(first published October 2019 - reseached and edited by Paul Lewis - Chairboys on the Net - @GasManCOTN)

Part 7
June 2018 - May 2019
Back in League One - Investors seeked again

(Friday 27th July 2018)
There was surprise news for Wycombe followers on Friday afternoon (27th July 2018) when an unconfirmed news story broke that Luke O'Nien was set to sign for Sunderland. Wanderers confirmed the news later in day, with the deal expected to be completed over the weekend in a Club statement that also said: "With O’Nien’s contract due to expire next summer, the club have taken the decision to allow the 23-year-old to pursue his career at the Stadium of Light, joining the Black Cats for an undisclosed fee."
(Saturday 4th August 2018)
Wanderers kicked-off their 2018/19 Footballl League campaign with a 0-0 draw against Blackpool at Adams Park. Wycombe, who fielded no debutants for this first time on the opening day of the season for 19 seasons, had the majority of chances to take all three points. Adebayo Akinfenwa twice went close, while Michael Harriman's long range effort in the second period was tipped over by visiting 'keeper Mark Howard. Loanee Randell Williams was also denyed by Howard in the latter stages but Wycombe finished the game with ten men after Harriman was shown a second yellow card for a fairly tame midfield challenge on Nathan Delfouneso. Harriman will now serve a one match ban for the visit to Doncaster on Saturday 11th August 2018. The visitors hardly troubled Ryan Allsop in the Wycombe goal but came closest to scoring of either side when Chris Taylor's free-kick struck the Wycombe crossbar on 42 minutes.
(Wednesday 12th September 2018)
Wycombe Wanderers Trust members heard at a General Meeting on Wednesday 12th September 2018 that the Trust Board have been investigating options for bringing outside investment into the Football Club in order to reduce the risk associated with cash-flow problems throughout the season and help fix what was described as an ‘unstainable’ financial situation.
Trust proposals - COTN special report
(Tuesday 18th September 2018)
The Club announced on Tuesday 18th September 2018 that former Club Chairman Andrew Howard would be stepping down from his role on the Football Club board on 31st October 2018. Howard joined the Wanderers' Board in July 2014 and took over as Chairman shortly afterwards and oversaw a period when the Club recorded profits for consecutive seasons, as well as reaching the 2015 'League Two' Play-Off Final. The now 53 year old Beechdean Ice Cream founder stepped down as Chairman at the end of the 2016/17 campaign but took on the role of 'Sporting Director', where worked alongside Manager Gareth Ainsworth during the promotion winning season of 2017/18. Howard commented: "This is not a sudden decision; it was something I have been considering for some time but it was important that I gave my full support to Gareth and his staff during the summer transfer window to help them build the best possible squad for life in League One."
(Friday 28th September 2018)
A further shake-up behind the scenes at Adams Park was announced on Friday 28th September 2018 with the news that Football Club and Trust Finance Director Mark Burrell would be stepping down from his role as of 8th October 2018. Burrell was elected to the Trust Board in February 2015 and subsequently joined the Football Club Board in June 2015. As an unpaid volunteer he helped oversee three consecutive seasons of profit for the Football Club. However, at a General Meeting of the Trust on 12th September 2018, he revealed that the 2017/18 season would likely see a lost in the region of £693,000 and was part of a Trust Board that was proposing a partial sale of the currently Trust owned Football Club. Burrell commented to the official website: “I have given so much time and effort to work with others to change the Club and make significant progress towards off-field financial survival and stability. However, that work has come at a cost to my business and it is now right for others to take the Group finances and investment opportunities forward. I’m pleased to have played my part in delivering these opportunities at the recent Trust Members meeting and now others will take the plans forward as a team."
Trust meeting 12 September 2018 - COTN archive report
(Wednesday 31st October 2018)
Wycombe Wanderers Trust members have been invited to attend a meeting with potential investors Bill Luby and Jim Collis on Wednesday 7th November 2018 at Adams Park. An email to Trust Members said: "Your Trust Board has decided that the best route for securing the financial future of the Club is to move to a position where external investors own a majority of the shares." The plan is allow Luby and Collis a majority stake in the Football Club but this would require a 75% majority approval from all Legacy Members.
Read full details at
(Wednesday 7th November 2018)
Wycombe Wanderers Trust members heard from potential investors Bill Luby and Jim Collis at an informal meeting at Adams Park on Wednesday 7th November 2018. The Americans confirmed their interest in aquiring a majority stake in the Football Club. Club Chairman Trevor Stroud also revealed at the outset of the meeting that the duo had already loaned the Club £500,000 in order to overcome cashflow problems at the current stage of the season. Any majority stake in the Football Club would require a 75% majority approval from all Legacy Members. The AGM of the Trust will take place on Thursday 29th November 2018.
(Monday 19th November 2018)
Confirmation of a loan to the Football Club of up to £500,000 has been confirmed by a filing at Companies House on Monday 19th November 2018. The loan is from potential 'investors' Bill Luby and Jim Collis who have been in talk with Trust officials for several months in aquiring a majority stake in the Football Club. The Trust AGM is scheduled for 29th November 2018.
View and download PDF from Companies House
(Thursday 29th November 2018)
The AGM of Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Trust took place at Adams Park on Thursday 29th November 2018, with around 170 members present and close to 200 more watching via a live 'members only' stream. The meeting confirmed the resignation of Mark Burrell and John Bignell from the current Trust Board and with only two new names seeking election to the Board, they were replaced by Bob Massie and Peter Lerner. Current Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud and Director Nigel Kingston stood down by rotation but offered themselves for re-election without the need for a ballot. The subject of outside investment in the Football Club was stressed as a priority again. with Stroud commenting: "The reality of finances for a Fans owned Club has dominated the Trust Board agendas over the last 12 months, well in reality the last 6 years since we took ownership." He added "What is clear is we identified that the majority of League 1 & 2 Clubs lose around £600k per year before “football fortune”, and we are no exception." A meeting of Trust Legacy Members was provisionally arranged for 14th January 2019, where Bill Luby and Jim Collis would present their proposals in more detail. Stroud stated the importance of the current 675 Legacy Member making a choice and "not letting apathy determine the outcome of the vote."
View and download AGM minutes
View and download AGM presentation
(Thursday 3rd January 2019)
COTN understands that the Trust Special General Meeting, provisionally scheduled for 14th January 2019, has been postponed. This is assumed as the Trust are required to give 14 days notice of meetings as detailed in their rules. "Notice of a general meeting is to be given either: in writing; or where a member has agreed to receive notice in this way, by such electronic means as the Trust Board shall decide at least 14 clear days before the date of the meeting." At time of this news item there has been no further formal communication to members since the AGM held on 29th November 2018.
(Monday 7th January 2019)
As expected Wycombe Wanderers Trust have now confirmed that the Special General Meeting, provisionally scheduled for 14th January 2019, has been postponed. An email notice sent to members on Monday 7th January 2019 also confirmed that a new date of Monday 28th January 2019 had been set at The Hub (Wycombe Baptist Church), Easton Street, High Wycombe. The notice explained: "The purpose of the meeting is to present to members the proposal for investment into the Club, by Jim Collis and Bill Luby." Voting for the proposals are set to open at the end of the meeting and then for a three week period, culminating in a second meeting and a declaration of the result. Commenting on the proposals, Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud added: "As we are talking about selling a majority stake in the Club, 75% of the 810 Legacy Members have to vote in favour. The important message is a non-vote is a no vote and it would be criminal if apathy decided the future of our Football Club." Read full details at
(Wednesday 9th January 2019)
A loan charge against Adams Park was filed at Companies House on Wednesday 9th January 2019 as security for the loan facility provided by potential 'investors' Bill Luby and Jim Collis. A loan of 'up to £500,000' was provided by Luby and Collis following talks with Trust officials and filed at Companies House on 19th November 2018. The charge is lodged with Frank Adams Legacy Limited - the subsidiary company set-up in order to protect the ownership of the ground.
View and download PDF of Charge from Companies House
Filing history of Frank Adams Legacy Limited at Companies House
(Monday 21st January 2019)
Wanderers supporters were invited (via social media and other internet outlets on Monday 21st January 2019) to an alternative investment by former player Andy Harman. The open to anybody forum is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 23rd January 2019 at the Holiday Inn, Handy Cross, High Wycombe at 7pm. Several ex-players are expected to attend and the meeting will last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Harman, now 56 years-old, made 90 First Team appearances for Wanderers from the 1981/82 season through to the end of the 1985/86 season, having signed for Wycombe as a youngster from Holmer Green.
(Monday 21st January 2019)
The Trust responded to the news of the alternative investment bid from Andy Harman by issuing an update to members at around 6pm on Monday 21st January 2019. The updated promised to share details of the bid from Bill Luby and Jim Collis later in the week and ahead of their planned attendance at the meeting on Monday 28th January 2019. Regarding the alternative bid, a statement from Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud said: "We acknowledge that one interested party has called a meeting to present directly to supporters. To date we have received an outline proposal from the party in question, but no formal bid. We have always declared that we have been in discussions with more than one interested party and I can only reiterate that Bill and Jim’s proposal remains the recommended route forward for the Trust board. We will never close the door on any potential interest until such point that our negotiations with Bill and Jim reach a conclusion, but theirs is the best deal for the Club in the view of the Trust board."
Read full details at
(Thursday 24th January 2019)
Around 150 people attended a meeting on the evening of Wednesday 23rd January 2019 to hear proposals by former Wanderers player Andy Harman for his investment in Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. Harman presented an articulate proposal that suggested investing £3m over a 5 year period - £2m would be ear-marked the Club and £1m into setting-up and developing an independent Academy with links to WWFC.
Read meeting summary on
(Friday 25th January 2019)
Trust members were informed via email on Friday 25th January 2019 that The Legacy Members meeting on Monday 28th January will now NOT involve the American bidders due to Trust Board coming to terms with the Andy Harman proposal. The Trust commented: "Following the announcement of the [28th January meeting] we were approached by an ex-player with an outline proposal of an alternative option. Throughout this process we have tried to be fair and find the best route forward for our Football Club. The Trust Board, in conjunction with [Bill Luby and Jim Collis], have therefore decided to postpone the voting process to allow time for Mr Harman to present a formal proposal to the Trust Board, allowing them to consider both proposals and then make a recommendation to members of the preferred option."
(Monday 28th January 2019)
Trust members crowded the Union Baptist Church in High Wycombe Town Centre on Monday 28th January 2019 to hear the latest updates on the proposals to bring outside 'investment' to the Club. The meeting, which was also streamed live via social media to Trust members, explained the timeline of events leading to the meeting, including the most recent addition of a proposal by former player Andy Harman. The controversy over a charge being lodged against Adams Park was also addressed during a sometimes heated debate. Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud re-stated his position by saying: "It is an honour to be Chairman of your Trust and Football Club. Everything I and the Trust Board do is what we consider to be right for the Football Club." He added: "No Trust or Club Director stands to gain financially if Bill Luby and Jim Collis are successful [with their proposal]". A decision on the route to take after the Harman bid is now expected by the end of February 2019.
Read meeting summary on
(Wednesday 6th February 2019)
The Trust have updated members again on the investment proposals for the Football Club. An email sent to members on Wednesday 6th February 2019 stated: "The new agreed timeline is that Mr Harman will submit his formal offer in the week commencing 4th March, including a meeting with the Trust Board to present his offer in detail. The Trust Board will then consider his offer alongside that of Mr Luby and Mr Collis, and call a Legacy Members meeting to update them on the situation as it stands. Further details of this meeting will be communicated in due course. It is very much the Trust’s intention to hold this as soon as possible after their meeting with Andrew Harman."
Read full statement at
(Thursday 14th March 2019)
More confusion was added to the investment proposal mix on Thurdsay 14th March 2019 when Andy Harman revealed through social media that he had reluctantly decided to withdraw his bid for a stake in Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. Harman claimed that during a Trust Board meeting on Monday (11th March 2019), that 'valuable information relating to my proposal had not been available.' The Trust responsed shortly afterwards with a statement that included: "The [Trust Board] assessed in great detail two offers of investment, one from Bill Luby and Jim Collis seeking a majority shareholding, and one from Andrew Harman seeking an initial minority shareholding increasing to a majority holding in two years. Trust directors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the offer made by Bill Luby and Jim Collis, and will call a meeting of Legacy Members in due course to present the details of the bid and initiate a voting period for Members to determine whether or not the offer should be accepted." Read full statement at
(Thursday 21st March 2019)
Trust members were informed on Thursday 21st March 2019 that potential investors Bill Luby and Jim Collis will be flying in to the UK on Tuesday 9th April 2019, in time for the home Charlton game, and will be available for informal discussions in the bar areas both pre and post-match. The duo then plan to make a formal proposal to Legacy Members on Wednesday 10th April 2019, in the Union Baptist Church Conference Centre (known as the Hub), Easton Street, High Wycombe, starting at 7.30pm. Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud, in an email to members, also said: "I am keen to move things forward, particularly as we cannot plan for next season until we know the outcome of the vote." He added: "This decision process is the most important in the Club’s recent history, and as such I ask for the decision to be based on actual votes. Please remember that a non-vote is a no vote, so please don’t let apathy decide the future of our Football Club."
(Sunday 7th April 2019)
The rapidly evolving farce surrounding the latest investment plans for the Football Club took on another level of confusion after Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud confirmed to members via email that the planned visit of Bill Luby and Jim Collis for a meeting on Wednesday 10th April 2019 had been cancelled. Stroud added: "I am sure you will feel as frustrated as I do at this further delay in the voting process, and I will advise as soon as possible of the revised date. I have called a Trust board meeting for Wednesday evening and a further update will be issued on Thursday (11th April 2019). Please accept my apologies and I will ensure you are kept up to speed with developments."
(Thursday 11th April 2019)
It was revealed on Thursday (11th April 2019) that Wycombe Wanderers Trust discussions with Bill Luby and Jim Collis regarding potential investment into the Football Club came to an end. A lengthy email to members said: “This news has come out of the blue for us, but we respect the position of Bill and Jim and appreciate their honesty and above all, their desire to see the best possible outcome for the club." The statement added: "They now feel that they may not be able to devote as much time to the club as they had originally envisaged, and have taken the decision to withdraw their offer."
Regarding the loan already in place from Luby and Collis, the pair said: "Our loan to the club provided the working capital required to operate this season. We would have never made this loan if we weren’t fully intending to complete our investment. We know that the club doesn’t currently have the capital to repay us. We have therefore offered to move the maturity of the loan to the end of 2019 and have deferred 100% of the interest until that date."
Read full statement at
(Saturday 4th May 2019)
Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud informed members via email on the morning of Saturday 4th May 2019 his thoughts on the next steps to improve the financial situation at the Club. He said: "It has been no secret that to be competitive in the Football League, we need external investment to give us a platform to stabilise the Club financially, and start on a new 5 year journey. We thought we had found the right partners in Jim Collis and Bill Luby, but that was not to be, and therefore we continue our search to find the right partners. We have talks taking place with a number of interested parties, and as soon as there is tangible news, I will call a meeting of Trust members, to update them on our plans." He added: "Although we have significant financial pressures, we will not be rushed into a decision that partners us with someone who does not understand the values and history of our Club."
(Saturday 4th May 2019)
A Joe Jacobson goal direct from a corner on 75 minutes was enough to see Wanderers finish the season on a high with 1-0 victory over Fleetwood Town at Adams Park. The three points meant that Gareth Ainsworth side finished in 17th spot in the third tier of English football, with 53 points. It was the highest final League placing for Wanderers for 17 years (2001/2002) when a Wycombe side under Manager Lawrie Sanchez finished in 11th place with 64 points.
The final whistle gave the opportunity for Wanderers fans to show their appreciation to the players and staff for their efforts over the season and to some players who may have played their final game in a Wycombe shirt. For Gareth Ainsworth, decisions on contract renewals are first on the agenda, plus time to reflect on a season of two halves, going from a potential top half side in January, to one clawing their way to survival with a week of the season remaining. It will be an experience that will hopefull prove beneficial for all concerned for season 2019/20 and beyond.
(Wednesday 8th May 2019)
Club and Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud announced that Gareth Ainsworth would operate under a reduced player budget for the 2019/20 season. In a statement on the official website, Stroud said: "While we remain in talks with a number of interested parties, we have not yet been able to secure the funding that we had hoped and simply cannot gamble the club’s future by maintaining a playing budget that we are unable to afford. We are all aware of the pros and cons that come with supporter ownership, and the limitations that it places on us, and I hope that at the same time as celebrating our recent successes, the fans can appreciate the reality of our situation and that we must cut our cloth accordingly. There are too many stories across the country where clubs are finding themselves in real trouble due to the financial pressures and it’s imperative that we avoid falling into the same situations." The news came on the same day that six players were released, Stroud adding: “It is regrettable that we have had to place Gareth and his staff in the difficult position of preparing the squad for next season on a greatly reduced budget, and having to part ways with some fantastic servants of this club over the past few years."
(Monday 17th June 2019)
Wycombe Wanderers should benefit from a sell fee from Wolverhampton Wanderers after Aston Villa confirmed the permanent signing of former Chairboy Kortney Hause from the Molineux club. Hause, now 24-years-old, joined Wolves from Wycombe in the January 2014 transfer window for a fee believed to be in the region of £200,000. Reports at the time also indicated that a sell-on clause was included - with the expected figure to be around 20% of any profit from future sales by Wolves. The transfer fee received by Wolves is reported as being in the region of £3m - leaving Wycombe with an expected windfall of around £560,000.
Kortney Hause - Player Profile
(Tuesday 2nd July 2019)
The Trust revealed on Tuesday (2nd July 2019) that they were in “advanced discussions with American sports team owner Rob Couhig in relation to Mr Couhig becoming a shareholder of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.” The news follows the collapse of discussions with Bill Luby and Jim Collis in April 2019 following more than six months of discussions with the US duo. The Trust plan to hold a meeting of all members at Adams Park on Thursday 11th July to discuss the latest proposals and will send out invitations in due course.
Read full statement at
(Thursday 11th July 2019)
More than 200 members of Wycombe Wanderers Trust attended the meeting at Adams Park on Thursday 11th July 2019 to introduce potential new shareholder Rob Couhig, along with football consultant Mark Palmer and financial consultant Peter Couhig. The meeting revealed that the Trust had already agreed a 'short-term', interest free and unsecured loan with Rob Couhig to help the Club with cash flow problems. The loan has meant the 2018/19 playing budget has been re-instated for the 2019/20 season. A vote by Legacy Members is likely to take place within the next six to nine months to approve the proposed 75% shareholding deal. Since the meeting, the Trust have made available the slides shown at the meeting (see link below).
Download PDF of slide presentation via
View meeting notes and other updates via

Part 8
July 2019 until December 2019
New Investors given the go-ahead

See news archive for the continuing story

Earlier installments

Part 1
April 2012 until July 2013
A hectic first season in charge for the Trust

Part 2
April 2012 until July 2013
Summer of 2013 through to survival day at Torquay

Part 3
June 2014 until May 2015
Roller-coaster season - heart-ache at Wembley

Part 4
June 2014 until May 2015
The one where we played Aston Villa in the FA Cup

Part 5
June 2016 until May 2017
The one where we Wycombe should have beaten Spurs

Part 6
June 2017 until May 2018
Promotion season - Mind the Gape

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