(Friday 29th April 2005)
Steve Hayes (left) with Founders' Trust Board rep Ian Mather prior to the free game with Chester CityWanderers' Director Steve Hayes will become the Club's first Managing Director. Hayes, Chief Executive with Club sponsors loans.co.uk, has been the main motivator behind the scenes since the conversion to a plc in August 2004. He will take on the role of controlling the day to day operations at the Club but will leave Ivor Beeks acting as Chairman of the Club.
Senior staff at the Club were informed of the decision in a morning meeting on Thursday (28th April) and an official announcement followed from the Club later in the day. An informal gathering of selected shareholders in the Club were also called together in the evening where the news was repeated.
Ivor Beeks, who first joined the Club as Director in the summer of 1986 before becoming Chairman two years later, says he is happy to let Hayes take the upper hand and believes now is the right time for change. He commented to the press "It is a great day for the Club. We have got someone with bags of energy and loads of enthusiasm and above all, like me, he has got the best interests of the Club at heart. His enthusiasm excites me and he is in a hurry."
43 year old Hayes, along with Ivor Beeks and Brian Kane, became the first Directors of the new company and are understood to each hold approx 25% of the estimated 1m share capital within the new set-up. A 25% restriction on individual shareholders prevents them investing more unless further major investors can be found. Hayes believes that these new investors can be found but believes that the infrastructure of the Club needs to be vastly improved in order to provide the attraction to the necessary people. Steve Hayes' role as MD will be part time and the Club will seek a full time Operations Manager. In a later statement of the Club's official website, Hayes commented "This is a very high profile position and it won't be me who takes it. We need a full time Operations Manager and I've made it quite clear that I'm not going to be full time. Instead I am seeking someone of a high quality and I encourage as many people to apply to the Club". It's a key job and I want just the right person to do it."
Beeks, 20 years the senior, seems fairly confident that Hayes is the right man for the job, adding to the press, "When Brian Lee brought me in it was to make a difference and I think I've done that. But you can get stale and think all the things you are doing are right. We've got a young person now who's been successful in his own buisness and someone who I believe can take us to the next step. These are exciting times for the Football Club."
Hayes has previously admitted in seeing the task at Wycombe as a "challenge" and the MD role appears to be a direct route in instigating the operational changes he feels need to take place. The news of the appointment comes in the same week that Hayes' company loans.co.uk signed a two year extension to their Club Sponsors deal with the Wanderers. Hayes has deliberately taken a back seat on negotiations but Wanderers General Manager John Harrison commented to the 'Wanderers World' service "Steve is first and foremost a Wycombe Wanderers supporter. He's been interested in the Club for the last 12 or 13 years and it can only mean good for the Club going forward. Loans.co.uk are a very pro-active firm and since we've converted to a plc they have been very helpful to us, not only in their current sponsorship deal but basically in our ambitions to become probably the best run Football Club in the Country."

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