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(first published July 2004)

Accounts 2002The following is a potted history of the financial history of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited brought to you exclusively by Chairboys on the Net. Wycombe Wanderers Football Club was formed as long ago as 1887 but it was nearly 100 years later that the conversion to a company Limited by Guarantee took place. Here for the first time anywhere is a collection of the key stories, quotes, facts & figures and links since that change. So sit back, rewind back to 1979 and read on.

Part 1
1979 until 1993
The non-League years

July 1979 - Wycombe Wanderers Football Club members (ie Season Ticket holders) are informed that the Officers of the Club are proposing the formation of a company to run the Club and take ownership of the Football Ground. The statement comments "The Club's single chance of survival is its ground, as a potential source not only of new revenue but also of capital. Such new revenue could be generated by developing new facilities on the ground which could be profitably hired out to local residents, clubs and institutions."
Read the letter sent to members in full

August 1979 - Football Club members give the necessary two-thirds approval for the transfer of the ground to the a newly formed Limited by Guarantee company. The company is officially formed on 16th April 1980 but is not activated for another six years. In between times planning permission is sought for a new ground in Sands funded by the sales of Loakes Park.

May 1985 - Wanderers gain promotion to the Alliance Premier League (then called the Gola League) by virtue of finishing third in the Isthmian League - Champions Sutton United and runners-up Worthing both missing out on promotion due to ground problems. However, the first taste of national football ends in relegation on the final day of the season. The players wage bill for the entire season is under 8,000 while gate receipts are 17,500

August 1986 - The Limited Company is activated in June 1986 and by August the Committee is replaced by a new Board of Directors including local property developer Ivor Beeks. In the penultimate annual report of the original Football Club, Secretary John Goldsworty comments "The great and important thing to remember is that this is still a CLUB and always will be, everybody who does something on the ground is an integral part of the organisation and therefore is involved in the future of Wycombe Wanderers."

May 1987 - By the end of the 1986/87 season Wanderers achieve promotion from the Isthmian League back to the Alliance (now called the Conference). The players wage bill has been stepped up to 30,000 and represented 18% of the turnover of 170,000. Gate receipts are 24,000.

May 1988 - The first season back in the Conference is not without problems. Manager Alan Gane departs at the start of the season after allegations that he had his hands tied on transfer deals. His replacement Peter Suddaby lasts until January 1988 and Jim Kelman steps in to steer the Club away from the relegation zone. Money is thrown at Conference survival as the players wage bill breaks the 100,000 for the first time but despite gate receipts of 46,000 the Club make a loss of 25,000.

Summer 1988 - Plans for the new ground are turned down by the local council and the Club spend an estimated 100,000 on appealing through the Department of the Environment. The appeal is successful on the proviso that the Loakes Park site is partly used for Hospital development. Ivor Beeks replaces Brian Lee as Chairman of the Club for the start of the 1988/89 season.

April 1989 - Work commences on the new ground - it will be named after Frank Adams, the former Club Captain and official who had the foresight to negotiate the purchase of Loakes Park back in 1947. The funding of the new ground is covered entirely by the sale of Loakes Park but a fixed priced deal for the lucrative town centre property means that just over 3m is available for building costs resulting in some design aspects to be compromised. Quotes about the move

May 1989 Meanwhile, back on the pitch, the 1988/89 season sees a push towards the top of the table. Nicky Evans becomes the Club record signing when he moves from Barnet in a 32,000 deal. Wanderers finish fourth in the Conference as the players wage bill reaches 139,000 compared to a turnover of 185,000. Match receipts bring in just over 100,000 but the club make a record loss of close to 60,000.

February 1990 - An indifferent start to the 1989/90 campaign sees Jim Kelman sacked in January 1990 and Martin O'Neill appointed as the new Manager. O'Neill had been turned down in an earlier application in 1988. Meanwhile, officials and supporters alike say farewell to Loakes Park during emotional scenes during the fairwell game in May 1990. The accounts show a loss of around 22,000 for the season.

August 1990 - Wanderers play their first game at Adams Park. With costs set to escalate at the new ground The Directors set a break even gate of 2,500 (1,000 higher than the previous season). With a wage bill of 200,000 Martin O'Neill manages to to lift the average gate to 2,800 and as a bonus takes Wycombe to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley. On the transfer front Nicky Evans is sold back to Barnet for 28,750 but Keith Scott arrives from Lincoln City in a deal eventually costing Wycombe 30,000.

May 1991 - Wanderers take 25,000 fans to Wembley to see victory over Kidderminster Harriers. It provides the catalyst for a massive increase in Wycombe's support for the coming seasons. Match receipts for the 1990/91 season top 300,000 and the turnover breaks 1m for the first time. However, the profit for the first season at Adams Park is a more conservative 28,000

May 1992 - The season ends in disappointment on the pitch as Wanderers miss out on promotion to the Football League on goal difference. However, gates are up with receipts at 382,000 compared to a turnover of 1.2m. Another small profit is made, this time around 40,000. The major transfer activity for the season sees Steve Thompson arrive for 25,000 from Slough Town.

May 1993 - Wanderers celebrate promotion to the Football League and another Wembley success in the FA Trophy, this time taking more than 30,000 fans. Match receipts for the season have now shot up to 629,109 although the turnover is stuck at 1.2m. A record profit of 272,000 is recorded for the season. Wanderers enter the League with no major debts or overdrafts.

Read more
Part 2
Summer 1993 until May 1999
The early years in the Football League

Part 3
Summer 1999 until May 2002
Angling for a change

Part 4
Summer 2002 until Summer 2004
It comes down to this

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28 July 2004
The case 'for' and 'against'
12 July 2004
Final proposals in motion
2 July 2004
Share issue debate
21 June 2004
Postal voting allowed for final proposals
4 June 2004
Solicitors claim poor financial management
18 May 2004
Members hear proposals - part 2
18 May 2004
Members hear proposals - part 1
6 May 2004
PR mix-up over constitution
3 May 2004
Administration threat ahead of latest Members' meeting
22 April 2004
Board hear proposals
February 2004
Members meetings
Chairboys on the Net
11 December 2003
Player Trust awaiting relaunch
20 October 2003
AGM report 2003
26 September 2003
Financial review 2002/3
11 August 2003
Wage deferral revealed
8 August 2003
Directors announce sell-out plans
Chairboys on the Net
17 April 2003
Fans Forum - Financial Director's speech
14 October 2002
AGM report 2002
Chairboys on the Net
17 September 2002
Chief Executive departs
Chairboys on the Net
28 May 2002
Club safe not annihilated
Chairboys on the Net
11 April 2002
Player Trust Fund launched
12 November 2001
Change is inevitable - Beeks
17 October 2001
AGM report 2001
27 Sep 2001
Mutuality the way forward
19 Sep 2001
Club announce profit
16 July 2001
Club issue Mission Statement
16 October 2000
AGM report 2000
16 October 2000
Here is Customer Focus
31 August 2000
No to constitution change but three new directors
Future plans from the archives

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