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Oct
7

Trust Directors Talk Us Through Their Roles – Part 3

In the latest in our series where members of the Trust Board tell us about their particular roles, we hear from Nigel Kingston – pictured on the right in the picture below.

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“I was elected as a Trust Director at the AGM held in November 2015. I was delighted to become an elected member of the Trust Board as I had been working as a co-opted director for 6 months prior to this. As a fan for over 25 years it is an honour to be involved with the Club at this level.

The responsibility of the Trust Board is to safeguard the heritage of the Football Club and to work with the Football Club to contribute to improving the performance wherever possible. Each Director on the Trust board has agreed responsibilities, linked to their own expertise or interest.

My primary responsibilities have been geared to the Share Scheme and I am Chairman of the Share Scheme Marketing Group. This is a small group of 4 people, (not all Trust Directors) whose job it has been to market the Share Scheme to as wide an audience as possible. We have tried to gain high levels of awareness of the Scheme within the local Community as well as within the fan base. In order to achieve this we have reached out to local and national media, sports personalities, previous players, local businesses and a number of high net worth individuals. We have also run a number of incentives for fans, such as match day hospitality to increase participation.

I think we have been pretty successful as we have raised to date well over £700,000 and have around 315 members of the Share Scheme. Contributions to the Scheme have dropped off recently but we will be developing some new initiatives for it in early 2017. The Scheme has been fundamental in keeping the Club going by providing essential working capital, as bank loans or overdrafts are pretty hard to come by. It has been great to be involved with this initiative which has provided such a lifeline to the Club.

As you probably know we have recently launched the 500 Club. This is an initiative to raise £75,000 to boost the playing budget, especially in the January transfer window. In conjunction with the Fans Council I have been leading the development and launch of the 500 Club. So far it’s been an amazing success, we have raised £23,000 in the first nine days and have 130 fans as members. We are over 30% towards our target but need lots more fans to join, so please think about signing up on www.500wanderers.co.uk

One of the things that the Trust tries to do is to keep the fans’ interests uppermost all the time and to keep them informed of what we do through the minutes of Trust meetings and by manning the Trust table in the Vere Suite on match days, so that fans can raise any issues with the Trust directors on duty that day. As part of my responsibilities with the Share Scheme and the 500 Club, I have been working closely with the Fans’ Council which has given me a closer feel for fans opinions in these areas.

Overall I have enjoyed the time I have spent so far as a director. I have been amazed at the dedication of both the staff and the volunteers and the hours that they are prepared to put in to support the Club. I’ll continue to do whatever I can to drive the success of the Club, including shouting loud and long from the stands to encourage and support the players, through thick and thin!!”

Blues through and through

Sep
18

THE 500 CLUB: YOUR CHANCE TO FUND NEW SIGNINGS!

flyer-1Wycombe Wanderers are excited to launch a new initiative designed to strengthen the bond with its loyal supporters even further and help to maximise the club’s potential on the pitch.

The 500 Club presents the opportunity for fans to contribute to a transfer fund to be spent on new signings – either loan or permanent – during the January transfer window, strengthening the club’s chances of success in the second half of the season.

The target is £75,000, made up of pledges of £150 from 500 supporters, each of whom have the chance to win exclusive prizes in a series of draws, which could include meet and greet opportunities, behind-the-scenes tours and signed merchandise. These contributions can be made via a direct debit of £12.50 per month, or a one-off payment.

Club chairman Andrew Howard said:

“To succeed in football requires passion, belief, hard work and determination, and these are all attributes the management, players and staff have in abundance.

It also takes money, and although the club and Trust have made great strides, we still have debt, and like any football club, we will always require investment.  We have pushed our budget to the limit this season in the real hope and belief that we can, and will, achieve great things, and that has to remain our primary focus.

We have entered the 2016/17 campaign stronger financially than we have at any point under fan ownership, and while the survival and sustainability of the club is our number one priority, we want to give the management staff the best possible chance of moving us forward on the pitch, and that means widening the funds they have available to spend on players. In short, the bigger the budget, the better our chances of success.”

The 500 Club is an initiative devised and implemented by the Football Club, Trust and Fans Council in unison, and each member will receive a beautifully presented limited edition squad signed photograph, together with an invitation to an exclusive end of season event with the players.

Fans can sign up to the 500 Club in one of two ways, either by monthly direct debit or as a one off payment. Full details are available on the 500 Club website: http://www.500wanderers.co.uk

Sep
18

Trust Directors Talk Through Their Roles – 2

David Smith 1Here we hear from David Smith – who was co-opted onto the Trust Board to fill a vacancy earlier this year. The following was published in the Stevenage match programme on Saturday.

“As the most recently appointed Trust director I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce myself and outline the contribution I hope I make to the successful operation of the Trust and, ultimately, the football club.

I am a solicitor and have been a partner in London-based firms since 1985. My practice focuses on advising companies, public and private, on their business activities – whether that is raising capital, buying other companies or being taken over by them, or general day-to-day legal compliance issues.

Having advised the Trust informally for a number of years, particularly on governance issues, I was delighted when I was invited earlier this year to fill a vacancy on the Trust board itself. Since then I have had the privilege of advising members of the Board on various legal issues, including for example the formal relationship between the Trust, the club and Frank Adams Legacy Limited (through which the Trust owns Adams Park), the financial ramifications of Jordon Ibe’s transfer from Liverpool to Bournemouth, potential fund raising activities, and on how freely the Trust is able to discuss publicly matters relating to the club.

I have lived in the Wycombe area for nearly 30 years and started following the club in 1999. As the father of two young children I was immediately impressed by the focus the club placed on family and community involvement and as I came to know the club better, I came to appreciate the tremendous history of the club and the importance of that history to the supporters, the club, and the community in which it is rooted. I firmly believe that the money which has poured into the upper reaches of the game in the last 20 years has distorted the relationship between many football clubs and their communities; clubs like ours have an opportunity to show the way to others in maintaining those relationships and demonstrating that the game doesn’t have to be just about money.

But of course we can only show that way forward by surviving and flourishing, on and off the field, and while the cash that has swamped the upper divisions has enabled the larger clubs to flourish financially, it has also caused enormous difficulties for clubs such as ours. The fan ownership model gives us a large – and valuable – level of independence, which I believe we must cherish, but puts enormous pressures on all involved with the club. As a corporate finance lawyer I am well used to looking at the financial condition of companies and advising boards of directors on their duties and responsibilities and I believe my experience complements well the range of backgrounds and skills possessed by the other members of the Trust board.

The Trust and the club are maturing after four seasons of fan ownership, but the environment in which we operate is changing rapidly, and so are the challenges we face. I believe that the club is fortunate now to be able to face those challenges under the ownership of its fans through the Trust, and I have been impressed by the dedication, commitment and application of the other members of the Trust board and the many other volunteers who help to keep the club operating effectively. I hope that my legal background will add value to the role of the Trust, and assist the Trust, and the club, in overcoming the many challenges that lie ahead.”

Sep
3

Trust Directors talk through their roles

This season each Trust Director is writing a piece explaining their specific role.

Below is the edition included in the programme vs Colchester United on August 20th.

Luke O'Nien with sponsors during the Wycombe Wanderers Player Sponsors End of Season Dinner at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 12 April 2016. Photo by David Horn / PRiME Media Images.

Photo by David Horn / PRiME Media Images.

Trust Director Dale Jenkins Talks Through His Role

After having served for 18 months on the Trust Board I can already reflect on an exciting, enjoyable experience where I have learnt a lot. It was a proud moment to have been elected by a Trust membership that owns this great football club that we all love, and I will do my best to represent those members at board level.

My primary responsibilities have revolved around Trust communications: keeping the website and social media updated with the latest Trust news. This includes publishing recent Board minutes, bringing items of agenda to the attention of our members and listening to the feedback of supporters. One of my first ideas was to draw together a Trust guide: it is important for fans to know what we do, and what our purpose is. It is also often about finding a balance: we may not always be able to tell fans everything, even some things we may want to because of confidentiality clauses, but the key is we communicate as often and as much as we can, which everyone has bought into.

To be a successful supporter owned club it is imperative to listen to the views of the fan base and I try to raise many points that are made online or in person on match days in board meetings so those views are represented. I may not always agree with everything I read or am told but it is key to pass on what supporters and members alike are thinking – already a number of suggestions have led to a change in practices at the club, for the better.

More recently the Fans Council initiative has been launched with the support of a group of supporters who have had a chance to interact with members of both the Trust and Football Club board. The council has already raised some interesting ideas and projects for the future, I’m sure it will perform an important role in the overall structure moving forwards so please get involved if you think you have some ideas or suggestions to offer.

It was a fantastic start to raise over £700,000 for the share scheme and I am now part of a marketing group which have been coming up with initiatives to encourage further investment. It has also been very inspirational to see more closely just how hard-working the club staff are, and how they go above and beyond the call of duty so often for so many.

The Club Chairman, who also owns his own company, embodies the vision and drive that runs through the staff here. They are ably supported by an excellent volunteer network in PALS: a football club with fairly modest resources achieves so much that might not first meet the eye.

The aim of raising £2million for the share scheme over five years was a target to get the finances on a sounder footing. The tireless of work of staff, volunteers and the generosity of our supporters already have us well on our way.

It has been great to see how this has been achieved thanks to everyone’s hard work – and it makes those on-pitch moments such as your current manager punching in a last minute equaliser against your Essex rivals all the more special!

Come on you Blues!

Sep
1

Are YOU Getting Your Share? (Updated 20.1.17)

scan0018If you are one of the 330 Wycombe Wanderers Trust members who have already signed up to support the Community Share Scheme, then we wish to say a big thank-you!

In just over 21 months since the Share Scheme was launched, there has been a terrific response from our members and with £742k now committed, we are already well over one third of the way towards our target.

We set ourselves a target to raise £2,000,000 over 5 years “to improve the capital base of the Trust in order for it to invest in its assets WWFC and FALL” by using a community share structure to:

  • Ensure the club remains in fans’ ownership with the provision of a capital injection to re-finance the Football Club
  • Provide resources to improve the profitability of the business and the management structure of the Football Club
  • Invest in improved conference and matchday facilities to improve the attraction of Adams Park as an alternative event venue
  • Widen the community ownership of the Football Club and its social benefit

Already we are seeing the benefits of the £466k of Share Scheme money that has been banked, with the Football Club finances heading towards a more stable position and a number of visible improvements being made around the stadium. These will continue as more funds come in.

The Share Scheme is set up so that anyone can invest at any level and if necessary spread their payments over the next 5 years.

We started off with a good number of members wanting to donate their £10 a year subscription EACH MONTH and most of those people have now turned those donations into share purchases to build up a good number of shares over the coming five years.

At the outset it was a simple calculation that if 1000 members each were able to invest £2000, then we would quickly and easily reach our target. Thanks to those who have put in a ‘lump sum’ – some have invested £2000, some have paid more and some less but all are much appreciated.

If we are to continue to ensure Community ownership, then we do need to keep progressing towards our target and hence this message is now being put out to our membership.

So Are YOU Getting Your Share?

Do please consider if you can help in anyway by either setting up a 5-year payment plan (monthly or annually) or by donating a one-off payment of whatever you can. The minimum investment is £100 and the maximum is £100,000.

If you can, then the forms are on our website page –click here – where you can also find the brochure and all the associated background information.

Any questions can be emailed to shares@wycombewandererstrust.com

We believe that by raising extra capital through these Community Shares to invest in the Club, we can turn a business that has traditionally lost money into one built on firm foundations making a profit and make sure the Club remains owned by you, the fans.

Many thanks for any help you can give.

NIgel KingstonTrust Directors will be at the Trust Table before each home game to receive your application or to answer any questions.

Nigel Kingston
Chairman – Share Issue Marketing Group

 

Aug
16

Dorothy ‘Got Her Share’….and Her Shares Live On!

Dorothy Carpenter 1926-2016Towards the end of June, one of Wycombe Wanderers eldest fans sadly passed away.

Dorothy Carpenter from Stokenchurch was ninety years old and registered blind and this picture was taken of her last Christmas in her favourite WWFC t-shirt – aged 90.
Due to her age and blindness, Dorothy didn’t attend games (apart from the Trophy Final in 91), but she would always be ready in her armchair at 3 o’clock waiting for the commentary to start on Chairboys Player. Before that, in the nineties she would sit by a crackly old MW radio listening to the commentary on 1170 with Alan Hutchinson.

Her son tells that that she was totally behind Wycombe Wanderers, ever the optimist and wouldn’t let anyone say a bad word about them.

A presentation ahead of the Sky Bet League 2 match between Wycombe Wanderers and Grimsby Town at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 13 August 2016. Photo by David Horn.

Photo by David Horn.

When the Share Scheme was launched Dorothy had no hesitation in helping the club out.The rules of the Share Scheme allow the Trust Board to consider and approve any transfer of shares and we are pleased to allow for these to be transferred to her son Stephen, himself already a Share Scheme investor in his own right.

The picture above on the right, shows Stephen Carpenter receiving a new certificate representing his late mum’s shares, now transferred to him, from Share Scheme Administrator and Trust Director Alan Cecil. They are also displaying one of the new Anthem Jackets which bears the names of the first 150 investors into the Share Scheme. Click here to see how to order one for yourself

ARE YOU GETTING YOUR SHARE?  Click here for more details on how to join the 310+ fans who have done so.

Aug
9

Terry’s Badges are back this season.

Terry Hall is back at Adams Park this coming season with his badges stall.  http://www.terrysbadges.co.uk/

2015-16 frameIf you want to buy a frame in which to keep your badge collection from last season, then Terry can supply one for just £20. Click on this pic to enlarge.

There will also be an opportunity to buy any badges you may have missed from last season.

Matchday badges for 2016-17 started with our home League Cup tie vs Bristol City

v GRIMSBYThe first League Two home game of the season is vs Grimsby Town on Saturday 13th August (ko 3pm)

You can find Terry’s stall just outside, and by the side of, the club shop.

All profits from the sale of our badges, go to the Trust to help support the finances of the Football Club.

Jul
14

Jordon Ibe – Trust Statement

J IbeThe Trust notes with great interest the announcement today of Jordon’s transfer to AFC Bournemouth, and wish him well in his move to the Vitality Stadium.

We know that Trust members will be very keen to know more about what Jordon’s move means for Wycombe Wanderers in financial terms, and how it might affect our debt repayment to Steve Hayes.

We are subject to confidentiality agreements both with Liverpool FC and with Steve Hayes but we are actively seeking the agreement of both parties so that we can provide members with as much information as possible on this potentially very exciting development for the Trust and for the Club.

We will make a further announcement as soon as we can, and call a members’ meeting as soon as it is appropriate.

Trevor Stroud
Wycombe Wanderers Trust Chairman

Jun
26

Trust Board Minutes – June

The Wycombe Wanderers Trust Board recently met for their monthly update meeting.

Finance:
Mark Burrell led an update on the financial position of the club which is under close scrutiny, with our balance sheet being in its best position for some time.

Share Scheme:
Marketing ideas were discussed (more news on this soon!) We have now raised £726,000 from 306 members over 5 years.

Sales Day:
The “ra ra” day had been very positive as well as energising for the office team. Sales amounted to several thousand pounds, with the potential for more as leads are followed up. This exercise is likely to be repeated each month.

Other Club news:

The Kukri contract had ended and the new kit, manufactured by O’Neills, will be launched on Sunday 10 July.

1650 season tickets had been sold to date, against a total of 1800 last season.

Volunteering:
This summer, a number of our volunteer fans are once again carrying out various maintenance tasks at Adams Park – gardening, painting, seat cleaning and general tidying up – saving the Club several thousands of pounds.

Some of the work is being undertaken by fans who regularly help out on weekdays, but we are also planning to have a big team working on Saturday 9 July, from 9.30am to 4pm, and we are looking for more volunteers to help on this day. Tools will be provided, as well as a sandwich lunch, and the times can be flexible if you cannot make the whole day.

If you can help, or you would like more information, please contact me at: john@wycombewandererstrust.com or on: 01494 441145.

A statement on the Club’s position re the EFL Trophy had been released and is now live on the Trust and Club websites. We had voted in favour strictly on the basis that this is a 12 month trial, is commercially sensible for us and is not a pre curser to Premier League B teams playing in the EFL. The views of the Fans Council will be sought at the end of the trial.

Terry’s badge stall will operate again next season, with badges in a new design.

May
12

Trust Board Appointment

David Smith 2Trust member David Smith has been co-opted onto the Board until the next AGM.

David is a practising corporate lawyer with over 35 years experience of advising public and private companies, and “legal” is a skill we have been looking to add to the Board. We know David well as he has assisted us on a voluntary basis for the last four years and, through his previous firm, has advised us on some of our bigger projects.

David replaces James Sumner, who has recently resigned, and we thank James for his contribution whilst he was on the Board.

More information about David Smith and the rest of the Trust Board members can be found here