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GREGORY COMPLETES LOAN SIGNING
Former QPR and Swindon defender David Kerslake made his debut for Wycombe on Saturday against Oldham after John Gregory completed a last minute loan signing. 31 year old Kerslake joins on a month's loan from First Division Ipswich Town and will be immediate cover for the suspended John Cornforth and Nicky Mohan. Kerslake was a Rangers youth player during Gregory's spell at Loftus Road - making 58 appearances before moving to Swindon Town in 1989 where he went on to make over 130 appearances. A short spell at Leeds United towards the end of the 1992/93 season was followed by a further move to Tottenham in September 1993 - both deals being close to 500,000 but after falling from first team favour at Spurs, Kirslake moved to Ipswich at the start of the present campaign.
CUP VICTORY AT SOUTHEND
A 43rd minute goal from Mark STALLARD set the Wanderers on their way to a 1-0 victory over Southend United in the 1st Round of the AutoWindscreens Shield at Roots Hall. The vital goal came after a Steve Brown shot was saved by United 'keeper Simon Boyce and the ball fell kindly to Wycombe's top scorer. Wycombe will travel to Fulham in the next round on Tuesday 13th January.
NEWS THIS WEEK ENDING 6th December 1997
Wycombe will be counting the cost of their FA Cup exit this weekend when they are without a fixture. The Wanderers could have been expected to pick up at least 30,000 from the gates receipts of a 2nd Round tie - money that is now lost forever. Chairman, Ivor Beeks, who last week gave John Gregory the dreaded vote of confidence has also been quoted in the local press as saying that the manager has no money to spend on players. Gregory, who has spent nearly 500,000 on players since his arrival 13 months ago, will be turning to a possible loan signing in time for the clash with Oldham Athletic on Saturday 13th December at Adams Park. John Cornforth and Nicky Mohan will both be suspended for the game that starts Wycombe's vital run of fixtures over the Christmas period.
Keith Scott has been diagnosed as being anaemic this week and is fighting to regain full fitness after being put on a course of iron tablets. Scott, who picked up an arm injury in mid October, has not showed his known form since he returned to side three weeks later but is now determined to show his critics that he means business. Scott scored in Wycombe's 2-0 victory over Milton Keynes in the Berks and Bucks cup on Wednesday evening - Paul Read got the other goal.
NEWS FROM WEEK ENDING 8th November 1997
Manager John Gregory has been fined 500 by the FA for comments made to referee Steve Bennett after the goalless home game with Preston in September. Gregory accused the official of "giving everything to the visitors in the last ten minutes". Gregory joked to the local press "I only said what 4,838 other people wanted to say. If they all give me 10 pence each it would get the fine paid off, otherwise I will have to get a part time job." The fine comes as Wycombe suffer suspensions to Steve Brown and 'keeper Martin Taylor. Wycombe's disciplinary record will be a major concern for Wycombe fans. The small squad cannot afford unnecessary suspensions - prime offender being Steve Brown who is current three match ban came as a result of an accumulation of bookings caused by petty challenges and backchatting to referees.
Wycombe had to appeal to the Football League to get Fulham to pay the next installment of Matt Lawrence's 20,000 transfer fee after he completed 20 games for the Cottagers. 'Sugar-Daddy' run Fulham were five weeks behind on a 5,000 payment according to Club Football Secretary John Reardon but paid within three days of the reminder. Fulham will pay the final installment if Lawrence makes 40 appearances.
Wycombe will also benefit to the tune of 12,500 after Miguel DeSouza made his 20th appearance for Peterborough. Posh originally paid half the agreed 50,000 fee with the rest coming on 20 and 40 appearances. The money will come in handy for Gregory should he decide to play John Cornforth again and thus incur a 15,000 payment to Birmingham City.
CORNFORTH TO STAY?
Welsh midfielder John Cornforth will be staying at Adams Park for the present time after talks with Third Division Swansea City last Friday morning broke down over wage demands. Wycombe had been reluctant to confirm the deal until pen had been put to paper but a fee of 40,000 had apparently been agreed. Cornforth joined Wycombe in December last season for a similar fee from Birmingham City having moved to City from Swansea during the 1995/96 season in a 350,000 deal. The ex-Welsh International was injured in his Wycombe debut against Walsall on Boxing Day 1996 and only returned to the side in March. He has since gone on to total 24 appearances and scored his first goals this season - including a great effort at Blackpool. Wycombe will pay a further 15,000 to Birmingham if Cornforth makes one more first team appearance for Wycombe. Cornforth didn't play in the 2-2 home draw with Luton.
Also on the transfer front, John Gregory has ruled out a permanent deal for Paul Bodin. Bodin is currently on a good wage at Reading and with Wycombe's tight budget does not fit into Gregory's plan for a younger looking squad.
AGM REPORT
A large gathering of the Club's shareholders attended Adams Park on Thursday and passed without major objection the Financial Statements from last season and also heard Chairman Ivor Beeks give his annual report. In his report, Beeks hinted at an Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders being called to discuss possible changes to the constitution of the Club and the current 'shareholders' being re-titled as Members. Manager John Gregory also addressed the 200 plus audience during a question and answer session after the AGM. Full report from the AGM available now.
AWAY FANS IN THE VALLEY END
Some Wycombe fans were furious that a number of Bristol Rovers fans were allowed relatively easy access to the Valley End terrace during Saturday's game at Adams Park. Stewards were verbally criticised and at least one Wycombe supporter was reported to have found their way to Chairman Ivor Beeks' seat in the Directors' area to voice their disgust.
The confrontation occured when the Hillbottom Road end, allocated for away fans and with a capacity of just over 1,000, was deemed full close to kick off. The Rovers fans then had the option to queue again for a 14 ticket and then queue yet again to enter the Main Stand area or walk to the opposite end of the ground and pay 9 on the gate with very little delay. A group of about 20 to 30 Rovers fans took the latter option (and who's to say Wycombe fans wouldn't have chosen the same method given a similar situation at an away ground?) Thankfully the episode passed off without serious trouble despite baiting by both sets of fans and no Police presence at the game. The Rovers fans were eventually moved into the Main Stand area but this took until half-time by which time many Wycombe fans, especially the younger children and women at the front, had already had their day spoilt.
This latest scene fuels the arguments against the pricing policy at Wycombe with regards to away fans. The lack of room for away fans following the seating of the Hillbottom Road end in the summer of 1996 has also compromised the safety of fans at the expense of blantant profiteering by Wycombe Wanderers FC Limited. Wycombe fans will remember similar chaotic scenes from the games with Fulham this season and Reading, Watford and Plymouth last year. Following Saturday's incident it's only a matter of time before there is a serious incident to report. It all very well the Club saying that more money is made when the away following is less than a 1,000 but for the occasions when demand exceeds this, the agravation and the need for all-ticket situations counteracts the financial advantage but more importantly, it is putting supporters at risk for no valid reason.
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