(Thursday 11th April 2002)
Friends of Wycombe Wanderers - Click here to visit the website Wanderers' new sponsors, Integrity Software, are the main catalysts behind a novel money raising scheme aimed at generating funds to be used directly for player transfers, signing on fees and possibly wages. The scheme has been launched as the "Friends of Wycombe Wanderers" and has ambitiously been set up with a key claim "to assist manager Lawrie Sanchez to gain promotion to Division One by raising over 1 million, from donations for new players from local companies and Blues supporters, over the next three seasons."
The final workings of this 'trust' scheme are still being carefully considered by the Club Solicitors and Auditors but the 'trust' is expected to be given the OK shortly, enabling potential donators to pay directly into a fund which will be kept financially independent from the Football Club. The 'trust' comes with its own website ( aimed at promoting a scheme that has already brought in money from buisinesses and individuals alike. An upfront figure of 23,550 has already been pledged via more than a dozen companies and over 30 individuals (including former manager John Gregory). These were contacted prior to the official launch on 11th April and the Club now hope the donators will snowball.
This 'trust' scheme should not be confused with other similarly named schemes at club's such as Bournemouth, Bury and Chesterfield. These schemes are directly connected with the running of the club and have been set-up to safeguard the financial future of the said clubs and in some instances to allow trust members (including fans) to become influential at Board level.
Donators at Wycombe will receive nothing back for their gift other than the suggestion of an occasional prize draw to be a VIP guest at a match and the knowledge that their money will be used soley for funding of 'new players'. Donations are being accepted as low as 25 but businesses with turnovers of over 1m are being asked to donate 1,000. All the donators will be recorded on the website in a 'Roll of Honour'.
Not surprisingly Wycombe manager Lawrie Sanchez is behind the scheme and commented "This is very encouraging for all of us at the club. It is really good to have sponsors who are prepared to get involved to the degree Integrity Software want to. With the likely loss of the ITV Digital money and our plans with Wasps RUFC being put on hold, this scheme could put the smile back on a few faces." The Wycombe boss added "What really appeals to me about the "Friends" campaign is the similarity that exists with how we get success on the football pitch, TEAMWORK. With this type of backing the Clubs prospects for promotion are massively enhanced." He went on to say "There is no sugar daddy out there to provide us with funds and this is a bold opportunity to involve the fans. It's in their hands, but if we raise 1million we will be in the First Division in two years."

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