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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
25

Legacy Members meeting – Agenda Change

Wycombe Wanderers Trust, together with Bill Luby and Jim Collis, have agreed to change the scheduled Legacy Members meeting – taking place on Monday 28th January – after the Trust received an expression of interest from a second party.

Following the Trust board’s recommendation to its members regarding the best route forward for the football club, Mr Luby and Mr Collis were due to make a presentation to initiate a voting process with a view to gaining Legacy Members’ approval for their offer of investment.

Late last week, the Trust received an outline of interest from Andrew Harman and will now give Mr Harman time to submit a formal bid for consideration by the board of directors.

A Legacy Members meeting will still take place on Monday evening, from 7.30pm at the Union Baptist Church in High Wycombe, with a number of Trust board directors present.

Chairman Trevor Stroud said: “Following discussions this week with Bill and Jim, we have mutually agreed to postpone that part of the meeting where they were due to present their offer to Legacy Members.

“The Trust have been in discussions with Andrew for a number of months and he will be offered the opportunity to make a formal bid, so we look forward to receiving full details in due course and we will update members accordingly.

“We feel this is the best and right approach and thank Legacy Members for their patience and understanding of the change in arrangements at late notice. We are keen for a meeting to still take place on Monday, and invite Legacy Members to hear further clarification of the situation and take the opportunity to ask questions. 

“Bill and Jim will now not be visiting the club this weekend but we will look to arrange a new date with them at some point in the near future.”

A statement from Bill Luby and Jim Collis read: “We remain committed to earning the support of the Wycombe Wanderers community 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. We look forward to presenting our proposal in the near future.”

Jan
21

Trust Update – 21st January 2019

IMPORTANT – SEE AGENDA CHANGE NOTIFICATION ISSUED ON 25th JAN.

We are a week away from the Legacy Members meeting at which Bill Luby and Jim Collis, and I, will present their proposal for taking the club forward, by acquiring a majority stake in Wycombe Wanderers. At such an important time for the club, I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on a handful of topics.

Firstly, later this week we will be able to share:

  • Details relating to Bill and Jim’s proposal, which will be sent directly to Legacy Members, giving them the chance to consider various elements of the deal in advance of the meeting
  • An itinerary for Bill and Jim’s visit, where there will be opportunities for all supporters – not just Legacy Members – to meet them

We remain in constant dialogue with Bill and Jim, and their team, and want to be sure that all information is accurate, relevant and fully approved from both sides before we are able to share it.

Meanwhile, I am aware of queries which were raised at the most recent Fans Council, which I am more than happy to cover off here.

– Firstly, there was a question as to whether the Trust had broken one of its own rules (rule 102) in relation to the loan we have recently taken from Bill and Jim, and the charge against the stadium.
The answer to this is no – the loan has been taken out by the club, rather than by the Trust. Our reason for the loan was simple; our cashflow reached a critical point over Christmas and when asked, Bill and Jim volunteered a loan facility to ease us through this problem period. Such a facility was not available via a bank or other means, and if it was, similar security would have been demanded.

– Meanwhile there has also been talk of other potential bidders in the process, and we acknowledge that one interested party has called a meeting to present directly to supporters. To date we have received an outline proposal from the party in question, but no formal bid.

We have always declared that we have been in discussions with more than one interested party and I can only reiterate that Bill and Jim’s proposal remains the recommended route forward for the Trust board. We will never close the door on any potential interest until such point that our negotiations with Bill and Jim reach a conclusion, but theirs is the best deal for the club – in the view of the Trust board.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding while we work hard to achieve the best deal for the club going forward, and we look forward to sharing more details once we are in a position to do so.

Trevor Stroud
Chairman


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

Jan
7

Legacy Members Meeting – 28th January

I am pleased to confirm the Legacy Members meeting will take place on Monday 28th January, in the Hub (Wycombe Baptist Church), Easton Street, High Wycombe HP11 1NJ starting at 7.30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to present to members the proposal for investment into the Club, by Jim Collis and Bill Luby. This meeting had been provisionally scheduled for 14th January but has been pushed back to allow for more time for details of the proposal to be discussed between the two parties.

Following the first meeting, a period of voting will open (circa three weeks) and members will be able to vote online or by post.

A second formal meeting will be called, where a further presentation will take place together with the opportunity to vote in person on the night. The votes will be counted on that night and the result declared.

As we are talking about selling a majority stake in the Club, 75% of the 810 Legacy Members have to vote in favour. The important message is a non-vote is a no vote and it would be criminal if apathy decided the future of our Football Club.

It is planned to issue details of the proposal before the first meeting, and there will be ample time to ask questions, at the meeting, as well as on-line during the voting period.

You should by now have received an e mail confirming your status as a Legacy member. If you have not received this communication, and believe you qualify to be a Legacy Member, please contact David Cook at David.cook@wwfc.com

A more detailed timetable and how the vote is to be conducted by Electoral Reform Services will be sent to Legacy Members in the next few days. In the meantime, please put the meeting date in your diaries.

We are entering one of the most important phases in the history of our Football Club, it is your Club and it is vital, that you understand what is being proposed, and exercise your democratic right to decide it’s future.

Trevor Stroud
Chairman

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
30

More from the 2018 Trust AGM

Thanks to about 170 members who came to our AGM on Thursday night.

One feature this year was a presentation by Paul Foley, the Head of the club’s ‘community arm’ Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust.

You can see all of Paul’s presentation slides via this link WWFC Trust AGM Presentation

In particular slides 10-15 which outline the many different workstreams in which WWSET (a registered charity) is now involved.

The WWSET video is too big to upload here but can be viewed on our Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/wwtrust/

Do go to WWSET‘s website http://www.wwset.co.uk/ to find out even more which includes the WWSET strategic plan 2018-21 paper copies of which were on each chair last night to take away. Or you can read it here http://www.wwset.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/WWSET-Strategic-Plan-2018-21.pdf

Nov
27

Trust Members Update – 27th November

As previously announced the Trust AGM is taking place this Thursday, 29th November 2018 at 7.30pm in the Caledonian Suite.

Food will be available from 6.00 p.m. with the bar opening at the same time. Complimentary Tea & Coffee will also be available.

The AGM will follow the usual format i.e.

Adoption of the Minutes

Chairman’s report

Finance Report including appointment of the Auditors

Election of Directors

It has previously been announced that 5 people were standing for 4 places on the Trust Board, and therefore an election would be necessary. However, one of the candidates, John Bignell, has decided not to stand, meaning there are 4 people standing for 4 places. As a result of this, a ballot will not be necessary, and each candidate will be subject to an individual resolution to elect them. A statement from John Bignell regarding his decision is below.

“Changes to my personal circumstances recently have led to my decision over the weekend to regretfully withdraw my nomination to serve on the Trust Board as I am unable to give the time and commitment that I know will be needed for a further three years.

I will continue to support the Trust fully and indeed have agreed to continue with the membership duties to facilitate an orderly handover and through the very important Legacy vote period.

The Chairman and Board continue to have my full support especially in relation to their continuing negotiations with the potential investors.

My life long support of the club will obviously remain and I intend to continue with my match day duties and other commitments.

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve this past three years and I look forward to exciting times ahead for this great club of ours.”

The 4 candidates will still make their planned talks, so Members have a clearer understanding of their background and skills.

Following the official business of the evening, there will be a 15 minute presentation by Paul Foley the Head of Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust, who will update members on the work of WWSET.

I will then update members on the progress and planned timetable for the Legacy Members meeting and vote re the potential investment from Bill Luby and Jim Collis, and if time permits, we will finish the evening with a Q&A with myself and Michael Davies regarding Football Club matters.

For the first time we will be live streaming the AGM via the private Facebook group. If you are not already a member of the group, follow the link here https://www.facebook.com/groups/1930775593696898/ and request to join the group. Provided you are up to date with your membership you will be allowed to join and will be able to watch and hear proceedings. If you have a question to ask, please forward it to trevor@wycombewandererstrust.com and I will ensure it is asked and if appropriate, answered.

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.
Trevor Stroud
Chairman

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

Nov
8

Trust Statement of Apology

Wycombe Wanderers Trust is aware of an inappropriate comment which was made publicly by one of its members at the meeting at Adams Park yesterday evening.

The Trust have today made contact with the member in question, who has acknowledged that the comment was unintentionally in extremely bad taste and apologised for the offence caused.

Oct
31

Trust Members Update – Informal Meeting with Potential Investors 7th November

At the meeting held on 12th September, the Trust members agreed in principle that the Club should seek external investment, with investors taking either a majority or a minority interest in the club in exchange for the provision of a permanent capital solution.

After significant debate and further investigations, your Trust Board has decided that the best route for securing the financial future of the Club is to move to a position where external investors own a majority of the shares, with the Trust owning a significant minority shareholding, being involved in the day-to-day running of the Club and having control over items such as team colours, crest and where the team plays. We have therefore continued our discussions with one of the investor groups and feel it is time to introduce them to you.

The investors concerned are Bill Luby and Jim Collis. Bill and Jim are American financial professionals with tremendous experience in sports especially football. We have known them for some time and are impressed not only with their acute understanding of the business of football, but also with their sensitivity to fan ownership and of the Trust’s continued participation in running the Club going forward. In addition, they appear to us have the financial wherewithal to continue to carry forward the Club with the aspirations of becoming a stable, secure and competitive League 1 club and even, in time, competing at a higher level. We will continue to carry out due diligence on them, but our current view is that they will be valuable partners and proper stewards for the Club.

If this plan is to be implemented, the approval of 75% of Legacy Members will be required, and a formal meeting and ballot will be held in due course. However, to start the process, we have invited Bill and Jim to join us for our home game against Oxford on Tuesday 6th November. We will then hold an informal evening at Adams Park on Wednesday 7th November to introduce them to Trust members and to give everyone an opportunity to say hello in person and to ask questions in an informal setting.

It must be stressed – this evening is designed to help us get to know them and to have them begin to
get to know the important stakeholders at the Club. There will be no formal presentations or votes
that evening, as these will take place at a future date once the formal process has been agreed.

The evening will be held in the Caledonian Suite, starting at 7.30pm, and doors will open at 6.00pm with food being available before the meeting starts.

This is the start of a hugely important part of Wycombe Wanderers’ history. The Trust board is very excited about the potential relationship with Bill and Jim and I would encourage all members, whether or not they are Legacy Members, to attend if they can. We plan to live stream the meeting again as we did for the last Members meeting for anyone unable to attend in person. More information on the streaming details will be forthcoming.

Trevor Stroud
Chairman

Oct
21

Trust Matters – Saturday 20th October

These articles first appeared in yesterday’s matchday programme – ‘Parklife’

Meet your Trust Board: David Roberton

Having spent my working life in the Pharmaceutical and Nutrition industries, I now have time in retirement to give something back to my favourite pastime football, and in particular to Wycombe Wanderers.

I’m proud to be on the Boards of both WWSET and WWT and I look forward to helping both organisations develop their future activities for the benefit of the Football Club and the community of High Wycombe.

During my time as a Trust Director I had the opportunity and privilege to represent the Trust on the Board of WWFC and for part of that time I was involved in the signing of players including Paris Cowan Hall, Joe Jacobsen and Sido Jombati, who are still with the Club.

At most home games you will find me working behind the “Ale festival” bar in the Vere Suite if you would like a chat.

Wycombe Wanderers Ladies.

Two years ago David Roberton was given the task (not really a task!) of integrating a Ladies football team into the Club structure. The first season was 2017/18 and the team finished in mid table.

However for the 2018/19 season we now have three teams representing Wycombe Wanderers, namely one Ladies team and two under 18 girl teams. Currently the Ladies are unbeaten and top of their League, whilst one of the under 18 teams is also unbeaten and top of their League, whilst the other under 18 team are third in their League.

We are making progress and it would be nice to see a few Wycombe supporters attend a match or two, you might be surprised at the standard of some of the football played. You can also follow them on Twitter @wycombeladies

Notes from Trust Board Meeting 24.9.18

  • Cash flow end Oct/Nov tight.
  • August actuals vs Budget to be circulated w/c 1st Oct for review and comment by Board members.
  • WWFC accounts audit almost complete, aim is to sign off at Club board 8th Oct and distribute to WWFC Shareholders soon after.    WWSGL audit nearly complete.
  • Legacy members now at 566. Action to contact 815 STH, who are not Trust members but have held season tickets for 4 consecutive seasons. They are eligible to become Legacy members once they join the Trust.
  • Fans attendance up 5% so far, bar and shop sales also up.
  • Reading FC contracted to play at AP for 2 more years and will contribute to pitch renovation costs.
  • Chairboys Funders Board meeting 6th Oct. John Bartlett was ratified as its Finance Officer, replacing the retiring Reg Rundle. Many thanks to Reg for all his work for CFF. Teresa Sleven appointed as new CFF Chairperson. Accounts signed off.
  • Fans Council feedback to be added to Board Agenda as a regular item.
  • Further discussions have been held with investors as per the Future Steps outlined at 12th Sept mtg. The aim is to be able to advise Trust members of latest status within the next couple of weeks.

Why the Trust Matters

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

Trust Matters Feedback

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