(Tuesday 20th January 2004)
Accounts 2002 With the news that Wycombe Wanderers Football Club members have been invited to attend one of three meetings under the heading of 'Building for the future', Wanderers Financial Director Rod Tomlin has expanded on this topic via the Club Matchday programme vs Blackpool on Saturday 17th January with the suggestion that the Board want to bring in around 1.5m of free capital.
Club Chairman Ivor Beeks said in the invitation letter dated 13th January 2004 "We are considering a number of options for the future and believe it would be right to involve you in this debate." The meetings are due to take place on Tue 27th Jan, Wed 28th Jan and Mon 2nd Feb with an intention from the club "to explain our current thought process and to help move this debate forward in a constructive way." It's understood that the meeting will announce to members the latest intentions to bring in outside 'investors' to the Club.
Wanderers' Financial Director Rod Tomlin expanded on these ideas in the Club Matchday, commenting "We have been losing money on a regular basis and it is a matter of record that we introduced a wage deferment scheme at the beginning of the season. So there is plenty of evidence here to show how difficult it can be to manage cash flow at a Football League Club. We do not suffer from extremes in terms of player wages and other cost structures. Similarly we do not benefit from highly lucrative sponsorship deals but we do depend on a fair share of central sponsorship from the League. We're in the middle of the pack with a good balance sheet, a not unreasonable level of debt and no unpaid bills. But it's still tough. We need to examine our navels, regroup and prepare ourselves properly for the next few years when I doubt the football business will really go through the metamorphosis that some predict. It would be fantastic if we could protect the integrity and the value of our current franchise yet attract the level of new investment badly needed to help fulfil the ambitions still fervently shared by the Directors, the management team and also our members and fans."
Tomlin's use of the word franchise to describe Wycombe Wanderers Football Club will raise concerns amongst Wanderers followers and comes at a time when the Board need to get their message across to members in clear and simple terms rather than the convoluted jargon that is popular in certain quarters.
Tomlin went on to talk about the options that the Board are considering, commenting "Some of them have implications for the present constitution of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. The plan has to be to raise new free capital around the 1.5m mark in a way which will encourage endorsement from all our stakeholders, members, loan note holders, sponsors, Supporters Clubs' members and fans. This means that if we move in that direction there will be transparency and effective communication at all levels. Mv own view is that we have to create the right conditions for investment, prepare the ground properly and ignore informed opinion from the various interest groups I have mentioned at our peril. How we portray the business looking forward over the next few years is a very important ingredient. It isn't necessarily about healthy profits so as to attract investors looking for a return, nice though this would be; it's more about running a thriving business that people want to be a part of."

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