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Oct
20

Legacy Members Vote and Investment Agreement – Update

We understand that a high percentage of Legacy Members (“LMs”) have already voted on the proposal to proceed with investment into Wycombe Wanderers Football Club by Rob Couhig through his company Feliciana EFL Ltd, and we thank those LMs for doing so.

There is still time for others to vote, either via the email sent to them by CES or by postal vote, sent to those LM’s without an email address. Voting closes at midnight of Tuesday 29th October.

Some LMs have come into the club during last week or on Saturday to read through the draft Investment Agreement and the proposed new Lease of Adams Park. If any more LMs want to do the same, then please contact Trust Director Lawrie Read to book a mutually agreed time over the next 7 working days. Contact Lawrie on  07825 634489 or email him lawrieread@gmail.com 

Thanks to you all for your continued support of what we are trying to achieve – “Safeguarding our heritage and promoting a successful and sustainable future”

 

 

Oct
8

Chairman confirms Club and Trust’s position ahead of Legacy Members meeting.

Wycombe Wanderers chairman Trevor Stroud has reaffirmed the full support of the Club and Trust boards of directors for Rob Couhig’s proposed majority shareholding in the football club.

Ahead of the meeting of Legacy Members at Adams Park on Tuesday 15th October – at which point the vote to approve Mr Couhig’s proposal will open for a period of two weeks – Mr Stroud said: “The Trust board, as previously communicated, were in discussions with a number of interested parties in the summer, and after careful consideration, voted unanimously in favour of Rob Couhig’s proposal.

“Since reaching this decision in June, we have had no further contact with the alternative parties, nor have we received any formal offers other than Rob’s, and we have had no reason to doubt that our decision was the correct one.

“Our commitment to working with Rob and his team has only been strengthened over the past three months, as a result of the dedication, integrity and expertise displayed by him and his team which we believe will guide this club towards a more prosperous future.

“Rob has demonstrated his commitment from the outset, providing funds up front and agreeing to publicly enter into a period of engagement with our supporters, which no other party was willing to do at a time when the club was facing challenging financial circumstances.

“Without Rob’s financial contribution, the club would not be in position that it is now, and we remain fully focused on securing the approval of our Legacy Members for his proposal. We will continue to honour our obligations of confidentiality to all the parties who submitted proposals.”

Oct
4

Legacy Members Meeting on Tuesday 15th October at Adams Park

Wycombe Wanderers Trust are pleased to call a meeting of its Legacy Members, relating to the proposed sale of a majority share in Wycombe Wanderers Football Club to Feliciana EFL Ltd, owned by Rob Couhig.

The meeting will take place at Adams Park on Tuesday 15th October, and provides the opportunity for Legacy Members to discuss the proposal in detail, with a voting period commencing that evening and remaining open for two weeks, closing on Tuesday 29th October. Full details about the voting process, which is being managed by Civica Election Services (previously Electoral Reform Services) will be explained on the night, and communicated directly to eligible members.

Details of the proposal will be circulated via email to Legacy Members ahead of the meeting, and a hard copy of the offer in full will be available for Legacy Members to read in person at Adams Park between 10am and 5pm on weekdays, and from 12-2.30pm on the day of the fixture against Sunderland on Saturday 19th October.

Mr Couhig has taken the decision not to attend the meeting in person, in order to enable Legacy Members and the Trust board to have an open and honest discussion about the merits of the proposal and the options facing the club in the event of the proposal not reaching the required threshold of 75% in favour.

Rob will however be available at Adams Park and/or surrounding areas between Thursday 17th and Sunday 20th October to meet Legacy Members who wish to discuss the proposal with him in person; full details on this will be made available nearer the time.

All Legacy Members – which are Trust members who have held a season ticket for four or more consecutive seasons including this one – should have received an email or telephone call to confirm their eligibility to vote. Any member who has not received such contact, or has not responded to the email or telephone call, should email secretary@wycombewandererstrust.com, call the club on 01494 472100, or visit the Trust table in the Caledonian Suite ahead of kick-off at Saturday’s League 1 match at Adams Park.

The event on 15th October will be streamed live on Facebook for all Trust members in the WWT Live Stream group; however, only Legacy Members may attend the event in person.

Doors will open at 6pm, with food available to purchase and the bar open, with the event beginning at 7.30pm.

Oct
3

Renewal of Trust Membership Subscriptions

Most Trust Members have kindly agreed to pay their subscription by bank standing order which is currently the easiest way for us to receive and record those payments.

The majority of members have signed up to renew each year with a payment due on 1st November, though historically some have always paid on the 1st October and we are happy for that to continue.

Those who prefer to pay by cash, cheque of single bank transfer may continue to do so and Trust Directors will be willing to receive any such payments at their table in the Caledonian Suite prior to any forthcoming home game. We now have a Worldpay card machine and subject to getting a wifi connection are hoping this will work.

If you wish to renew by bank transfer then please make your payment to the WW Trust account at Sort Code 40-24-38 and account number 81390031 quoting your membership number and your name.

It is especially important that those with Legacy Membership qualification ensure their subscription is renewed in order that they continue receiving the voting rights that go with that special status

Many thanks

Aug
7

Trust Directors get behind Alex Pattison

Alex Pattison of Wycombe Wanderers & Sponsor photo during the Wycombe Wanderers FC Squad Photo Day at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 29 July 2019. Photo by Jeremy Nako.

This season the WW Trust Directors have chosen to sponsor the away shirt of recent signing Alex Pattison.

Board members Trevor Stroud, Alan Cecil, David Cook and Tony Hector were those able to be present at the squad photo session day recently held and Adams Park.

The Club’s signing of midfielder Alex Pattison only became possible thanks to the wonderful contributions of Chairboys fans who supported the 500 Club initiative. It is still not too late to contribute if you wish please use this link https://www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/fans/500-club/

Jul
13

Slides from Trust Members Meeting 11th July 2019

Here below is a link to the slides used by Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud for his presentation at the start of the Trust Members Meeting on Thursday 11th July

TRUST MEMBERS MEETING 11 July 2019

Jul
5

Details of Thursday’s Trust members meeting

Wycombe Wanderers Trust look forward to introducing Rob Couhig and Mark Palmer to its members at a meeting at Adams Park on Thursday 11th July.

Mark Palmer, Trevor Stroud and Rob Couhig

Mark Palmer, Trevor Stroud and Rob Couhig

As outlined in a press release and members update earlier this week, the Trust are in advanced discussions with Mr Couhig – an American sports team owner – in relation to him becoming a shareholder of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.

Rob and Mark will join chairman Trevor Stroud in sharing details of the proposed agreement and the plans to drive forward the club’s on-field and off-field operations.

The Caledonian Suite will open at 6.30pm, with the bar open and food available to purchase. The event kicks off at 7.30pm, and will include the opportunity for members to ask questions to the panel of Trevor, Rob and Mark.

The meeting will be professionally broadcast live on the WWT Live Stream Facebook group for those members who are unable to attend.

Members will also have the opportunity to send questions for the panel in advance to secretary@wycombewandererstrust.com.

Click here to read the full press release which was issued on Tuesday.

Jun
12

New 500 Club Launched

Working with the Football Club, we have just launched the 500 Club for a third time, giving fans the opportunity to contribute to the playing budget for the year ahead.

Membership to the 500 Club begins at the £20 per month rate or a one-off contribution of £240.

To make the single payment option or choose the monthly option go to this link https://www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/news/2019/june/one-off-payments-to-500-club-now-available/

If you want to donate any other sum, then please call the club office 01494 472100 where they can take a card payment from you over the phone – during their office hours of 10am-5pm Monday to Friday.

This initiative has been driven by the Trust, but with the support of all the various fan groups.

Full details can be found here: https://www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/news/2019/june/500-club-returns/

As rewards, we invited fans to the Fixture Release Day breakfast on Thursday June 20th, will be creating a changing room plaque in their name, and will issue regular ‘spot’ prizes whenever we hit a certain milestone.

If there are any technical problems regarding payments, please could fans email Nigel Kingston at nigel@wycombewandererstrust.com.

May
4

Trust Matters: Chairman’s Programme Notes – 4th May

As the season draws to a close, I thought it the perfect time to reflect on the achievements of the season. If we do survive in League 1 and barring an unprecedented set of results, we will, it will be a better achievement than gaining promotion from League 2.

Perhaps the feeling of euphoria may not be as intense as promotion, but Gareth and his management team can be hugely proud of what they have achieved, and the players will take a fully deserved round of applause on their lap of honour at the end of the game. League 1 security for next season also completes the 5 year plan, originally set up by Andrew Howard when he was Chairman. A number of people scoffed at the idea of such a plan, but today’s events will hopefully see a successful completion.

So what of the next 5 years? It has been no secret that to be competitive in the Football League, we need external investment to give us a platform to stabilise the Club financially, and start on a new 5 year journey. We thought we had found the right partners in Jim Collis and Bill Luby, but that was not to be, and therefore we continue our search to find the right partners. We have talks taking place with a number of interested parties, and as soon as there is tangible news, I will call a meeting of Trust members, to update them on our plans.

Although we have significant financial pressures, we will not be rushed into a decision that partners us with someone who does not understand the values and history of our Club.

At the end of the season, it is appropriate to thank a number of people who help the Club in so many ways. Our loyal band of volunteers, who help with maintenance, run the car parks, sell programmes or sit on the Football Club or Trust Board. We are all volunteers, and just want what is best for our Football Club. I would also like to thank all of our Commercial Partners who sponsor us, be it on playing kit, stands, advertising boards or on a matchday. We believe we offer sponsors, excellent value for money, but will always strive to improve how we can ensure their money is well spent. The fact that so many have already signed up for next season, suggests that we do.

I would also like to thank the off-field team, which is a small but very effective full time team. Interestingly after the game with Wimbledon, the number of people cutting the grass ( Kingsmeadow is owned by Chelsea), was almost equivalent in number to 50% of our off-field team! On matchdays this number swells to over a hundred, and I really appreciate how hard they all work. Although we may not get everything right, there is an ethos of continuous improvement, designed to enhance the matchday experience.

So what does the future hold? The answer is I’m not sure at the moment. What I do know, is that no stone will be left unturned to establish a stable future for this Football Club, and to give Gareth the resources, to really show what can be achieved. I wish you all a pleasant summer, and will issue updates as and when necessary, to keep you appraised of significant developments.

Trevor Stroud

Apr
11

Investment Update – 11th April

The following message has gone out by email to all Trust Members today.

(Please check your spam and junk mail folders if it’s not in your inbox. If not received at all, then please email secretary@wycombewandererstrust.com to ensure we have your correct email address)

Wycombe Wanderers Trust have ended their discussions with Bill Luby and Jim Collis regarding potential investment into the football club.

A meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening (10th April) whereby the American businessmen were due to present their offer to Legacy Members of the Trust, leading to a vote to determine their suitability as majority shareholders.

The Trust received notification over the weekend that Mr Luby and Mr Collis wished to postpone their visit, and – during further discussions between the two parties earlier this week – the offer of investment has now been withdrawn.

Wycombe Wanderers Trust chairman Trevor Stroud said: “This news has come out of the blue for us, but we respect the position of Bill and Jim and appreciate their honesty and above all, their desire to see the best possible outcome for the club. We felt for a long time that they would have been excellent custodians of the football club, and it’s a shame that we were unable to reach a point where Legacy Members of the Trust would have the opportunity to vote on the matter.

We were excited about the journey that potentially lay in front of us and enjoyed developing a plan which would have laid the foundations for long-term stability and success for the club. However, they now feel that they may not be able to devote as much time to the club as they had originally envisaged, and have taken the decision to withdraw their offer.

“This is a setback for us, however we will resume talks with other interested parties, and are confident of finding the right person or people to take the club forward. We know we have a wonderful club to be proud of, and there will be many parties who would like to join us on our journey. The timing of this news is unfortunate, but we will not be rushed into accepting an offer which may not be right in the long-term.

“This is a very amicable parting of ways with Bill and Jim, and on behalf of the Trust board, I would like to thank them for their interest and support over the past year or so.

“We will continue to keep Trust members updated with our progress with other parties, and in the immediate future, our focus is on giving our full backing to Gareth Ainsworth and the team in our quest to secure League 1 survival in the next three weeks.”

A statement from Bill Luby and Jim Collis reads: “Wycombe Wanderers is a special club that has done extraordinary things under fan ownership.  It has been a privilege for us to have the chance to get close to the club and we are grateful to everyone in the Wycombe community for being so welcoming.

“We have been working on this opportunity for two years now.  And it was our firm intention to become the majority shareholders and provide the club with the financing and resources required to evolve in a sustainable way on and off the field.

“When we began the process our expectations were that our professional obligations would be slowing down and that we would have ample time for additional business pursuits. Unfortunately, that hasn’t turned out to be the case and we have both taken on significant additional business responsibilities. Upon reflection, we realized that we simply couldn’t dedicate the required focus that Wycombe Wanderers and the supporters deserve and have decided to withdraw from the process. 

“We know people will be asking if we were serious in this endeavour.  Our loan to the club provided the working capital required to operate this season. We would have never made this loan if we weren’t fully intending to complete our investment. We know that the club doesn’t currently have the capital to repay us. We have therefore offered to move the maturity of the loan to the end of 2019 and have deferred 100% of the interest until that date.

“We wish everyone involved with the club and the Wycombe community the very best of luck and will be fully supportive of the Trust Board as they work to bring in additional investment.”

ENDS

Apr
7

Trust Members Update – Sunday 7th April

The following message from our Chairman has gone out by email to all Trust Members today.

(Please check your spam and junk mail folders if it’s not in your inbox. If not received at all, then please email secretary@wycombewandererstrust.com to ensure we have your correct email address)

Dear Trust Member,

I have been advised that Bill Luby and Jim Collis are unable to join us for the planned meeting on Wednesday 10th April and therefore the meeting is postponed.

I am sure you will feel as frustrated as I do at this further delay in the voting process, and I will advise as soon as possible of the revised date.

I have called a Trust board meeting for Wednesday evening and a further update will be issued on Thursday 11th.

Please accept my apologies and I will ensure you are kept up to speed with developments.

In the meantime let’s get behind the boys on Tuesday and hope we get the points our performance deserves.

Trevor Stroud
Chairman

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
14

Extension Granted for Becoming a Legacy Member

At the Legacy Members’ meeting on 28th January, a request was made to reconsider the cutoff date for Trust membership which, providing the 4 consecutive Season tickets criteria is satisfied, would lead to Legacy Membership status.

It has been agreed that the cutoff date for applications for Trust membership that would allow such applicants to become Legacy members, has now been set at Saturday 23rdFebruary. Applications can be made by completing the form which can be downloaded here or by obtaining and completing a form from the Trust Table before the next home game, vs Gillingham on that day.

Click here to read more about Legacy Membership

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).