|NEW SPONSOR SEARCH
(Friday 17th January 2003)
The Club are on the look out for new sponsors for the second time in just over a year following the shock news that Integrity Software will be terminating their contract with the Club at the end of the 2002/2003 season.
The Club broke the news on Wednesday 15th January 2003 when it was revealed that the Marlow based software company would be invoking a clause in the contract that allowed them to cancel the deal if the company changed ownership. The merger of the US parent of Integrity Software forced the issue resulting in the termination of what was orginally a three year deal and reported to be worth £100,000 a year to The Wanderers.
In a statement of the Club's Official website, Wanderers' Chairman Ivor Beeks said "This is an extremely disappointing development, very much unexpected after such a short period of association with a new main sponsor." The Sponsors were instrumental in setting up The Friends of Wycombe Wanderers Players Trust Fund and Beeks paid tribute to their efforts, adding "We have found Integrity Software to be a strong and effective partner for the Club over a short period of time and their directors have displayed great energy and enthusiasm for a number of new initiatives including the setting up of the Friends of Wycombe Wanderers New Player Trust Fund." Reports in the Bucks Free Press since are claiming that Beeks was unaware of the "escape clause" that was agreed with the now departed Chief Executive Simon Monkman.
Meanwhile Paul Nagle, Integrity Software's Managing Director said "We have very much enjoyed our association with the Club and its people. I hope we have added something to a dynamic and exciting football business, beyond the monetary value attached to our sponsorship. Speaking personally, we will continue to support the Club in any way we can." He also recognised how Wanderers were coping despite pressure from some quarters to radically change the club's constitution, commenting "I have tremendous admiration for the way in which a members club like Wycombe has carved a niche for itself in the upper echelons of the Football League and I am sure a bright future lies ahead. We are of course still on board for the remainder of the current season during which we will continue to play a full part as Club sponsors."
However, sources close to the situation suggest that there were people involved at the company who were not overly happy with the progress of the Trust Scheme. Paul Nagle was quoted in the Bucks Free Press on 17th January as saying "We always felt that the targets were achievable. To achieve £1m or £5m you need to have people on the ground to set an agenda but behind the scenes not enough was getting done"
The Club have now set up a "Campaign Team" led by Wanderers' Director and stand-in Chief Executive Rod Tomlin to seek out a new sponsor. Twelve months ago following the annoucement that Verco Office Furniture would be ending their lenghty main sponsorship with the Club, there were at least half a dozen main contenders to take on the vacant role. Integrity Software were eventually chosen as they had ideas to raise funds for the Club but the Club will now be hoping that potential sponsors won't shy off during a time when many companies are cutting back on corporate spending and advertising budgets.
Tomlin, who also acts as the Club's Financial Director, said in another statement issued on Thursday 16th January "Shirt sponsorship is a key element of this but naming rights to stands and to the stadium could form part of any new deal which needs to be negotiated well ahead of the start of the 2003/04 season" And he is calling on companies to take note of the exposure possibilities by being involved with Wycombe Wanderers "There has to be a fantastic opportunity for significant partnerships to develop between the Club and potential sponsors. We need to tap into a new relationship or a series of relationships with businesses which have the vision and the inclination to want to join in a dialogue with us at an early stage."
The new sponsor will also focus attention on the introduction of a new kit for the 2003/2004 campaign. The existing first team kit was due for retirement at the end of the current season anyway but the all-yellow kit will also be ditched after just one season of use and their will be no refunds to the fans, Ivor Beeks saying to the Bucks Free Press "The more money we give away the more money we have got to find from somewhere else". Meanwhile Rod Tomlin added that the new design may include recognition of Wanderers promotion to the Football League ten years previous "We shall be talking to a new kit sponsor and to our suppliers about the introduction of a commemorative 10th anniversary home strip - there is a real point about this which goes beyond pure commercial exploitation".
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