On Thursday 17th April 2003 close to 400 Wanderers' fans packed into The Vere Suite at Adams Park to hear the views of Club officials as well as having a chance to air their own opinions and questions. Chairboys on the Net has prepared a number of reports from the evening, continuing here with the opening speech by Club Chairman Ivor Beeks.

Fans Forum The Chairman opened by saying "My whole aim this evening is by the end of the evening, together with my colleagues up here, is when you walk out of that door, we are one unit...we do not have a problem with ‘us and them’." The Chairman went through what he considered to be the positives and negatives of the season, starting with the negatives, "One of those must be of course our early exit from the FA Cup but it is the first time since Lawrie's been Manager that we've gone out of the FA Cup so early. Our gates receipts have tumbled down. There has been a negative reaction from, not all of you, but some of you and it's quite clear that the relationship between us and you, which is what I said earlier I don't want to see by the end of the evening, could be a lot better and must be a lot better."

Beeks admitted that the playing strength of the squad could have been better but that had largely been dictated by finance. However, The Wanderers Chairman, while listing his positives for the season, reassured those present that the Club were not in a serious financial situation, commenting "Let me assure you straight away now. Yes, our financial position is difficult like the rest of the 72 Football League clubs but we can cope with ours. We can deal with ours through the way in which we are working and the way our Executive Director has been moving us in the last three months. So things are not that bad in our club in relation to others."

The Chairman continued by stating that he was fortunate to be on the Board of the Football League where one of their aims has been good governance throughout all the Football League clubs, "So good governance is something which is going to happen and good governance is what we apply to our football club."

Beeks saw the aquisistiton of the Training Ground at Booker as another positive. The ground was brought with the help of a £150,000 payout by Premium TV, the company that operates the vast majority of Football League official websites. Beeks said "We used that money wisely I believe at the time and it was through this man here (Lawrie Sanchez) who was quite strong in some areas in forcing us into going down the route of actually purchasing that training ground. It's a great training ground now. We have 3 and half pitches, an indoor area of 5,000 sq.ft. which we are just looking to see whether we can through a grant, not our money, where we can look to use it for indoor training for our community and our own players."

The Chairman concluded his positives by mentioning the deal that saw London Wasps become tenants at Adams Park. "It was dirty word amongst a lot of people almost a year ago. I was physically attacked on some occasions in the street because I dared to think about Wasps at Wycombe Wanderers. Wasps have been pretty well a saviour here. Not many of you but many people have said to me 'look at what the pitch is going to be like when they play rugby here'. I'm sure you'll agree with me that the state of that pitch out there is as good as any in the Football League and probably better than some in the Premier League. A result because we've actually spent the money there wisely. We could have perhaps used that money from Wasps and spent it on players but it would have been like a cow field as many of you told me it was going to be." The Chairman didn't mention any actual figures relating to the Wasps deal but it was revealed later at the meeting that the Club had to extend its bank loan by £400,000 to help pay for the pitch and it has since been estimated that the net income from the deal for the 2003/4 season will be around £100,000.

However, the Chairman was adament that it had been good business, saying "So I say to you we don't honestly make decisions based on the fact that we want to try and upset as many people as we can. We do it with the judgement that we believe that will actually try and take this football club forward and at the end of the day will be of benefit. And I honestly believe that Wasps have been of benefit. I think it's been of benefit to the town, for the community, for the schools, and most of it's been a benefit to the football club."

The Chairman concluded his speech by saying that he and the others would be happy to answer questions, "You might not like the answers but at the end of the day I ask you again please when we walk out of this room this evening, can we walk out as one unit and make sure we are behind Wycombe Wanderers because believe me everybody on this top table is in the same circle as what you are."

Fans Forum 17th April 2003 - Intro and index to other reports

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