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Jun
22

Trust Board Deliberations

Although things go a little quieter over the summer months, the Trust Board have still been holding their regular monthly board meetings. As promised here are a summary of the previous three meetings. Please understand that not everything discussed can be put into the public domain for reasons of confidentiality and/or commercial sensitivity.

March
Club President: Trevor Stroud advised that the view of the Club Board is that Ivor Beeks be asked to assume the role of Club President, following the death of Monty Seymour, but that it was important that the Trust Board had the opportunity to express its’ view on the appointment.

Following discussion it was agreed that Ivor Beeks be asked to accept the position of President.

Finance: Mark Burrell updated the Board of summer pitch and dressing room refurbishment costs.
The third charge on Adams Park had been removed following the repayment of Steve Hayes’ debt. 

Share Scheme / 500 Club: The 500 club scheme reached its £75,000 target on Saturday 25th March and now exceeds its original target with £75,090 committed.
Following one application during March, the share scheme now has 331 investors with £742,000 having been committed. As and when further funds are used to provide working capital to the Club, the existing statement on the Trust website will be updated accordingly. 

Club news: The Club would be responding to the EFL with its view of the Checkatrade trophy, following consultation with the Fans Council.
Initial discussions had been initiated on the development of a Wycombe Ladies Team and a closer relationship with WWFC. 

PALS Update: John Derben updated the meeting with the great news that new volunteers continue to come forward. 

Fans Council: The Club Charter was being reviewed and a draft Fans’ code of conduct was being developed. Progress would be reported 

April
President Appointment: Trevor Stroud confirmed that Ivor Beeks had been appointed President of the Club. 

Share Scheme / 500 Club: Nigel Kingston reported that the end of season event had gone well. Alan Cecil reported that the Share Scheme had received a further application and the scheme now has 332 investors. 

PALS Update: JD updated the meeting that the volunteer system continued to work well and that OWWSA had donated £2,155 to the Club for various purposes

Fans’ Council: Trevor Stroud reported that the meeting earlier in the evening had discussed the EFL proposals for next season’s Checkatrade Trophy, and had provided valuable feedback to the Club which would help inform the Club board’s discussion on how to respond to the EFL proposals. Fans’ Council meetings would continue on a monthly basis.

May
Share Scheme / 500 Club: Alan Cecil reported that a further two applications had been received and the share scheme now has 334 investors 

Club Update: David Cook updated the meeting that Aaron Pierre had not yet signed the contract that has been offered. Note: A revised contract has since been offered.
Dressing room updates have commenced and the pitch was due to be re-done towards the end of May, and a tidy up had been planned for the training ground. 

PALS Update: JD updated the meeting that a volunteer day is planned for Sunday 9th July in conjunction with Michael Davies. This will also act as a recruitment day for the club (seeking stewards/ F&B staff etc). 

WWSET/ Ladies:  A manager/ coach is being sought for the WW Ladies team.

AOB: Alan Cecil reported that while the sale of matchday badges was lower this season than last season, it still generated £1,714 for the Trust, and it was agreed that the arrangements should continue for the 2017-18 season.
Easy Fundraising had also generated an additional £375 for the Trust in the past year.

The Trust Board will convene again later this month for their June meeting and a summary of discussions will be published in due course.

Jun
19

Fans Keep On Giving So We Can Provide (Updated June 2017)

Notwithstanding the success of the 500 Club in recent months, 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 144 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 £510,000 has been banked with more than a further £230,000 committed to be received over this and the next 3 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
  • New club flag
  • Medical equipment to boost return of injured players
  • Replacement seats 
  • 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)

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

May
12

Thanks To Those We Have Lost

As the 2016-17 season draws to a close, it is perhaps a fitting time to remind ourselves of those we have lost over this period.

Many tributes have been paid to former WWFC President Monty Seymour who died in January.

Also we have already acknowledged the passing of a number of supporters – Glen Fyrth, Charles Broadbridge, Pete Sheridan and Dorothy Carpenter.

To that list now needs to be added the name of David Symons, the sad passing of whom in June 2016 has only just reached us. David had been a great supporter of the club over many years, a Founder Shareholder, Football Club Shareholder, Trust Member and a contributor to the Trust Share Scheme.

A former pupil of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, a graduate of Leeds and Thames Valley Universities, David worked for many years for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a role which in recent years took him to Cyprus where he was CWGC’s Director for the Mediterranean Area.

His widow Elspeth has now kindly agreed to donate all David’s shares to the Club and Trust for which we are very grateful. She is proud to have kept and to cherish one of the players’ ‘anthem jackets’ which bears David’s name, as he was one of the first 150 to sign up for the Share Scheme back in 2014.

May
12

Trust Board Backs The Changes

Although the Trust Board won’t hold its normal monthly meeting until later in May, the Directors have unanimously agreed to release the following statement:

“Following the recent announcements of the changes to the board of WWFC, the Trust Directors would like to express publicly to Andrew Howard our appreciation for the tremendous work he has done over the last three years as Chairman of WWFC, and to Trevor Stroud for agreeing to take on the role.

We have great confidence in them both and wish them every success in their new roles.

The progress which the club has made in the past three seasons is due in no small part to the relationships which have built up between the two of them and Gareth, and we are delighted that Andrew is keen to continue working with us in the position of Sporting Director.”

May
10

Change of Football Club Chairman

A restructure of the Wycombe Wanderers FC board of directors will see Trevor Stroud take over as club chairman from the 1st of August. 

Current club chairman Andrew Howard, who has held the post for three years, will remain on the board and move into a new position as Sporting Director, overseeing the performance and development of all football matters.

Stroud, a club director and also chairman of Wycombe Wanderers Trust, will now take overall responsibility for the running of the club as it moves into the fourth year of a five-year plan to achieve sustainability on and off the field in League 1.

Howard explains: “I have been immensely proud to be chairman of Wycombe Wanderers and found it to be a challenging but extremely rewarding three years. Together I feel we have developed a really professional organisation and are moving towards an infrastructure which will be capable of operating at a higher level.

“However, the time has come for me to focus my efforts on the football side of the business, working in a new role which Gareth and his staff, with the support of the board, have devised in order to give us all the best possible chance of continuing the excellent progress on the pitch.

“We put the five-year plan in place to provide a real focus for everyone involved with the club, and I have done all I can in the past three years to develop the club as a whole with a particular focus on the commercial side. I’m excited to now help evolve the playing side and giving all the help I can to our outstanding young manager and his talented, dedicated and hungry staff.

“Trevor is the right person to succeed me as chairman; he represents the fanbase superbly and is backed by two strong boards – the club and the Trust – who are working extremely hard to maximise this club’s potential, with the support of the staff, fans and volunteers.”

 

May
7

How to Get Your Trust Share Certificate

Members who have paid into the Share Scheme during the 2016-17 tax year (ended 5th April 2017) are entitled to a Share Certificate and where requested a form to claim back 30% of their investment against any tax they have paid in that year.

This paperwork has all now been prepared and some have been collected or sent out. Those members still awaiting theirs who didn’t collect them from the Trust Table in the Caledonian Suite before Saturday’s game with Cambridge will need to wait for them to be posted out this coming week.

Many thanks for helping and for your investments into the Football Club via the Share Scheme.

It’s not too late to join in the Share Scheme. Click here for all the details, including brochure and forms

ARE YOU GETTING YOUR SHARE!

 

Apr
8

Trust Directors Sponsor ‘Sweet Luke O’Nien’

Luke O’Nien with Directors during the Wycombe Wanderers Player Sponsors End of Season Dinner at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 6 April 2017. Photo by David Horn / PRiME Media Images.

The Trust Directors have again personally sponsored the home shirt of Luke O’Nien this season and a good number of them were present at the Player Kit Sponsors Dinner on Thursday night.

Pictured (l to r) with Luke are David Roberton, Alan Cecil, David Cook, John Bignell, Trevor Stroud and Dale Jenkins.

Thanks to Prime Media Images for the photograph.

Along with a good number of other sponsors, the Trust Directors pledged on the night to renew their sponsorship for next season, though this will need to be ratified at the next Trust Board meeting. The cost of this sponsorship is met by the directors themselves and not out of Trust funds.

Mar
27

500 Club – Target Reached!

Chairboys supporters have achieved the target of raising £75,000 for the playing budget through the 500 Club initiative. 

A huge thank you to all fans who’ve supported the 500 Club as we hit the £75,000 target on Saturday 25th March. This huge contribution to the playing budget has allowed Gareth to strengthen the squad in January and help provide a platform to enable us to aim for the play offs. An amazing 439 fans have joined the 500 Club and made donations to the playing budget.

Launched in September, the 500 Club invited fans to commit at least £150 – either as a one-off payment or in monthly instalments – to be spent on new signings and/or players’ contracts, with Scott Kashket (right) and Dominic Gape amongst those whose deals at Adams Park were part-funded by the scheme.

Contributors have been rewarded along the way by a series of prize draws, and each fan has received a signed squad photo as a thank you for their show of support.

The latest prize winner is Phil Holman, who has been selected as the 500 Club’s representative at the player kit sponsors’ dinner next week, with the 500 Club sponsoring Kashket’s away shirt.

All 500 Club members have been invited to a private event with the players in the Caledonian Suite at Adams Park after the match against Mansfield Town on Friday 14th April, which includes a meal, raffle, speeches and the presentation of the 500 Club Player of the Year, voted for by contributors.

Any members who have not yet confirmed their attendance should do so by contacting Nigel Kingston at nigel@ascom.net or 01494 677160. When replying, please state your nomination for your 500 Club Player of the Year.

See the 500 Club website for more details about the initiative: 500wanderers.co.uk

Feb
8

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.”

Feb
7

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.”