|CLUB SALE UPDATE
(Friday 4th April 2014)
The proposals to sell off Wycombe Wanderers Football Club looks to be on hold until the Club's league status for next season is confirmed. An email sent to Trust members on Thursday 3rd April followed by reports in the press confirmed the news and also added that players bonuses had been delayed due to a cash flow problem.
An email sent to Trust members on Thursday 3rd April 2014 said, "Although we continue to have discussions with interested parties, real progress is now unlikely until our league status for next season is confirmed. We appreciate this is frustrating and we will inform [members] as soon as there are any developments. The longer these delays continue, the more likely the Community Share Scheme will be the route forward." Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud also commented to the local press, "Almost £200,000 has been pledged in one month and we are extending the share issue to April 30.The response has been very encouraging and we hope it will continue.”
Reports in the Bucks Free Press the following day (4th April 2014) claimed that a consortium 'led by former players who want to bring back Wanderers’ youth academy are now the front runners in a threeway shootout for a 75 per cent stake in the club.' Talks with two further interested parties have taken place since the original interest was made public in February 2014. Once again, no names have been mentioned but Football Club Chairman Don Woodward was quoted in the BFP as saying, "They are not experienced in ownership but in a playing and managing sense, yes they have been involved in football before. The thing that excites me is their devotion to youth, which suggests they are there for the long run. They are based in London, have relationships with a lot of other clubs and they’ve said, ‘Your youth development was one of the best in the country and it needs re-establishing’. There’s an awful lot of our players who have gone on to show what they can achieve at a higher level. Financially we had to let them go but we can change that and maybe keep them and go up the leagues. These people have the depth of funding for that.”
Commenting on the original bidders, Woodward added "They have had a long time to get their act together. They seem to be least likely at the moment.". While Stroud said, "I wouldn’t say they are completely off the table. Discussions are still going on. We are still in contact with all three – no avenue has been closed."
The current financial uncertainty at the Club was confirmed through another revelation the same day (4th April 2014) that the players' bonus payments had been delayed following the 1-1 draw at Scunthorpe on Saturday 29th March. Striker Steven Craig was quoted in the press as saying, "The club’s in a bit of turmoil just now. It’s a hard time for us. We are down the bottom of the league and unsure if we’re going to get wages on time. It’s hard but the boys are really galvanised together. We’re guaranteed our wages on Monday, it’s other things like our bonus money. The club’s struggling for whatever reason but that’s out of our control. All that [Gareth Ainsworth], [Richard Dobson], [Barry Richardson] and myself can do is keep putting in performances like that." Club Chairman Don Woodward confirmed the problem but added "We should have had a lot more cash in, either from the buyer or the share issue. One of the buyers said they were paying in, but the money didn’t arrive. Money is coming in but it was in the wrong place – it was going to the Trust, rather than the club. Either the buy-out is happening or the share issue is happening – then we will have plenty of cash. It’s absolutely a one-off. We need our team to be happy so it’s absolutely right we’ll get it sorted. There isn’t a long termissue, it was a short-term issue which will be resolved."
Visit the Wycombe Wanderers Trust website for more information on the Community Share Scheme.
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