PLEA FOR 'BUMS ON SEATS'
(Thursday 21st October 2004)
Tony Adams on the cover Blues News Wanderers PLC Chairman Ivor Beeks has rubbished suggestions that money is 'pouring in' as a result of the share issue scheme. He then pleaded, along with his fellow directors, for supporters to bring a friend to games to help improve income for the Football Club.
The Chairman was questioned at the Fans Forum on Thursday 14th October and responded to the claim by commenting "You say it's pouring in. You've obviously seen something that I haven't. Albeit to say that the first transfer of money that we had to get in order to satisfy the Court was to get to 500,000 of new money. We have satisfied that. We are now actively pursuing the next part which is the next 500,000. How far we will get down that road, I'm not sure at this moment in time."
The Chairman was also asked for a prediction on when the Manager would see some sort of benefit from the new money coming in. The Chairman wouldn't commit himself but added "What we have to do is to be very prudent and make sure we live within our means which is something which became very clear to us when we were going through the reconstruction. That is what we are trying to do. Hopefully we will have some left over, that was always the aim. At this moment in time, we are still trying to get to the next stage."
Meanwhile new PLC Director Steve Hayes looks set to become involved in the workings of ideas to bring in new support. He will consult with interim Founders Trust representative Ian Mather on this matter and Mr Hayes commented "We are quite looking forward to having somebody on the Board to represent the Supporters because I think it's something that when I came to a forum before I was on the Board, it was something that you were crying out for. You weren't getting representation and weren't getting communicated to. So therefore it's really your opportunity to put everything through Ian or his successor because we do want to get 'bums on seats' "
Mr Hayes, who is the CEO of Club Sponsors loans.co.uk, is also working with new General Manager John Harrison on improving the matchday experience at Adams Park and sees hsi new role at Wycombe as a challenge, adding "There's no way I want to be associated to a Club that doesn't give good service to its customer and you are the customers. Customer service is something that is very easily said by companies but not many companies do it very well. I think it's fair to say that Wycombe need to step up to the mark." Mr Hayes went on to say that he hoped fans would work through the fans rep to get their point across to the Board and he also sees the fans role as vital in attracting more people to the ground, commenting "I think it's quite funny when Tony looks to Ivor and the Board whether we are going to bring players in but in fact he should be looking out to you and he should be looking out to the spaces who are not sitting in the crowd. I would love to give him 500,000 a year budget. If we could get 8,000 people in here every week that we are playing, then clearly that makes a difference."
Ivor Beeks restated the case to try and get more people to attend games by adding "I think we are about 4,500/4,600 fans on average at the moment. If we could increase that by 1,000 or 1,500 then we could actually put more money in the kitty irrespective if we get the fortune that the gentleman said we were going to get from the rest of the new share holding. We are intent on trying to get more 'bums on seats'" The Chairman referred back to what Steve Hayes had said before concluding "We are going to listen perhaps to what you have got to say to see if we can get more people in here. It really is the easiest way to try and increase things if we get more 'bums on seats'. And we may be looking at a pricing structure trying to do something during the course of the year. Could I ask you to perhaps bring a friend, bring your wife, bring your girlfriend, bring your partner. Just come down and then hopefully Tony can turn it on, on the pitch and they will want to bring somebody else."
The comments came as Wanderers stood with an average home attendance in League Two of just under 5,000 prior to the visit of Rushden on Tuesday 19th October. Leading averages in League Two prior to the weekend were Bristol Rovers (8,275), Swansea City (7,690), Northampton (5,942), Grimsby (5,452), Yeovil (5,436), Notts County (5,112) followed by Wycombe (4,952). Last season (2003/4) Wanderers averaged a home League attendance of 5,291. Previously 2002/3 recorded 5,982 and the high since joining the Football League was achieved post FA Cup Semi-Final in 2001/2 when the average was 6,703.


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