Wanderers could have to sell training ground

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Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WYCOMBE Wanderers may have to sell their training ground in a bid to stave off the threat of administration.

A group of supporters has offered to buy the club’s Booker training base for £350,000 and lease it back to Wanderers.

The club’s Supporters’ Trust, which took over the running of the club in the summer, says it urgently needs to raise quarter of a million pounds to plug a financial black hole.

They have warned going into administration – and the team being docked ten points – is a possibility unless an urgent input of cash is found.

The Trust has said the group interested in buying the training ground have asked to remain anonymous as part of any deal, although they have said none of the would-be investors have any links to previous owner Steve Hayes.

One of the group is a Trust member, they added, but not a director, nor is anyone a member of the Frank Adams Legacy Limited, a body set up to safeguard the future of the club at Adams Park.

Members of the Trust board were asked why the sum could not simply be lent to the club. The Trust responded: “We have been trying to secure a loan for some months without success. The proposed arrangement offers security to the investors and suits our immediate needs.”

The club will have the option of buying back the training ground in five or ten years’ time.

Supporters’ Trust members are being asked for their views on a potential sale before a final decision is made.

If the ground is sold it will not be subsequently sold again in the meantime and the club will have exclusive rights to use the facility, the Trust added.

Comments (12)

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6:54pm Tue 26 Feb 13

johnymac says...

Trust should have never been allowed to buy a club they couldn't control. begging for money every month is getting ridiculous like it or not we WERE safe with hayes more so than now. these people are a joke!
Trust should have never been allowed to buy a club they couldn't control. begging for money every month is getting ridiculous like it or not we WERE safe with hayes more so than now. these people are a joke! johnymac
  • Score: -5

7:32pm Tue 26 Feb 13

mooneysmagic says...

This "consortium" of loan sharks are NOT supporters of WWFC. Real fans do not take money out of their club when it at such a low ebb.
This "consortium" of loan sharks are NOT supporters of WWFC. Real fans do not take money out of their club when it at such a low ebb. mooneysmagic
  • Score: 3

8:06pm Tue 26 Feb 13

billsheppard says...

Out of the consortium, only one has claimed to be a supporter of the club. It is difficult to see this as anything other than preying on a football club that has been mismanaged by previous owners who were not looking out for its best interests. These are worrying times for the club, hopefully the Trust can steer us through these choppy waters as the shambolic reign of Hayes is coming back to haunt WWFC again.
Out of the consortium, only one has claimed to be a supporter of the club. It is difficult to see this as anything other than preying on a football club that has been mismanaged by previous owners who were not looking out for its best interests. These are worrying times for the club, hopefully the Trust can steer us through these choppy waters as the shambolic reign of Hayes is coming back to haunt WWFC again. billsheppard
  • Score: 4

8:11pm Tue 26 Feb 13

billsheppard says...

johnymac wrote:
Trust should have never been allowed to buy a club they couldn't control. begging for money every month is getting ridiculous like it or not we WERE safe with hayes more so than now. these people are a joke!
Absolute rot. Hayes's mismanagement of WWFC (and Wasps for that matter) brought both clubs to their knees. Indeed, Hayes put WWFC into administration before the supporters' trust had to cancel it as they were completing the take over.
The scale of the club's issues are to do with the mismanagement of Mr Hayes and the legacy contracts in place that the trust cannot do, not to mention banks refusing to lend to us because of the ongoing legal proceeding against Mr Hayes blacklisting companies he has been associated with.
'johnymac', If you insist on having sugar daddy fantasies, please do not live them out through Wycombe Wanderers FC again. Thanks.
[quote][p][bold]johnymac[/bold] wrote: Trust should have never been allowed to buy a club they couldn't control. begging for money every month is getting ridiculous like it or not we WERE safe with hayes more so than now. these people are a joke![/p][/quote]Absolute rot. Hayes's mismanagement of WWFC (and Wasps for that matter) brought both clubs to their knees. Indeed, Hayes put WWFC into administration before the supporters' trust had to cancel it as they were completing the take over. The scale of the club's issues are to do with the mismanagement of Mr Hayes and the legacy contracts in place that the trust cannot do, not to mention banks refusing to lend to us because of the ongoing legal proceeding against Mr Hayes blacklisting companies he has been associated with. 'johnymac', If you insist on having sugar daddy fantasies, please do not live them out through Wycombe Wanderers FC again. Thanks. billsheppard
  • Score: 6

8:18pm Tue 26 Feb 13

djwyc14 says...

@johnymac - under Steve Hayes WWFC were losing approx £1-1.5million per year. You say we were better under his tenure- but how was that model sustainable? He could not fund the club continuously forever.

At least the Trust are trying to run the club sustainably. It is proving difficult (as changing a Football Club from losing over 1 million a year into breaking even is a challenge!) - but at least they are trying to secure the future of the club. Unfortunately, the past legacy that Hayes left is making this season and probably the next one or two quite painful with a number of cuts needed. We should not be thanking our previous owner for his role in how this football club now stands.
@johnymac - under Steve Hayes WWFC were losing approx £1-1.5million per year. You say we were better under his tenure- but how was that model sustainable? He could not fund the club continuously forever. At least the Trust are trying to run the club sustainably. It is proving difficult (as changing a Football Club from losing over 1 million a year into breaking even is a challenge!) - but at least they are trying to secure the future of the club. Unfortunately, the past legacy that Hayes left is making this season and probably the next one or two quite painful with a number of cuts needed. We should not be thanking our previous owner for his role in how this football club now stands. djwyc14
  • Score: 3

8:22pm Tue 26 Feb 13

djwyc14 says...

As for the training ground bid - it is clear that the reason the bidders are anonymous is because they have secured a favourable business deal- buying the TG £100k under its valuation and inflation proofing any buy back. Hardly the heirs to Frank Adams legacy.
However, the Trust need this money urgently, and presumably this is the only / best deal on the table so little choice but to proceed. Doesn't matter what I think anyway as the decision has already been made.
The next question that needs to be asked is where the £500k that the Trust need for next season's cash flow is coming from.
The Trust have their hearts in the right place and are trying to create a sound financial model and attract sponsors and investment. Time for the local community to wake up and help its local football club and secure its future. After all, it has been around for 125 years now and is one of the main sources of pride in the area.
As for the training ground bid - it is clear that the reason the bidders are anonymous is because they have secured a favourable business deal- buying the TG £100k under its valuation and inflation proofing any buy back. Hardly the heirs to Frank Adams legacy. However, the Trust need this money urgently, and presumably this is the only / best deal on the table so little choice but to proceed. Doesn't matter what I think anyway as the decision has already been made. The next question that needs to be asked is where the £500k that the Trust need for next season's cash flow is coming from. The Trust have their hearts in the right place and are trying to create a sound financial model and attract sponsors and investment. Time for the local community to wake up and help its local football club and secure its future. After all, it has been around for 125 years now and is one of the main sources of pride in the area. djwyc14
  • Score: 5

10:35pm Tue 26 Feb 13

realist_highwycombe says...

The massive issue here is that the club is simply not supported enough by people that live in High Wycombe or the surrounding area.

Wycombe greater area has around 160,000 people - not to mention the many other thousands of people livign in Aylesbury, Chesham, Amersham etc who could also come to watch league football.

To average around 5,000 people (if that) to home games even when in League 1 is not good enough and unless some major changes are made the club will continue to loose money.

More off the field revenue sources need to be looked at - A lack of quality gyms in the sands/west side area of Wycombe could be a great place to start - a professionally run establishment could turn a good profit and enhance its links with the community.

They have scores bar yet it is not very well known in Wycombe and apart from matchdays is only open between 12-2pm Monday - Friday. Open it up, organise dinner & dance events, fine dining etc.

We are in tough times but you need to think outside the box to make money 24/7 not just on match days and pre season.

I wish them all the success they deserve but I am not massively hopeful....
The massive issue here is that the club is simply not supported enough by people that live in High Wycombe or the surrounding area. Wycombe greater area has around 160,000 people - not to mention the many other thousands of people livign in Aylesbury, Chesham, Amersham etc who could also come to watch league football. To average around 5,000 people (if that) to home games even when in League 1 is not good enough and unless some major changes are made the club will continue to loose money. More off the field revenue sources need to be looked at - A lack of quality gyms in the sands/west side area of Wycombe could be a great place to start - a professionally run establishment could turn a good profit and enhance its links with the community. They have scores bar yet it is not very well known in Wycombe and apart from matchdays is only open between 12-2pm Monday - Friday. Open it up, organise dinner & dance events, fine dining etc. We are in tough times but you need to think outside the box to make money 24/7 not just on match days and pre season. I wish them all the success they deserve but I am not massively hopeful.... realist_highwycombe
  • Score: 2

12:05am Wed 27 Feb 13

J B Blackett says...

The average salary for a Championship player is £250,000, while League One and League Two players can expect to bring in £80,000 and £65,000 a year respectively. According to a survey taken last year.
.
So it's probably not the players or manager , training staff and maintenance etc - but even that's a £million++ per annum taken away from the firm.
.
To make an operating profit it will be difficult for a Div 2 club these days , so whatever assets they have may have to be sold off. And that includes promising players.
.
Either that or win lots of matches and get promoted - but then the salaries will inevitably go up. It would appear there are only a small handful of teams (ie commercial sporting organizations) who actually made a profit last year - and they were all in the Premier / Championship.
.
Hayes was a disaster ( and backed by some rather naive or dodgy Wycombe councillors (allegedly) .

But what to do now ? Surely this club (and others) won't fade away.
The average salary for a Championship player is £250,000, while League One and League Two players can expect to bring in £80,000 and £65,000 a year respectively. According to a survey taken last year. . So it's probably not the players or manager , training staff and maintenance etc - but even that's a £million++ per annum taken away from the firm. . To make an operating profit it will be difficult for a Div 2 club these days , so whatever assets they have may have to be sold off. And that includes promising players. . Either that or win lots of matches and get promoted - but then the salaries will inevitably go up. It would appear there are only a small handful of teams (ie commercial sporting organizations) who actually made a profit last year - and they were all in the Premier / Championship. . Hayes was a disaster ( and backed by some rather naive or dodgy Wycombe councillors (allegedly) . But what to do now ? Surely this club (and others) won't fade away. J B Blackett
  • Score: 1

8:16am Wed 27 Feb 13

Wycombe Res says...

Surely the Trust is missing the point Wasps owe them that money and more, surely they should call in that debt and if they cannot pay call in the receivers for WASPS
Surely the Trust is missing the point Wasps owe them that money and more, surely they should call in that debt and if they cannot pay call in the receivers for WASPS Wycombe Res
  • Score: 1

1:48pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Flashheart says...

I took my 2 young boys to the Southend match on Saturday, and the ground looked to be 1/2 empty.

Sad sight, and I'm an eggchaser! (No, not "London" Wasps, before anyone comments...)
I took my 2 young boys to the Southend match on Saturday, and the ground looked to be 1/2 empty. Sad sight, and I'm an eggchaser! (No, not "London" Wasps, before anyone comments...) Flashheart
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Wed 27 Feb 13

I Love Ivor says...

It always is half empty.
It always is half empty. I Love Ivor
  • Score: 1

1:13pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Jock's little helper says...

The number of comments to this news item compared to the response on the Booker stadium debate just goes to show the total apathy within the town to its premier sports club (Wasps are just visiting).

I don’t expect all the townsfolk to suddenly start packing out the ground out but it would be nice to see some of the 30,000+ who went to Wembley (2 times) and Villa Park or some of those who travel up to London each weekend to see the over inflated premiership turn up and show their backing for THEIR local club in its time of need – don’t let a 125 years of local pride disappear!
The number of comments to this news item compared to the response on the Booker stadium debate just goes to show the total apathy within the town to its premier sports club (Wasps are just visiting). I don’t expect all the townsfolk to suddenly start packing out the ground out but it would be nice to see some of the 30,000+ who went to Wembley (2 times) and Villa Park or some of those who travel up to London each weekend to see the over inflated premiership turn up and show their backing for THEIR local club in its time of need – don’t let a 125 years of local pride disappear! Jock's little helper
  • Score: 1

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