in order to sustain the losses and develop the club.

Q) Will we be paying off the loan soon?
A) I don’t believe that to be the case.

Q) Is there a conflict of interest with you being the chair of Trust and club, in the Trust board’s view?
A) It has been raised, it has been discussed and it has been shared that the Trust board can review it at any time. The situation will be reviewed once this process is through.

Q) Why is the voting on this decision not open to all members, but just Legacy Members?
A) We wish it was, but in reality the rules were set up as a defence mechanism. There were concerns that it wouldn’t take much for somebody to get people to join the Trust and vote through the sale of the club. We set a high bar to ensure that the people that make the decision are season ticket holders, and in theory, the most loyal fans. To change that rule, we would need approval from 75% of Legacy Members.

Q) How many Legacy Members are there?
A) We have 810 Legacy Members. A Legacy Member is a Trust member who has held a season ticket for the past four consecutive seasons at least. We have close to 1,400 Trust members.

Q) Will Andrew Harman’s proposal be funded by loans or equity?
A) We are of the understanding that the answer to this at the moment is ‘don’t know’.

Q) Will the situation be sorted by Easter?
A) We very much hope so.

Q) What happens to the club if neither offer goes through?
A) It would be a serious situation. We’re performing really well on the pitch but need resources to help us keep doing that.

Q) Would Bill and Jim clear the existing debt?
A) They won’t come in and write a cheque to clear the debt, no. We have a deal in place to pay rent from the club to the Trust to help clear the debt, yes.

Q) To what extent is there an opportunity to use investment income to establish an academy to help bring through the next Roger Johnsons, Jordon Ibes?
A) The general view from the footballing side is that the academy model is flawed, for a number of reasons. The EPPP rules have changed since we sold Jordon Ibe, which restricts the amount of money that the lower clubs can receive. Sell-on fees can be a lottery, as with Kortney Hause moving on loan from Wolves to Aston Villa, rather than a permanent move. We feel there is a gap for a development/reserve squad, where talented youngsters from the Sports & Education Trust’s Elite & Development Academy might have an opportunity. Gareth Ainsworth is very good at identifying good players that have been let go by other clubs, such as Curtis Thompson and Alex Samuel.

Q) When will see the details of the Americans’ proposal?
A) It will be depend on the timetable agreed with Andrew Harman. Approximately three weeks, as it stands. [NB this timescale has since been lengthened to five weeks, as outlined above]

Q) Has Andrew Harman signed an NDA and been given access to accounts?
A) There is an NDA running from our initial discussions, but he will re-sign it and receive access to the accounts. [NB the NDA has since been signed]

Q) Are you aware that Andrew Harman came into the Woodlands Lounge to talk to supporters, and was of the impression that the vote would be going ahead tonight?
A) Andrew isn’t a Trust member so he wouldn’t have received the communication about it.

The meeting then concluded at around 8.45pm. A full transcript of the Q&A sessions from the meeting is available upon request by emailing tony@wycombewandererstrust.com, or apply to join the WWT Live Stream group on Facebook to watch the full video of the event (Trust members only).

Jan
30

Information from Legacy Members Meeting 28th January 2019

To view the slides that Trevor Stroud used on Monday, please click on the download button below.
We are writing up the answers to questions posed during the evening and these will be added shortly.

Jan
25

Comment from Bill Luby and Jim Collis

We are extremely grateful to everyone in the Wycombe Wanderers community who has given us such a warm welcome and education over the past several months.

You have left us in no doubt that the spirit of your community is the driving force behind Wycombe Wanderers FC and is the primary reason you have been on such an extraordinary journey on and off the field since the Trust took over in 2012.

We remain committed to earning your support to become stewards of this unique and special club.

Above all, we want the best outcome for Wycombe Wanderers so we both encouraged and welcomed the Trust’s decision to open up this process.

In our conversations so far, we hope we have shown that it is our desire to work in true partnership with the whole community to help Wycombe Wanderers fulfil its potential in a sustainable way. 

We believe that we have a financial and operational commitment that will enable a bright future for the club but first we feel it is right for all stakeholders and bidders to have had their voice heard before the final vote.

We will be keeping in close contact with the Trust, and the club and look forward to coming back to Wycombe and making our formal presentation in the near future.

Good luck against Plymouth tomorrow!

Bill Luby and Jim Collis

Jan
11

Open Letter from Trevor Stroud

Good afternoon, and a belated Happy New Year,

I wanted to take the opportunity to talk as directly as possible to all supporters of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club, including members of the Trust, ahead of what is a pivotal time in the club’s 131-year history.

In just over two weeks’ time we will be asking Legacy Members to vote on whether or not to accept investment into the club from two American businessmen, Bill Luby and Jim Collis, who are seeking a majority stake in Wycombe Wanderers. A reminder that Legacy Members are members of the Trust who have held a season ticket at Adams Park for four or more consecutive years.

As volunteer directors of the Trust, this is new territory for us, and yes – it can keep us awake at night. We have each been elected to serve as custodians of the football club; to protect its heritage and safeguard our future. We take great pride in what we do, and standing on the pitch at Chesterfield in April, I personally was overcome with emotion as I reflected on what we had all – together – achieved. Above all, we are supporters who want the very best for the club, with no ulterior motives.

We’ve been entrusted to make the right decisions, and we are confident that we have found the best people to take the club forward, in Bill and Jim. Trust Members have met them when we introduced them at a meeting back in November, and we have been in constant dialogue with them over the past two months as we finalise the proposed deal which would see them become majority shareholders if they attain ‘yes’ votes from 75% or more of Legacy Members.

During that time, as is only natural, there has been plenty of discussion and speculation from supporters and Trust Members, and a fair amount of information – some accurate, some inaccurate – has been disseminated from various sources. We have never set out to deliberately conceal details from fans, but the discussions are, as I’m sure you can imagine, commercially sensitive and bound by confidentiality clauses on both sides, as is commonplace in business and football is no different, with most transfer dealings masked by undisclosed fees, like them or loathe them!

I am aware of grievances about a perceived lack of communication, and in some cases I can accept that we could have done things differently. The details of the postponement of the next meeting – originally provisionally booked for January 14th, but moved to January 28th – could have been clarified sooner, and for that I apologise.

I wanted to offer some clarity on a few points; I can only imagine there will be hundreds of questions and the opportunity for us to answer them will come at the meeting for Legacy Members on Monday 28th January. But for now, here is a synopsis of the story so far:

–              Two years ago we were introduced to a representative of Bill and Jim who enquired whether we would be interested in opening talks relating to potential investment into the football club. We said yes, and – along with expressions of interest from two other parties – have developed these talks into something more substantial

–              In September 2018 we held a meeting of all trust members to gauge their attitude, as the club’s current owners, to the possible options for the future of the club, and received an indication that we should proceed with discussions relating to outside investment.

–              In the autumn of 2018, following the members’ meeting, the Trust board agreed that its recommended option for the best way forward for the football club is to accept Bill and Jim’s proposal. More on that below.

–              We invited Bill and Jim to meet Trust Members at Adams Park in November; an evening that we – and they – felt was met with positivity from a large proportion of those present.

–              At the same time, the Trust agreed a non-binding heads of terms with Bill and Jim.

–              Faced with a concerning cashflow situation for the club over the winter months, and while negotiations have been continuing on the investment deal, Bill and Jim also agreed to make a loan available to the club,  with a charge against Adams Park, which is standard practice to guarantee some security against the person or persons loaning the money. This sum is to be converted into equity if Bill and Jim are successful in the Legacy Member vote, or repaid if not. Without this loan, the club’s cashflow was looking critical and could well have impacted on wages and bills being paid on time.

To return to an earlier point, the Trust’s purpose is to safeguard the club’s future, to ensure there is a Wycombe Wanderers for future generations to enjoy just as we have done, and those before us. There will be a Wycombe Wanderers for the foreseeable future, but the makeup of that club is ultimately dependent on its financial backing. We are making sizeable losses each year in our current setup, and it is not either fair or viable to rely on ‘football fortune’ (cup runs and player sales) as a breakeven model each year.

If Legacy Members vote in favour of the investment by Bill and Jim, I have every confidence that their investment will be spent wisely, to continue the forward progress that has been made on the pitch in recent years, and improve the off-field activity to help us better engage with supporters, sponsors and the local community as a whole. The potential for growth is exciting, and our due diligence to date leads us to have every faith that the values that make us proud of our club will continue to be upheld under new ownership, which would also include supporter representation on the make-up of the board of directors.

In case the vote is unsuccessful, the Trust has identified possible alternative options – though in our view, as it stands, these are less favourable. To be sustainable under Trust ownership would mean descaling the size of the on-field and off-field operations, and it will take the most optimistic of supporters to believe that that situation would not lead to a decline from our current league standing.

The Trust do not want to see the club decline; we have been honoured with Football League status for a quarter of a century, and have what I believe to be the one of the best management staffs and playing squads that we have had the pleasure of watching in that era. The club was in a dark place around the time that the Trust acquired ownership in 2012, and after overcoming some tough challenges in those first two years, enjoyed a steady progression thanks to the achievements of the team on the pitch, and considerable financial support from Trust members and other fans.

What happens next is up to the Legacy Members; we have offered our recommendation and more details of Bill and Jim’s proposal will become clear in the very near future. I am determined that every Member should use his or her vote; we want a 100% turnout to ensure that the future of the club is not decided by apathy of those not bothering to vote, given that not voting is counted as a ‘no’ vote.

From one fan of Wycombe Wanderers to another, we are all on this journey together, and I sincerely believe that welcoming Bill and Jim into the club will lead to a more prosperous and successful future for us all.

Thank you for reading, and during this exciting period, let us not lose focus of what brings us all to Adams Park in the first place – the football. Gareth and the team have this incredible hunger and determination to return to winning ways, to reach our target for survival in League 1 this season, and to continue to give you as much as possible to cheer and be proud of every single week.

Trevor Stroud

Dec
31

Trust AGM Slides including Investor Update + Minutes

The Powerpoint slides used in the November 2018 Trust AGM – which include Trevor’s update on the American Investors – can be viewed via the following link WWSGL AGM 29 NOVEMBER 2018

Here are the minutes of the AGM 2018 AGM Minutes

Nov
24

Trust Membership Renewals Are (Over) Due

Membership fees for 2018-2019 became due on 1st November.

The majority of members pay by Standing Order but if you prefer other means you can pay by cash or cheque at the Trust table in the Caledonian Suite before our next home game.            

Alternatively send a cheque to Wycombe Wanderers Trust at Adams Park, Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe HP12 4HJ or pay directly into the Trust account, sort code 40-24-38, account no. 81390031 – using your membership number as your reference. 

If you are not yet a member and wish to join – you can do this at the Trust table in the Caledonian Suite or by emailing johnbig@wycombewandererstrust.com for an application form. You can also pick up a form from reception at Adams Park during office hours or download one here Membership Form 2019

Whatever way you pay your continued membership is much appreciated.

John Bignell
Membership Secretary

Nov
20

Audited Accounts FYE 30th June 2018 – UPDATED 7.11.18 & 20.11.18

22.10.18 The Audit of Accounts for Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Group Ltd, (t/a WW Trust), Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Ltd and Frank Adams Legacy Ltd has now been completed and most of the respective boards have now signed off their annual reports (WWSGL will do theirs this week).

Copy of the accounts for WWFC Ltd has now been sent to Ordinary and Founder Shareholders of that company by email (or by post where necessary) and a copy has been placed on this website under our Share Offer heading http://www.wycombewandererstrust.com/share-offer where, since the launch of the Trust Share Scheme, all our accounts have been available.

UPDATE: 7th November 2018 The signed audited accounts for Frank Adams Legacy Limited are now available and have been added to the same page – for sake of continuity

UPDATE: 20th November 2018 Ahead of the AGM next week, the audited accounts for Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Group Ltd (t/a WW Trust) have been added to the same page as above or can be viewed via this link WWSGL – signed accounts to 30.6.18

Sep
14

Use Easyfundraising to Raise More Funds for Wycombe Wanderers as You Shop Online

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be collecting free donations for Wycombe Wanderers Trust?

It’s a really simple way to raise money for Wycombe Wanderers Trust through your everyday online shopping with over 3,300 retailers including Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, and it’s completely free!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Head to https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/wycombewandererstrust/

and join for free.

2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.

3. After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to Wycombe Wanderers Trust for no extra cost whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and Wycombe Wanderers will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support.

Aug
8

Fans Keep On Giving….. So We Can Provide (Updated October 2018)

Notwithstanding the success of the 500 Club in the last year or so, the WW Trust Share Scheme launched in 2015 continues to thrive and produce much needed income for the Football Club.

Over ‘one hundred and eighty’ fans are still contributing with either monthly or annual payments to the Trust over a five year period and these are on top of the 160 who have made one-off payments in the last couple of years.

Those single payments have been of amounts between the minimum of £100 and the maximum of £100,000.

To date some £615,000 has been banked with a further £90,000 committed to be received over this and the next 2 seasons.

So what are we doing with your money?

Much of the initial inflow has gone into helping to stabilise the financial position of the football club by providing some much needed working capital. This allows WWFC to be able to pay its bills, (present and past) in line with agreed schedules and repayment plans.

As was outlined in our Share Scheme prospectus/brochure we have also been able to provide the money to make the best use of our prized asset – Adams Park. So far, some of the completed projects, which are thanks to Share Scheme money (and which would not have been affordable otherwise) are:

  • New lawnmower (from OWWSA contributions)
  • New club flag
  • Medical equipment to boost return of injured players
  • Replacement seats (Summer 2016 – from OWWSA Contributions)
  • New TVs for concourse etc
  • Big Screen repairs
  • Player Purchase – Michael Harriman
  • GPS Equipment – the player running tracking system
  • Security Fence for away end
  • Fixing of the heating/Air Con system in Caledonian Suite
  • Paint for various stadium areas (from OWWSA contributions)
  • Full structural survey of the stadium – required for safety certificate reasons
  • More paint (Summer 2017)
  • Further replacement seats (Summer 2017)
  • Essential refurb and extension of the dressing rooms – as demanded by the EFL (Summer 2017)
  • Upgrade of the CCTV equipment – so vital to maintain our safety certificate
  • Replacement IT equipment for Gareth and his team at the training ground – from OWWSA contributions
  • Contributions towards repair and maintenance of the Adams Park floodlights – from OWWSA contributions
  • Even more replacement seats – December 2017
  • New boiler to provide hot water for the players and staff at the training ground
  • Essential repairs and replacement of lighting units in the Frank Adams Stand

If you feel that fan ownership is worth more than the annual membership fee, then do join in with those who are contributing a bit (or a lot) more. See any Trust Director manning the table before each home game in the Caledonian Suite or go to our special Share Offer page via this link .

Any questions on the scheme can be sent by email to shares@wycombewandererstrust.com

Jul
5

IMPORTANT: Change to the Trust Community Share Scheme

I am writing to you to let you know of an important recent development regarding our Community Share Scheme.

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.

HMRC would have been within their rights to withdraw EIS relief in respect of shares issued under the Scheme since late 2015. However, because we approached HMRC with our concerns on this matter, rather than it emerging in an HMRC audit, HMRC has confirmed that, as a concession, they will not look to withdraw relief retrospectively. This means that EIS 3 certificates issued up until 5 April 2018 will remain valid and those shareholders can continue to claim tax relief on their existing investment. 

However, we are, regrettably, no longer able to make EIS relief available for future share issues.

A considerable number of investors under our Community Share Scheme invest on a regular basis. We will be writing to them shortly, to enquire whether they wish to make any change to their current payment instructions.

Shares in the Community Share Scheme are issued quarterly; no new shares have been issued since 6 April this year, and we were due to issue the next round of shares after the end of June. Shareholders who have paid for shares in that period will therefore not yet have received their shares and, because of this change, will no longer qualify for EIS relief on their investment. We will of course be contacting those shareholders individually as soon as we can with an offer to return their monies in full if they wish.

The Trust Board was in any event due to 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 so as soon as we can. Despite the Club’s recent success on the field, it remains the case that ownership of a lower league football club is a financially precarious occupation. Many other clubs have owners with deep pockets who can underwrite losses and make substantial investment with a view to improving their teams’ chances of success; to enable Wycombe Wanderers to remain competitive in the medium to long term, the Trust, as the Club’s immediate owner, needs to be able to do the same. Until further notice, therefore, the Community Share Scheme will remain open for subscription, the only difference to the initial terms being the inability for investors to claim EIS relief on new investments.

The Community Share Scheme has been one very important way in which Trust members, as the Club’s ultimate owners, have enabled us to support the Club financially in recent years. The Trust directors, and indeed the Club directors, are very grateful to those investors who have to date invested over £600,000 since the scheme was launched. We will continue to work with the Club directors to ensure that they have access to the necessary financial support to maintain the recent progress, both on and off the field, whether through initiatives such as the Community Share Scheme, the 500 Club, or any other ways of raising sustainable long-term finance.

If you have any queries as to how you may be affected by the withdrawal of EIS relief on future share issues, please contact us via our special email address shares@wycombewandererstrust.com

With best wishes – and here’s to a great season in League 1!

Trevor Stroud
Chairman
Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Group Limited

Dec
1

A ‘Simple Guide’ to the WW Trust – Updated 07.12.18

trust logo 003 wwfc our heritageFollowing the AGM in February 2015, some members were asking for clarification on what are the separate responsibilities and duties of the Trust and of the Football Club.

A small group from the Trust Board then put together the following which we hope will be useful:

The Basic Structure

Wycombe Wanderers Trust took over Wycombe Wanderers Football Club on 29th June 2012 from Steve Hayes.

Wycombe Wanderers Trust owns Wycombe Wanderers FC Ltd (the trading entity) and Frank Adams Legacy Limited as separate entities.

Features

  • Wycombe Wanderers Trust Board is made up of the following directors:

Alan Cecil                   alan@wycombewandererstrust.com
David Cook                 dave@wycombewandererstrust.com
John Derben               john@wycombewandererstrust.com
Tony Hector                 tony@wycombewandererstrust.com
Nigel Kingston            nigel@wycombewandererstrust.com
Peter Lerner                peter@wycombewandererstrust.com
Bob Massie                   bob@wycombewandererstrust.com
Lawrie Read                 lawrie@wycombewandererstrust.com
David Roberton           david@wycombewandererstrust.com
David Smith                 dsmith@wycombewandererstrust.com
Trevor Stroud              trevor@wycombewandererstrust.com

  • Ownership of Adams Park (professionally assessed at £7million) is held within Frank Adams Legacy Limited (“FALL”). There is a separate FALL Board.
  • Most major debts of the Trust sit under FALL, secured by charges on Adams Park.  All our debts now have agreed repayment schedules.
  • Wycombe Wanderers Trust relies on rental income from WWFC (the trading entity) to gradually pay down its creditors and loans via FALL (which include the Chairboys Funders interest).
  • No takeover or change in ownership of the Club that would result in the Trust’s shareholding being less than 50% +1 can proceed without 75% approval from the Legacy Members.
  • Legacy Members are members who are in their fourth (at least) consecutive year of holding a season ticket. Legacy membership is retained in future years as long as season ticket holding continues. There are over 800 Legacy Members at present.
  • A uniquely structured members club; one of only four fan owned clubs in the Football League.
  • Wycombe Wanderers Trust became a Community Benefit Society during 2014 as this allows us to raise capital by selling shares to our members (see under Functions, below).
  • Our full registered name is Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Group Limited. We had to adopt this name as part of the process of registering as a society, but we have kept Wycombe Wanderers Trust as our day to day trading name for everyone’s convenience.

 

Wycombe Wanderers Trust does not run the football club.

  • Wycombe Wanderers Football Club controls all income from footballing matters and the use of Adams Park on matchdays and non-matchdays.
  • Wycombe Wanderers Football Club’s operations are managed by Trevor Stroud (WWFC Chairman) , Michael Davies (General Manager) and the other employees.
  • Only the Wycombe Wanderers Trust Board can appoint and remove individuals to and from the WWFC club board (WWFC’s Club Board is made up of Ivor Beeks, Trevor Stroud and David Cook).

Functions

Since Wycombe Wanderers Trust, and its Board, does not run the football club, the Trust’s job is to create an environment which will help WWFC to succeed.

This is done in a number of ways:

  • Providing governance over its subsidiary companies – WWFC and FALL – and also support WWSET– our Community Trust which has charity status.
  • Providing support to WWFC, for example volunteer forces to reduce costs; aiding and assisting WWFCs employees through “WWFC PALS” as and when required.
  • Undertaking other fundraising initiatives, for example sale of matchday badges and voluntary Trust member initiatives – to raise income.
  • Communicating with members via emails, members meetings and visibility. Trust board directors will be held to account by Trust members and a third of the Wycombe Wanderers Trust Board directors retire by rotation at each AGM.
  • Seeking to grow and expand our membership and therefore widen the fan ownership base in the community, particularly the younger and the future generation of supporters.
  • Ensure members are consulted about and vote on the designated key issues affecting the football club (listed in the Trust Rules on the Wycombe Wanderers Trust website).
  • Raising funds via the Share Scheme – to secure the working capital to allow Wycombe Wanderers Football Club to move towards breakeven (or a small profit) and allow the football club to pay its rent as scheduled to pay down remaining debts/ loans.