TO CONSTITUTION CHANGE
(Thursday 31st August 2000)
Over 200 members of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited gathered in the Vere Suite at Adams Park on Thursday evening (31st August 2000) to hear of proposals to bring outside investment into the Club.
Chairman Ivor Beeks told members that three new Directors had been appointed to the Board and that an interest free Capital Loan of £500,000 would be made as an initial investment to take the Club forward. However, the expected proposal to change the constitution at the AGM in October was ruled out by Beeks. The Chairman said that meetings had been held with several individuals over the last six months to discuss means of bringing money into the Club but ideas such as 'Share Options' and 'hiving part of the Club off as a separate company' were eventually dismissed.
The new Directors are Derek Vere - Managing Director of Club Sponsors Verco, Rod Tomlin - a financial expert with experience at NatWest and previous football connections with Fulham, Brentford and Bradford City; and Brian Kane from Herbalife. Beeks said that there would be "a realignment of the Board following the AGM in October" - The major change being Graham Peart standing down as Financial Director and Rod Tomlin taking on that role. Brian Kane would become Vice-Chairman with Ivor Beeks remaining as Chairman - a role that he suggested he would like to stay in for at least another two years.
Rod Tomlin outlined the financial plans behind the new set-up. He said that the Board would present a three year plan for investors and institutions to develop the Club on and off the pitch. It was estimated that this plan would require an investment approaching £4million. This would take into account buying new players, trading losses and existing debts (ie bank overdrafts and a brewery loan). However, it was made clear that this sort of investment would require a change to the constitution.
Tomlin said "Promotion to Division One is just one in series of objectives" and confidently predicted "This will happen, it's just the time scales". Tomlin went on to outline the vision of developing a "Wycombe Wanderers Leisure Village" at Adams Park with a series of new initiatives and upgrades to the existing facilities on and around the ground.
Other revenue streams mentioned included the major new internet and TV deals involving NTL and OnDigital and it was suggested that promotion to Division One could bring an extra £1.6m income via associated deals.
Fears from supporters prior to the meeting that a single investor may gain too much control of the Club were allayed by Peart, who will remain on the Board. He told an attentive audience that "We need to be self sustaining without any single major benefactor" . In a question and answer session after the initial presentations, members were also re-assured that none of the new Directors were interested in having major control of the Club, indeed new Director Brian Kane said he would like to see share holdings limited to around 5% for any one person.
Beeks concluded the meeting by hinting that the newly brought training facility at Booker could also play a key role in generating income under the new set-up.
Members will meet again in October to formally adopt the new Directors and Beeks asked members to give them their support as the Club moves "onward and upwards"
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