|WAGE DEFERRAL AGREED
(Moday 11th August 2003 - revised Tuesday 12th August 2003)
The Club issued a statement on Monday 11th August 2003 revealing that they had agreed a wage deferral scheme for both players and Club staff. The agreement with the players comes after consulation with the PFA and a scrutinisation of the Club's accounts by the Football Association.
The press statement explains "Over the last few months, Wycombe Wanderers has been preparing the ground to ensure that the Club can fulfil all its commitments during the coming season in a way that will ensure and protect financial stability in the longer term. The Club has said it has to live within its means; tapping into surplus cash or borrowing more money are no longer options."
The statement includes a lengthy piece issued by the Board of Directors at Wycombe Wanderers that concludes by saying "At Wycombe Wanderers we are proud of our heritage and, opened up to scrutiny from the Football Association, we have received a clean bill of health and a number of accolades for our stewardship of the business. However, our planning for 2003/04 and beyond indicates that costs will run, at least in the short-term, significantly above our predicted levels of income. This is unsustainable if we wish to protect the size and shape of our balance sheet and the investment of our members. It would be wholly irresponsible to risk damaging a very sound business free of unrequited debt by trading into a somewhat unpredictable future for football at a loss and we have no intention of doing so. Hence we have set in train a process designed to pull down costs to a more realistic level as part of a commitment to ensuring the business operates within the means available to it and in an entirely prudent manner."
"We are enthusiastic about the longer term prospects for the business and we believe it is imperative that we maintain a strong platform from which to launch future development in a number of directions, always with a firm focus on the ambition of achieving higher status within the Football League."
Club Chairman Ivor Beeks also commented via the Press release issued on the Club's Official website "We are solvent, we are able to meet all our regular commitments and we are not about to go into administration. We are simply putting our house in order in relation to the demands of future cash flow. We believe we are doing this in a responsible manner. There are a number of sensitivities to be taken into account on an exercise like this. The fact that everyone has agreed to pull together as one team is testimony to their loyalty and commitment and their determination to deliver the results we need, both on and off the field ."
In the press statement Lawrie Sanchez adds "I know it has been difficult to bite the bullet on this one but I recognise that if there is a significant hole in the budget, it has to be filled. Yes, I would like more resources to work with rather than see them pulled back but we are a healthy club and I think this year will prove to be something of a watershed for many aspects of the football business. We can benefit from this and turn short-term pain into long-term gain. I guess some people will now start to realise that Wycombe has not been immune to the problems affecting many other football clubs in the present climate and that some of the decisions made by the Club recently have been made for justifiable reasons. We have now gone through some of the pain and come out eager and committed to do well during the season ahead of us. This includes all the players and the management team and we want the fans behind us."
Since the above statements were issued by the Club, local press reports suggest that the wage deferral will be for 12 months and will only affect the club’s top earners. The Bucks Free Press Midweek claims that the deal will only affect the players at the top end of the wage scale, although apparently all the players had to vote on the issue. The pay deferral is thought to represent 10% of basic wages and bonuses are not affected. The report goes on to add that the top earners among the Club’s backroom staff have also agreed to waive part of their wages for a year. Based on the wage bills for recent seasons a 10% deferral for 12 months would reduce the outgoings by around £200,000.
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