(Monday 14th October 2002)
Adams Park Wanderers Chairman Ivor Beeks warned that the next two years will be a testing time for Wycombe Wanderers Football Club as he addressed members at the Annual General Meeting on Monday 14th October. The Chairman singled out the deal to bring London Wasps to Adams Park as "major achievement" during the season. However, he trod carefully over the shock departure of the Club's first ever Chief Executive,' leaving this matter to be discussed outside of the official confines of the AGM and in the "open to all" Fans Forum that followed. The AGM also saw The Chairman retire by rotation and with nobody in opposition, another five years of office was approved.
Speaking of the Wasps deal, The Chairman said "The next two years will be a testing time for us. But we trust we will be able to build on the relationships and cement the future with Wasps here at Adams Park, which financially couldn’t have come at a better time."
The Chairman went on to praise Club employees following the sudden exit of the Chief Executive, commenting that "Staff are rolling up their shirt sleeves to see that the business stays on course".
It was revealed that The Chairman along with Financial Director Rod Tomlin were now taking on the duties of the departed Chief Executive on a day-to-day basis as the Club attempt to continue in their quest improve revenue streams in the wake of the downturn in various sponsorship deals.
Financial Director Rod Tomlin subsquently gave a lengthy but informative description of the Annual Accounts. The figures showed that the Club had made a trading loss of £455,000 over the 2001/2002 season compared to profit of £150,000 the previous season where there had been over £1m of unbudgeted income thanks to the FA Cup run.
Tomlin stated "This is not a business in which we can bury our heads in the sand, leave the football manager to his own devices, however confident we might be in his ability to grind out success on the field, and simply pop-up now and again to shape our grand design for the future in partnership with London Wasps." The tenancy agreement with Wasps has seen the Rugby club pay just under half of the £540,000 installation costs of the 'desso' pitch and undersoil heating which was described as "virtually complete". It was later revealed that the Club are still awaiting the installation of the gas main into Adams Park with the contractors hoping to complete the work by 14th November 2002.
The now obligatory reference was made to the collapse of ITV Digital but it was also revealed that the income from the SKY deal for 2002/2003 would amount to £285,000 and there was also hope of additional money from a highlights deal yet to be negotiated. Tomlin added that it was benefit to have Ivor Beeks elected to the Board of the Football League as it "helped very much to give us a voice and also an inside track on developments in Football"
It was inferred that the fiasco surrounding the departure of the Chief Executive had led the Club to take drastic action in rebuilding the budget for the season and looking at particuarly critical areas to ensure that costs did not escalate. Tomlin added that the Club were lucky to have good financial relationships with the Bank and local Brewery and cited again the ground tenancy agreement, stating "We are particularly fortunate to have hopefully a long term relationship with London Wasps which we are seeking to develop in a number of ways which would benefit this football club" These points alone were enough for Tomlin to remark that "I don't think the long term financial stability of this football club is intrinsicallly linked with constitutional change"
Returning to The Chairman's Speech, Ivor Beeks stated "In my period of time as your Chairman there has always been new challenges and we have, over the years, achieved a large number of these, the major prize being membership of the Football League. But the challenge we now set our eyes on above all else is stability of our financial affairs, a good youth policy and eventually sustained promotion." The Chairman concluded "We’ve come a long way but there is still a long way to go"
An 'open to all' Fans Forum followed directly after the AGM where fans had a chance to question Lawrie Sanchez on the recent tactics debate.
Click here for full report of the tactics debate

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