|CLUB SALE UPDATE
(Monday 12th May 2014)
Trust members heard on Saturday 10th May 2014 that negotiations to sell off Wycombe Wanderers Football Club have hit a brick wall dispite Football League status being secured in the game at Torquay the previous weekend.
Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud said in an email to members on the morning of 10th May 2014, "Following last Saturdayís success at Torquay, the focus this week has returned to securing the Clubís finances and planning for the future.
Prior to last weekend, we had narrowed the three potential purchasers of the Club down to one and, having secured our Football League status, we expected to make significant progress with that party this week. Disappointingly, this hasnít proved possible and although some further interested parties made contact during this week, it now looks unlikely we will be able to progress a sale of a majority stake in the Club. We understand this is frustrating for you, our members; it is also for us, having spent a huge amount of time on this and incurred costs along the way.
What is more likely to happen now is one or more of our supporters will invest slightly larger amounts through the Share Scheme, thereby providing a cash boost whilst allowing our Club to continue to be supporter owned.
This does mean our Share Scheme, where we are targeting to raise £2M over five years, will be the route to providing the required working capital and securing the Clubís long term future."
The 'Share Scheme', first explained to members at a meeting 18th February 2014, has now received pledges totalling close to £400,000. Supporters, who have yet to pledge, are being urged to consider. Details are available on the Wycombe Wanderers Trust website
Any sale of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club would require 75% of 'Legacy Members' to vote in favour of a such a deal. The deal would involve selling a controlling interest in the Football Club, while the freehold of Adams Park would remain under the ownership of the subsidiary company Frank Adams Legacy Limited (FALL). Other issues surround a relatively high interest loan of around £450,000 made by the 'Chairboys Funder' group, plus the possible option to buy back the previously sold Training Ground facility in Booker.
A further email, sent during the afternoon of 10th May 2014 by Trust Secretary Colin Treacher, attempted to clarify the situation, particularly in relation to comments made by Football Club Chairman Don Woodward at an end of season presentation held at Adams Park the previous evening. Woodward had not hinted any deal had fallen through but suggested that two parties remained interested. The email confirmed this but added "These are now supporters who may invest through the Share Scheme, rather than make an outright bid for a majority stake in the Club". Treacher went on to say, "There have been as many as nine interested parties in total and the situation changed every day this week. The significant developments were that the bidder who we believed would become serious after Torquay decided to look elsewhere, and the original bidder (whose interest led to all the previous announcements and the membersí meeting) reduced their offer and we are no longer considering them. That development was only finalised last night."
Chairboys on the Net understands that the original bidder involved a consortium that included former Watford, AC Milan and England International Luther Blisset. Meanwhile, the bidder the Club hoped would firm up details following Wanderers' great escape at Torquay is understood to include former Italian international Marco Tardelli. It's believed that the latter group have now moved their attentions to a Championship club.
News is now awaited on the logistics of the two parties who would like to 'invest slightly larger amounts through the Share Scheme'. This comes at a time when playing budgets for next season are being set but also come on the back of Wanderers' Football League survival which prevented an estimated downturn in income of between £400,000 and £1,000,000.
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