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Dec
5

500 Club Helps Secure Kashket Deal

scott-kashketWycombe Wanderers Trust chairman Trevor Stroud says the club’s signing of striker Scott Kashket on a long-term contract underlines the importance of the 500 Club initiative.

Kashket put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year contract on Monday afternoon after an outstanding spell in the light and dark blue quarters, scoring nine times in nine appearances since joining in August.

Contributions from supporters into the 500 Club have enabled the Chairboys to commit to the signing of the 20-year-old striker, and Stroud says he hopes fans will realise the significance of the part they have been playing.

“The 500 Club is a fantastic initiative which gives fans the opportunity to shape the future of their club on the pitch,” he said. “We all know the limitations on the playing budget and Gareth and his staff have done a fantastic job in assembling the squad which is currently producing some superb results and performances in both the league and two cups.

“Keeping Scott at Adams Park is a major success story of the 500 Club but we want there to be many more, and I would urge any supporter who hasn’t yet contributed to dig deep and put their £150 into the pot to keep this momentum moving forward.”

The 500 Club asks for contributions of £150 per person – payable as a one-off sum or via monthly instalments – with assorted rewards on offer from a series of prize draws which recognise the support of those who have played their part.

Launched in September, the initiative is aimed at raising £75,000 for the playing budget, to be used in the January transfer window. More than half of the target has so far been raised with four weeks to go until the window opens.

To sign up to the 500 Club, visit 500wanderers.co.uk, or visit the Trust table inside the Caledonian Suite on home matchdays.

Dec
1

Q & A with Club Chairman

andrew-howardAfter the formal business of the Trust AGM had been completed (report and slides to follow) , the Football Club Chairman Andrew Howard answered a variety of questions from audience. Here is a summary of those questions and answers.

Q1:      A hostess in the Woodlands Suite has recently resigned, are you able to explain the reason?

A1: (AH) It would be wrong to discuss individual staff matters in a public forum, but I will make enquiries to understand the reasons.

Q2:      If there were surplus cash, would there be sufficient to recover all or part of the Training Ground?

A2: (AH) There is no obvious benefit to the Club regaining ownership of the Training Ground, whilst there are other areas of the Club that require investment, particularly since the Club enjoys a preferential rent arrangement for a period that best suits the Club.

Q3: Are we benefiting from having Reading FC use Adams Park?

A3: (AH) Yes, revenue has gone some way to offsetting the reduction in income following Wasps’ departure and the arrangement will continue to be reviewed to ensure that the pitch is not adversely affected

Q4: What are the Club’s thoughts on how to increase attendances beyond the current average of ~3,500?

A4: (AH) The Club considers the current average gate to be poor, given that it exists within a 176k catchment area. Whilst the team’s current performance should go some way to improving attendance it appreciates that we need to do more to encourage the local community and to that end, 350 youngsters were invited to the Hartlepool game and it is currently working with local schools to generate interest.

Q5: What are the plans to introduce ‘everyday’ merchandise into the Club Shop?

A5: (AH) We have just signed off a range of products in time for Christmas. It should be noted that, under the arrangement with O’Neills, all profit from the shop now comes directly into the Club.

Q6: Is there any possibility of the Club Shop being reinstated in the Eden Centre?

A6: (AH) Pop Up shops are a great idea. Unfortunately, we can’t do that in time for Christmas, but we will consider the possibility in the New Year. We would probably need to staff such a facility with volunteers.

Q7: A comment, rather than a question, the real ale corner in the Caledonian Suite is a great success and food is also good.

A7: (AH) Away fans spend 3 times as much as home fans! We are constantly looking to improve our product and its’ delivery to fans so your comment and constructive feedback is appreciated

Q8: Is there likely to be any financial recognition by the EFL of the status of Trust Owned Clubs?

A8: (AH) No, the EFL does not take account of the detail of ownership, providing such ownership satisfies the EFL’s standards.

Q9: The 500 Club, requires that fans invest £12.50 pm, what difference would raising £75k make?

A9: (AH) Gareth manages his playing budget very well. Having that kind of sum made available to him would allow him to extend the contracts of those loan players that he is very keen to retain.

Q10: Has the EFL been able to explain the fixture setting process which, for instance, sees us having only one home league fixture in December?

A10: (AH) We make regular submission to the EFL and resist requests from other Clubs for rearrangements that are not in our own best interests, but find it very difficult to achieve change with the EFL where fixture rules are concerned.

Q11: Have there been any lessons learnt for the Jordan Ibe deal?

A11: (AH) There have been lessons learnt by both the EFL and ourselves and it is likely that our experience will result in the EFL restructuring certain aspects of transfer rules

Q12: What is the Club’s view on the Checkatrade Trophy?

A12: (AH) It works for us, those members of the squad who might not always start or who are returning from injury get a chance to play. Winning earns significant financial reward and it is a better mechanism for developing U21 talent

Q13: If the Checkatrade Trophy is seen to be a success, will it lead to B teams appearing in our League?

A13: (AH) No, the EFL has abandoned the concept of the Whole Game Solution. The majority of Clubs in L1 and 2 would have voted against it anyway

Q14: Is the Club able to influence the current standard of refereeing?

A14: (AH) The Club has made and will continue to make its’ views known

Q15: The Club no longer publicizes its’ matches or events within the town, what can be done?

A15: (AH) The use of social media to publicise the Club is more cost effective and is now common practice across all businesses and we continue to develop partnerships that will further improve that practice.

Q16: Could you explain the revised lottery scheme?

A16: (AH) The aim is, in common with a number of other Clubs, to move to a web-based system. All profits will still come back into the Club.

Q17: With the renaming of the Caledonian Suite, what type of tartan can we expect J?

A17: (AH) Whilst we have a good deal in place with Heineken, it doesn’t require us to lay a new carpet!

Q18: What playing squad protection do we have if we lose any of the loan players?

A18: (AH) The Club is already working very hard to retain those players currently on loan to us

Q19: There is a fan who believes that our Chairman already owns the Club, is that true?

A19: (AH) I cannot be more vocal on the fact that I do not own the Club!

Oct
17

Did You Miss The Fans Forum?

wwfc 1The Football Club has published a summary of the questions asked and answers given at last week’s Fans Forum when the panel comprised Gareth Ainsworth, Paul Hayes, Dayle Southwell and Club Chairman Andrew Howard.

Click here for the report

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

Aug
23

‘Finally We Can Go For Lift-Off’ – WWFC Chairman Speaks to the Football League Paper

Football league paper 210816On Sunday the Football League Paper carried an article by Paul Eddison following an interview given to him by Wycombe Wanderers Club Chairman Andrew Howard.

Click on this link Football League Paper Article 210816 to read or on the photograph to the right

Click here to read a similar interview given by Andrew to ‘Get Bucks’

 

Aug
17

WWFC’s Disabled Parking Policy Published and Explained

Due to a few issues last season, the club felt the need to review and revise its policy for disabled persons car parking.

Click here to read the revised policy which contains instructions on how to secure parking for disabled supporters and/or their carer/driver.

Aug
10

Please Help Promote The Adams Park Facilities

Vere SuiteAdams Park has excellent conference and banqueting facilities available for hire for a great variety of functions including meetings and exhibitions

Many of the function rooms can be arranged in a number of ways to suit your individual needs and are available for half or full day. The Executive Boxes can be hired on an hourly rate.

Honours LoungeClick on this link Conference Centre 201516 for full details.

Bear your club’s home in mind for any function you may wish to hold and please pass this onto your friends and business colleagues.

Contact Lisa Belcher, Conference Centre Co-ordinator on 01494 455703 to arrange a booking or email lisa.belcher@wwfc.com

Aug
4

Zero-Tolerance On The Use of Pyrotechnics Inside Adams Park On Matchdays.

Adams Park 2The Trust wholeheartedly supports the statement issued today by the Football Club whereby it reiterated its zero-tolerance policy in relation to the use of pyrotechnics inside the stadium on matchdays.

Click here to read the full club statement.

We call upon all Trust members and indeed all Wanderers fans to take heed of this policy statement and we hope that it will not be necessary for it to be enforced.

Jun
23

EFL Trophy Statement

Wycombe Wanderers can clarify its stance on the change in format of the EFL (formerly Johnstone’s Paint) Trophy for the 2016/17 season.

At the recent EFL AGM, clubs were asked to cast their vote in relation to the introduction of 16 Premier League academy sides into the competition, on a one-season pilot basis.

Wanderers’ vote was dependent on the proposals meeting a number of criteria which would ensure that the new format would be commercially beneficial for the club and not lead to the introduction of Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL.

The club were satisfied that these criteria were met and therefore voted in favour of the proposal, along with the vast majority of EFL League One and Two clubs, on the basis that the club will benefit from greater revenue from the new format due to increased central funding and prize money, whereas it had previously struggled to break even financially from the competition.

While the club acknowledges that some fans may not agree with or support the decision, Wycombe Wanderers must protect its best interests in terms of maximising its revenue during a period where it has long-standing debts to pay whilst striving to achieve sustainability under supporter ownership.

At the conclusion of the one-year pilot, the club will seek to conduct a review of the new format at its Fans Council meetings, prior to any further vote next summer.

The new format of the EFL Trophy will include 64 teams made up of EFL League One and Two clubs, plus an additional 16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides. Central to the competition will be the introduction of a new group stage format with 16 regional groups of four teams. The top two teams will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.

Feb
13

Hospitality, Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities Still Available

wwfc 1The Football Club has recently updated its guide to Matchday Hospitality, Match Sponsorship, Junior Matchday Packages, Player Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities.

Click on this link Commercial Opportunities 201516 for the full guide

Do spread the word amongst other fans and local businesses.

For all enquiries contact Damian Irvine – Head of Commercial damian.irvine@wwfc.com 01494 455721 or

Becci Redmond – Commercial Operations Manager becci.redmond@wwfc.com 01494 455706

Jan
1

New Year’s Honour for Former Club Chairman and Manager

Brian LeeBrian Lee who managed Wycombe Wanderers in the 1970s when they were in the Isthmian League has been awarded an MBE for services to football in the New Years Honours.

Brian went on to become chairman of the football club and also designed and project managed the building of the new stadium at Adams Park.

He is now Chairman of the Football Conference  Trust and President of the Football Conference.

Trevor Stroud, Trust chairman on hearing the news, sent Brian this message of congratulations:

Hi Brian. Just a brief note to congratulate you on behalf of Wycombe Wanderers Trust on your award announced today.
Your contribution to football has been immense and makes the award totally justified.
I hope we can welcome you to Adams Park again very soon.

Brian was quick to reply:

Hi Trevor How very kind of you to write, it only reflects what countless other people have done for ‘our’ game and most of my life was spent around WW!
I was at the Oxford game and looking forward to going to Villa Park, sorry to Adams Park, next week!!
Kindest regards and all success to your endeavours in 2016.
Brian

The above picture is from one taken at the recent Ex-Players Association dinner and is reproduced with thanks to Ann Priest  (info@jpphotography.co.uk / 01494 713236 / 07850 632779)

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