Welcome to the Wycombe Wanderers Trust

  • "Safeguarding our heritage and promoting a successful and sustainable future."

Browsing the Trust Matters category

Apr
10

Trust Board Minutes – March 2016

The Trust Board recently met for its monthly board meeting on Wednesday 30th March.

Our finance Director Mark Burrell talked through the accounts. Season ticket details have been released for next year and early season ticket sales will be a great help.

£3,000 was raised at the recent fundraising evening in aid of the Prostate Cancer charity.

Entry into a “Director for a Day” draw is being offered for the Accrington game for those signing up to the share scheme by April 23rd.

297 members have now pledged £717k in total to the share scheme.

In terms of the football club, the 61 points total has now been achieved. The team are being encouraged to be more relaxed now that the pressure is off in an effort the reach the play offs.

Seven players are out of contract this summer.

In terms of volunteering and Wycombe PALS, Alan Sunderland has now completed 80 hours as a Credit Controller. Alan Bond is working two days per week updating stewards’ records. Maintenance teams are regularly working at the stadium. A schedule of works for the close season is being drawn to be agreed with the Stadium Manager.

From FALL, John Bignell has had a first meeting with those interested in helping with club memorabilia.

Representatives of the Mansfield Town Trust who enjoyed our hospitality on Good Friday said it was “the best they have had this season”.

The Trust Board will meet again towards the end of April.

Mar
18

Happy First Birthday To Our Share Scheme

Happy Birthday

Yes, it’s a year since we launched the Community Share Scheme, so it’s 1-year-old this week.

Let’s look at a few questions – has it worked, what has it achieved, how much has it raised, has it helped the Club, what has the money been spent on?

Let me try and answer these and also look forward to how the Scheme will develop in the future.

I think it’s definitely worked. It’s helped raise the profile of Wycombe Wanderers in the football community, in the greater Wycombe area and among our supporters both near and far.

At the end of the first year, we have absolute commitments to £714,000 over five years. We have put £370, 000 in the bank already and will add another £35,000 by the end of this season. Over 290 people have contributed to the Share scheme so far, that’s an amazing achievement.

Now the big questions – has it helped the Club and what has the money been spent on?

Let me remind you of one of the key aims of the Scheme. “To provide a capital injection to re-finance the Club.” Without a doubt the Scheme as gone some way to helping the Club in its’ objective of achieving financial stability.

The key things we have used the funds for are:

  • HarrimanHelping to re-finance the Club
  • Buying specific items like mowers, new Club flag, and the replacement of broken seats to replace those that have suffered wear and tear over the years, thereby maximising available capacity.
  • Fixing the big screen so that we can attract new advertisers
  • Buying medical equipment to speed up player recovery times
  • Providing funds to help buy Michael Harriman (pictured right)

The Future

They say the first year is the easiest in fund raising. We set ourselves a target of £2m over 5 years and to date we’ve raised 36% of that, so there’s still a long way to go. We will be continuing to come up with ideas to raise awareness of the Scheme and to try to persuade more people to contribute. For instance, there is a need to refurbish our changing rooms and that is just one area of potential support that we are currently discussing with the Club.

At present there are over 2,400 season ticket holders at the Club and over 1,000 members of the Trust. But we’ve only got 295 investors in the Share scheme.

So if you are one of those who has not yet contributed, please think about doing so. It’s your Club and its future will definitely be brighter the more funds the Share scheme is able to raise. Application forms are available on Matchdays at the Trust Table in the Vere Suite and on line here. Remember that UK tax payers can claim tax relief of 30% of their investment in any tax year

One other point. If you have any good ideas as to how we should take the Scheme forward and persuade more people and businesses to invest in the Scheme, please let me know. We’d be delighted to work with you to do this.

Finally, a very big thank you to all those who have invested their time and money in the Share scheme and here’s hoping that on the Scheme’s second birthday we’ll be celebrating reaching that £2.0m target.

Nigel Kingston

Chairman Share Issue Marketing Group

Email nigel@wycombewandererstrust.com

Feb
25

Changes to Trust and FALL Boards (UPDATED 25.2.16)

Board Changes 

  • Colin Treacher has been appointed as Vice Chairman of the Trust and will also continue as Company Secretary.
  • Garry Heath has resigned from the boards of the Trust and Frank Adams Legacy Limited (FALL) because of his business and other commitments (and for no other reason). Garry contributed very significantly to our fund raising efforts through the Chairboys Funders, which he set up, and through his early work establishing the Share Scheme. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Garry for all he did over many years.
  • David Roberton David Roberton (pictured left) has been co-opted to the Trust Board to replace Garry. David, who is well known to many of you as a previous Trust and Club director, received the highest number of votes of the unsuccessful candidates at the last AGM and only missed being elected by two votes.
  • John Derben has been appointed as Chairman of FALL, to replace Garry, and Trust President Karen Adams and Group Treasurer Martyn Broughton have also joined the Board.
  • JB pic 2 (2)UPDATE: John Bignell, (pictured right) who continues to act as Trust Membership Secretary has also joined the Board of Frank Adams Legacy Limited. John will take over responsibility for the memorabilia and artifacts gained by the club over many years. He will be setting up a working party of people  with similar interest and they will report back to the FALL and Trust Boards.
  • The FALL Board is therefore now made up of John Derben, Alan Cecil, Karen Adams, Martyn Broughton and John Bignell.

Feb
24

Trust Board Meeting Minutes – February 2016

Last week the Wycombe Wanderers Trust Board met for their monthly board meeting.

It was confirmed that David Roberton would be co-opted onto the Trust board until the next AGM following the resignation of Garry Heath. David’s role will be as our lead representative on the WWSET board.

Our finance director Mark Burrell gave an overview of the work that the Group Finance Committee have been doing.

The unbudgeted income of the Aston Villa FA Cup ties and the sale of Matt Ingram has helped to close the forecasted shortfalls at certain crunch points during the season and during the Summer when the club have no game income.

The monies are being used to fund the forecast shortfalls and give the Group financial stability for the first time, rather than tight, active day-to-day cash management. Our ‘overdraft’ has been repaid and the rest will be used as the Group Finance Committee and the WWFC board decide for funding the balance of this season, the Summer and to get the Group safely financially to the 2016-17 season.

The Group company debts are being constantly reviewed and paid.

On players in the short-term, as Gareth Ainsworth and Richard Dobson have frequently said, they are looking for players but they need to be sure they are the right ones. We are being careful financially and not immediately spending any “windfall” but are taking a safe, long term view.

Match day badges have raised £2,400 so far this season – thank you to everyone who continues to collect them.

In regards to the Share Scheme, 291 members had now pledged £710k of which £365k had been banked.

It was noted that last season we had the 7th highest growth in attendances of the 72 FL clubs and sales of season tickets are 14% ahead of last season.

John Bignall was appointed to the FALL board and will take the lead on memorabilia.

News on the Fans Council will be released imminently, with the first meeting to be held in March 2016.

Jan
25

January Trust Board meeting minutes

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

The recent financial benefit of the two Aston Villa matches were discussed in detail.

Finance Director Mark Burrell also provided an overview of the current financial position.

An update on share scheme numbers was provided. A video has been produced highlighting some of those that have invested, thanking them and encouraging other supporters to do the same.

It was noted that share scheme investment had also helped finance the signing of Michael Harriman from QPR.

The production of a training kit is under consideration where the names of those that have invested are woven into the top.

Further news on next season’s kit will be released shortly, but nothing has been finalised yet.

PALS now have a volunteer agreement policy in place.

Andrew Howard, Chairman of WWFC, provided a recent overview of playing squad performance and current requirements. Around this time the sale of Matt Ingram to QPR and loan signing of ex-player Paris Cowan-Hall were finalised and announced accordingly.

A fans council will be launched in the near future with more details to come.

The Board will meet again in mid-February.

Jan
7

Seats Repaired by Volunteers and Directors

Volunteers 070116Some of the regular volunteers were joined today by Directors of the WW Trust to repair the remaining broken seats in the Frank Adams stand so that these could be sold to fans on the club’s waiting list for Saturday’s FA Cup 3rd Round tie vs Aston Villa..

This all became possible after funds were provided into the Share Scheme by the Wycombe Wanderers Ex-Players Association and a couple of other fans as reported here just before Christmas.

Volunteers 2 070116Giving up their time today were regular volunteer helpers Alan Hodgson, John Bartlett, Wendy Laidler, Lisa Bowker and Derek Allen and they were joined by Trust Directors John Bignell, Alan Cecil, David Cook, John Derben, Nigel Kingston (+his wife Nan), Trevor Stroud and James Sumner to fix in the new seats and to wash down many of the seats in that stand that get showered by bird droppings and other dirt.

You may well have seen a report of this on ITV London News who were also there to film the volunteers in action.

Photos by Andy Rowland / PRiME Media Images

Dec
29

Trust’s New Year Message

Trust chairman Trevor Stroud reviews the past, present and looks into the future.

“2015 has been an eventful year for Wycombe Wanderers Trust and your football club.

Tremendous progress has been made, and structures have been put in place to put the football club on a more stable footing and able to grow in the future.

scan0018Financially, we have become more self-supporting, with the launch of the Trust share scheme, which has just passed the £700k mark out of the £2 million target. Thanks to all of you who have purchased shares, and to those who have yet to buy shares, please consider doing so.

The money raised is being used to target specific needs which will give us a greater return than the money invested. Examples of this are the repair of the big screen which generates advertising income, and the repairing of broken seats which gives us match day income. The share scheme also purchased a Shockwave machine, which is used to get injured players back on the pitch quicker, such as Paul Hayes and Anthony Stewart recently. We are currently constructing a wish list of similar items which will be publicised so potential investors can see where their money is likely to be spent.

Other changes have been the introduction of working groups, who are taking responsibility for various aspects of the running of the Trust and its two subsidiaries, WWFC and FALL. We have a group finance committee, who oversee all financial aspects of the group from debt management to cash flow. We have a share marketing group responsible for raising the profile of the share scheme, and a volunteer group which is organising the wonderful band of volunteers, who save the club literally tens of thousands of pounds. These groups are headed up by Trust directors, and are very much a feature of having a task driven board as opposed to a committee.

There have been other changes, such as the new reception and shop area, which have been driven by football club chairman Andrew Howard. Andrew runs the club on a day-to-day basis, without taking a salary, which also saves us thousands of pounds, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him sincerely on your behalf.

So what does 2016 hold for us?

On the field we have set a target of 61 points, and anything over this will be very much a bonus. Finances will still be a huge issue, and although the boost from the Aston Villa game will help, we still need to keep the pressure on raising money from the Trust share scheme. (Obviously Arsenal away in the fourth round would help as well!)

We will be establishing a fans council early in the New Year, so there is a formal route for fans’ views to be communicated to the football club, and advice sought for key decisions to be made more effectively.

We will also continue to introduce new processes and procedures to make the running of the Trust more effective, and I also would like to thank all of the Trust board in advance for their hard work (also on a voluntary basis) in implementing these.

Please encourage friends and family to join us at Adams Park, or invest in the share scheme (or both), and if you feel you could volunteer your skills, please e mail John Derben on j.derben123@btinternet.com .

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family (and your football team) a very happy and successful 2016.”

Dec
24

Share Scheme Raises Funds to Fund Seat Repairs

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Click here for the full story

Thanks to the Ex-Players Association and to other fans who have made this possible

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Dec
20

Bill Is Getting His Shares. Are You Getting Yours?

Bill TurnbullBBC Breakfast presenter and long time Wanderers fan Bill Turnbull was one of the first to sign up for the Trust Share Scheme.

scan0018Click here to read why.

Hopefully more fans will be inspired to follow Bill’s lead and help us raise more funds to help OUR FOOTBALL CLUB

Click on Share Offer Brochure for our original Share Issue Brochure

Click on Share Offer Forms for the form to sign up

Dec
7

November Trust Board Minutes

The Board of Wycombe Wanderers Trust met during November just prior to the AGM for their monthly board meeting.

Mark Burrell gave an update on the finances of WWFC, Wycombe Wanderers Trust and FALL, including the annual accounts that were due to be signed off and presented to members at the forthcoming AGM.

Share scheme marketing initiatives are being constructed. A video highlighting the benefits of investing has been created, and will be shown on social media and at the AGM, as well as on the big screen on matchdays. Further ideas and incentives, such as group tickets for local charities and sports clubs, are being pursued.

The total now committed to the share scheme is just shy of £700k, courtesy of 269 investors (as of 20/11/15).

Positive feedback was given to the recent changes at the club with the new reception and retail areas, as well as the relocation of away fans.

The clearing of the grass banks has nearly been completed by our volunteers. There are many others ways in which Wycombe PALS are supporting through the club, through finance (review of invoicing/ sales ledger processes), matchday programmes, car park attendants and other maintenance work. As always, our thanks go to all those who offer their invaluable services free of charge.

The Trust table will now be in the new reception area on matchdays.

Fans will be asked to approve the re-naming of Scores to Monty’s.

The Board will next meet in December.

Dec
7

Trust Directors back Supporters Direct report

Today, Trust Directors Dale Jenkins and Nigel Kingston will be at the Palace of Westminster, backing Supporters Direct’s initiative to encourage tax breaks for supporter owned clubs.

The Supporters Direct statement can be seen below:

TREASURY URGED TO GIVE TAX BREAKS TO COMMUNITY OWNED SPORTS CLUBS

*** Clubs deliver more than £125,000 of volunteering a year – report ***

Democratically owned sports clubs could bring a big net benefit if they were given tax breaks, a new report from Supporters Direct argues.

The proposal recommends creating a new tax status for democratically owned clubs that meet strict criteria, including reinvesting surpluses and protecting assets for community use. Clubs would benefit from Gift Aid on donations, receive 80% rate relief and have exemption from Corporation Tax.

If adopted it would be a landmark in the development of democratic ownership of sport in this country and make a step change that will help community owned clubs overcome many of the barriers they face.

The report will be launched at an MPs’ briefing in Westminster this afternoon, which will bring together MPs, leading sports bodies and sports clubs and will feature an address from Jesse Norman MP, the chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select.

James Mathie from Supporters Direct said:

“With the right model, sports clubs can be central hubs of delivering benefits in their community – and community ownership provides added value that other forms of ownership cannot. We believe it’s time to help clubs that embrace democratic ownership, binding community benefit functions, and protect sports assets”.

Adam Brown from Substance, an architect of the proposal and the research behind it, said:

“We have demonstrated the very significant value that supporter and community ownership can bring in terms of public benefit. The proposed tax changes would be cost effective and enable existing community owned clubs to be more sustainable, increasing the public good they deliver. We have shown that this applies beyond football into lots of other sports”.

The proposal will also be addressed by the Governments Expert Working Group on Football Ownership and Engagement which will be published in January 2016.

About the report

• A full & summary version of the report can be downloaded from those links or from www.supporters-direct.coop
• It advocates that Community Owned Sports Clubs should qualify for – Gift Aid on donations, exemption on Corporation tax, and rate relief at a minimum of 80%.
• The research looked at 6 semi-professional and professional sports clubs
• It found that were the scheme to be implemented, an average club would:
o cost the tax payer £25k per year
o attract volunteering and investment valued at £294k per year

About Supporters Direct

Inspired by Brian Lomax – the first supporter elected director at an English professional football club – Supporters Direct has been working since 2000 to help supporters gain influence in the running and ownership of their club. Their work now spans 23 countries.

Dec
3

Training Ground Update

Dear Trust Member,

Update on land on south west side of Marlow Road, used by Wycombe Wanderers FC as a training ground facility.

The Trust Board acknowledges that the subject of the training ground is an important one and that the discussion at last week’s AGM has prompted further questions and some uncertainty from members and supporters leading to some misinformation on social media.

As a supporter-owned club we ask that members understand that commercially sensitive discussions must occasionally take place, sometimes over a long period, but wherever possible the Trust is committed to as much transparency on issues as possible. To that end we are clarifying some facts regarding the training ground that could only be circulated now.

When did the deal take place?

Trust members were updated in February 2013 about the need to quickly raise cash.

A survey of Trust members was held and over 90% of respondents (402 at 28th Feb 2013) supported the sale and agreed to leave the matter in the Board’s hands.

The sale and lease-back agreement was signed on 28th March 2013 between Frank Adams Legacy Ltd. (“FALL”) and Ivor Beeks, Sandra Kane and Camberwick Properties Ltd (Ian Keizner). The land stopped being an asset belonging to the Group and became the subject of a lease and rental deal of 10 years with repayments fixed for the first 2 years, thereafter subject to increase in line with the Retail Price Index.

A special meeting of the Trust Members ratified the sale on 10th April 2013. Questions were asked and a Q&A note was compiled and is still on the Trust website via this link

Have the members of the Training Ground Funders group changed since then?

No change, they are still the same, and known as The Training Ground Funders (TGF),

Why did the deal need to take place?

Simply put, the only trading income generated within the group was through the football club and not enough was coming in to meet liabilities. A major restructuring and cost saving exercise had taken place but, in spite of this, just 9 months after the Trust buy-out, it was clear that the Group needed an urgent fresh external injection of cash to survive.

The only freely available asset the Group owned was the Training Ground facility and it was agreed that the ownership (not training use) be changed to urgently bring cash in at great speed. This was not a loan but a sale then lease-back deal, with a rent to be paid, that also included a right to buy-back at a price based on a fixed formula calculation of value.

The deal meant survival, in the same way as later funds have been required to keep the Group going. The Group balance sheet was presented at The Trust AGM last Thursday clearly showing that the Club / Group has continued to need further injections of funds from:
• Chairboys Funders (secured on Adams Park);
• Private investors (unsecured); and
• Recently, the Community Share Offer (or “Share Scheme”).

Why did the Training Ground Funders do the deal?

Simply, to ensure the survival of WWFC at March 2013. The TGF have always been committed to supporting the financial stability of the Trust, FALL and WWFC group of companies. Funding was provided to purchase the training ground purely with the objective of aiding the Club at a time of financial constraints after the Trust acquired the football Club.

Who received the money from the buyers?

The legal agreements were between the Training Ground funders and Frank Adams Legacy Ltd. (“FALL”) with the money received by FALL, and then passed immediately to WWFC. The funds were utilised within 30 minutes of receipt into WWFC to pay debts due that day and avoid the club going into administration.

What is the payment history?

FALL’s income and ability to pay its debts is completely linked to WWFC, and payments from WWFC to FALL. The agreement was that the Club would pay a monthly amount to cover the Adams Park rent and an additional amount for the training ground rent.

FALL’s Board has clarified the position between FALL and WWFC on Adams Park lease and rent that funded FALL’s training ground rent payments as follows:
• FALL agreed a 100% rent holiday for WWFC in the year ended 30th June 2014 due to WWFC’s financial difficulties in generating sufficient cash to pay the rent due;
• FALL were informed by WWFC that this was a situation that was not completely remedied in the year ended 30th June 2015 and FALL agreed a further rent holiday of 50% of the rent;
• FALL understands that the current financial forecasts of WWFC allow for the payment of the full rent for the year ended 30th June 2016 and look forward to receiving the agreed monthly payment of £17,500 during this period, allowing FALL to meet its own financial commitments. These payments to be made on or before the 25th of each month.

This meant FALL was able to make regular payments until February 2014, and WWFC was able to fund three more in early 2015. All payments by WWFC to FALL to cover rents then stopped after that time and FALL was not able to pay the training ground rent.

Under the terms of the lease this would mean FALL was in default but the TGF worked actively with FALL and the Club to find ways for FALL to make the payments.

When did the TGF’s solicitors issue a default notice?

Reluctantly, the TGF instructed their solicitors to issue a notice to protect its own position, on 6th August 2015, because FALL was in arrears with rent due and not paid. This meant that the option for the Club to buy-back the facility had come to an end.

A 30 day period of grace was granted for the Group, to come up with realistic proposals to rectify the broken contract. This was extended by the TGF to give the Group more time to arrange its finances.

What has happened since?

Negotiations have been completed to structure a deal that would work for all companies in the Group and the TGF to sort the financial arrangements and allow the Club to continue to train at the facility for as long as it wanted, and have a buy-back option re-instated.

Whilst the negotiations took place it was vital that matters remained confidential for legal and commercially sensitive reasons and we had to follow good corporate governance. This means that the matter was not something that the members of any of the Boards of the Group companies could share with members.

What is the new deal?

The deal was agreed in late October 2015 with the TGF confirming their agreement to the points below in a letter to The Trust on 3rd November 2015.

1. Rent Payments
These were the responsibility of FALL, and now re-negotiated. The TGF have agreed to WWFC paying the monthly rent direct, as of October 2015, and subject to 6 months’ notice to cease rental.

The rent owed by FALL at the end of September 2015 (£41,000) are to be written off subject to 10 months of satisfactory repayments of the rent by WWFC.

2. Agreement in place for WWFC to train on the facility
Nothing has changed about the land as a training ground facility. WWFC now pay the rent and continue to train at the facility, and has to give 6 months’ notice of wishing to cease renting the facility for training.

3. The Club’s ability to buy the facility back
The TGF are committed to the goal of reselling the training ground back to the Club at the earliest opportunity subject to a mutually agreed financial consideration should the football club still require the facility. To be negotiated in future but the Group have a signed letter confirming the option.

4. The intentions of the TGF
The TGF objective isn’t, and never was, to derive unreasonable profits at the expense of the Club from this transaction but to support the above group of companies.

In the event that the Club decides it did not require a training ground facility, perhaps because of artificial surface considerations at Adams Park, and the training ground was ultimately sold to a third party then the TGF would allocate a share of any potential profits being generated back to the Club. To be negotiated in future but the Group have a signed letter confirming the option.

This is a full summary of the Training Ground situation, and we would like to remind members that there are three ways to discuss the training ground or any other group financial matter: 

1. An informal, “drop-in surgery” open meeting to discuss all financial matters and the accounts on Wednesday 9th December in Scores/ Monty’s between 6.30pm to 8.30pm, where Mark Burrell (Group Finance Committee Chairman) and Martyn Broughton (Group Treasurer) will be available,
2. There will also be a Trust table in the new reception area prior to the Notts County match on Tuesday 15th December where Mark Burrell will be present and happy to discuss any further questions, and
3. Meanwhile, you can contact Mark on: mark@wycombewandererstrust.com

The Board of Wycombe Wanderers Trust