September 1998 News Archive
CLUB SHOW PROFIT FOR 1997/98(28 September 1998)
The Financial Statements released by the Club this week show a "small profit" - the first since Wycombe gained promotion to Division Two in season 1994/95. In a statement to the Club's 450 Members, Financial Director Graham Peart pointed out "the wage inflation for senior players is making progress difficult and the need for the Youth Team to produce quality young players has never been greater.". A net profit of over 47,000 from transfer fees in season 1997/98 compared to a loss of 450,000 the previous season was the main factor in the Club showing a retained profit of just over 45,000 compared to a deficit of 386,000 in 1996/97. The reported 100,000 compensation received from Aston Villa also help bail the Club out in another difficult season on and off the pitch.
The statements are to be approved by Members at the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 21st October. Peart warned "It is a dangerous time for lower division football clubs as there is temptation to chase success on the field by making significant investments in players with the hope of increased future income which will cover the outlay." He added "This rarely produces the deserved financial results as history shows. This Club will continue with the policy of using limited resources to produce the most effective team".
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After yet another home League defeat, the Club have taken a loan thought to worth around 200,000 in order for Neil Smillie to tempt new players to the Club. Smillie had hoped to bring in at least one new face for the trip to Colchester on Saturday but ran out of time. Earlier in the week an attempt to bring Reading midfielder Phil Parkinson to Adams Park failed when Reading pulled out at the last minute. Reading even refused a loan deal as they also attempt to climb away from the foot of the table. Other players have been in talks with Smillie include 33 year old Wolves Midfielder Michael Gilkes and 27 year old Steve Torpey currently with Bristol City and formerly at Swansea.
Mark Westhead has been offered a one year extension to his current one year deal after impressing in his first two games for the Club. Westhead came in an Burnley when Martin Taylor pulled out injured and continued the good work in the First Leg game at Middlesbrough. Smillie choose to bring back Taylor for the game with Bournemouth but was impressed enough to offer a longer deal.
Keith Scott could be playing in next Wednesday's (30th September) reserve game against Chelsea at Adams Park - kick-off 7.45pm. Scotty hasn't played since dislocating an elbow in the League game at Millwall but will begin training on Monday with the First Team.
Former Wycombe stick man Paul Hyde has been forced to retire from the professional game after failing to recover from the broken leg he received last January while playing for Leyton Orient against Exeter City. Hydey has been unable to train at Brisbane Road but may return to the semi-professional game. Leyton Orient hope to arrange a testimonial for the 35 year old who made close to 50 appearances for the O's and nearly 250 in a five year spell at Wycombe.

MEMBERSHIP OPEN AGAIN(20 September 1998)
After the controversy surrounding the recent EGM and the Club's attempt to change the constitution of the Company, Club Secretary Gordon Richards is now accepting applications for membership of the Company. With approx 40 places left to fill up to the current maximum of 500, potential members will have to act fast. For more info follow this link.
The announcement comes a month before the Club's Annual General Meeting on Thursday 22nd October. Current members will receive their notice of the meeting shortly which will include details of the financial situation at the Club. At last years AGM Financial Director Graham Peart pointed out that the Club had lost money for three consecutive seasons and firmly stated that "This season (1997/98) the same story cannot be repeated or we will lose our much admired and very much appreciated stabilty and independence" Peart added that the Club should show a "modest surplus" for the 1997/98 season. Since the AGM John Gregory has departed and despite the "six-figure" compensation fee received from Aston Villa, the Club have constantly said there is very little money to spend. The situation is a mystery to most Wycombe fans who have seen the Club fall from being a finanacially stable club to one that has seen endless players arrive for large fees but leave for very little. Some fans feel that the club lacks a football orientated financial expert and that many of the players contracts are crippling the club financially. Neil Smillie has been left to pick up the pieces after the previous two Managers were left to arrange players contracts that are thought to be worth in excess of 1,500 per week.
This is clearly the most difficult time for Chairman Ivor Beeks since he became Chairman in 1988. In those ten years Wycombe have risen from a run-of-the-mill Conference side to an established Football League side. The move to Adams Park came in 1990 and with the addition of the Woodlands Stand in 1996 the ground has the potential for Division One status. However, running costs have gradually risen. In 1988 payments to players ammounted to just over 110,000 for the previous season. Ten years later that figure is now close to 1million. This season could be a corner stone for the Club with the AGM the focal point of the way forward.
Good news for Wycombe fans prior to the game with Boro was that Paul Emblen has signed permantly for Wycombe in a deal reported to be worth 60,000. 21 year old Emblen joined Charlton in the summer of 1997 from non-League Tonbridge Angels but couldn't break into the First Team at the Premier League side. Emblen has done well since making Wycombe debut at York at the end of August - Wycombe fans will hope that he keeps up that level of performace now that the deal has been made permanent. Wycombe may have to pay an extra 30,000 to Charlton relating to appearances made.
Paul Read and Martin Taylor are the latest to join the casualty list at Wycombe. Read injured his right ankle in the 1-1 draw at Burnley and left the ground on crutches. Taylor woke up on Saturday morning with a pain in his back and didn't even bother with a fitness test. Both missed the clash with Middlesbrough at The Riverside Stadium on Wednesday. Steve Brown also reported sick in the week and didn't even travel to Boro - more info when we have it.
A group of around 30 Wycombe fans staged a small potest after the midweek defeat to Preston. The incident took place at the Valley End but was peacefully broken up by stewards. The major criticism aimed at the Club has been the lack of investment on the field and the lack of comminication between the Board and the fans. Some fans have aimed criticism at Chairman Ivor Beeks but although he should take the ultimate responsibilty for the current situation, he has no more of a financial stake in the Club than any of the other 450 or so members. Beeks job now is to settle the fans and show that the Club are serious in trying to pull through this minor crisis. Appararently Beeks has been in discussion with the Club's Financial Director, Graham Peart, this week but with their track record the fans will probably be the last to know of any news.
Neil Smillie told the press in the week "We have to strengthen the squad to have any chance of staying up..with the squad we had last season I felt we needed at least three new players". Commenting on the fans demonstration he said "Perhaps if some of the players had the passion that those supporters are showing we wouldn't be in this position".
Not reported in the local press but the absence of Paul McCarthy from the last two games has started unconfirmed rumours that he has had a fall out with Neil Smillie. With Michael Simpson also wanting away and at least four other members of the First Team squad out injured the problems are building during Smillie's first season in charge.
The injury crisis kept Mo Harkin out of the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad to play in Turkey last week. Harkin is due an operation on an injured ankle and is likely to be out for about six weeks.
Ryan injured againThe Keith Ryan injury jinx has struck again? Rhino was stretched off in the home game with Bristol Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday and confirmation has now been received that their is a problem with the ankle which is likely to mean a three month lay-off, . Having missed the game at York due to a sprained ankle, Ryan was drafted back into the defence on Monday as Neil Smillie changed things around again to try and plug the holes in the Wycombe defence. Ryan has suffered two long-term injuries in recent years and this latest injury is a devastating blow to Keith and Wycombe.
Making his home debut on Monday was Paul Emblen, signed on loan from Charlton Athletic prior to the away game at York. 21 year old Emblen joined Charlton in the summer of 1997 from non-League Tonbridge Angels but is still on the fringe of First Team selection at The Valley. Emblen was signed as a forward by Charlton but is being used as a midfielder by Wycombe.
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