Hayes wins control of Wanderers

Bucks Free Press: Steve Hayes Steve Hayes

MULTI-Millionaire Steve Hayes is the new owner of Wycombe Wanderers after fans voted tonight to hand control of their 122-year-old club over to him.

The 48-year-old businessman, who also owns groundshare tenants London Wasps Rugby Club, seized control by a huge majority after an at times bitter takeover battle.

The Founder Shareholders voted 81 per cent in favour of his £3m bid after being given an accept it or sink ultimatum. The shareholders then followed up with a 99 per cent vote in favour.

Hayes, who has ploughed almost £7m into the League One club in the form of loans, warned fans that he would stop funding the club if they voted against his plan to write off £3m of that figure in return for full ownership.

Club directors backing the Hayes plan then beefed up that threat by saying a no vote would result in the club going into administration and being docked ten points.

No other alternatives were put on the table.

The supporters were given just over a fortnight to decide whether to accept the plan of managing director Hayes.

It is a momentous change in the club’s history with fans voting away the last trace of the supporter-ownership which served them on their rise from the Isthmian League to the professional ranks.

Throughout that period Wanderers were run by a structure in which fans who had held season tickets for three years could pay one pound to become members. That gave them a stake in the club's ownership and the right to elect the directors.

The first controversial change to that system came in 2004 when the board argued it was holding the club back from securing new investment and called for it to become 75per cent owned by individuals, with fan-members holding just 25 per cent.

The change was approved allowing Hayes to take a 25per cent shareholding and become the club’s MD.

But despite him ploughing £7m into the club in the form of loans the club’s debt has mushroomed to where it is now, standing at £7.2m at the last set of accounts.

Hayes has admitted he has made mistakes along the way but called for the fans to trust him.

He says he intends to continue working with positive members of the Supporters Trust.

And fans can expect big changes under him with Hayes the driving force behind plans for his two clubs Wanderers and Wasps to share a new 20,000 community stadium at Wycombe Air Park.

Comments (25)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:03am Tue 7 Jul 09

nuno diaz says...

Plagiarism is alive and well at the BFP.

First read in the guardian
Plagiarism is alive and well at the BFP. First read in the guardian nuno diaz
  • Score: 0

12:03am Tue 7 Jul 09

true blue says...

Well lets hope he does what he has promised and fully supports WWFC. Now that is all over perhaps Peter Taylor will feel more confident as manager and hopefully get some signings in he needs before it is to laste.
Well lets hope he does what he has promised and fully supports WWFC. Now that is all over perhaps Peter Taylor will feel more confident as manager and hopefully get some signings in he needs before it is to laste. true blue
  • Score: 0

12:53am Tue 7 Jul 09

ferrellcat says...

I enjoyed the days walking down from Castlefield with mates to watch Wycombe Wanderers beat Corinthian Casuals by 8-0 Tooting and Mitchum by 6-0.Got massive pride going to Runcorn on one of 8 trains,only to lose 2-1. But every game always ended with a stop at Ogilvie Road chip shop on the way home.Mr Hayes you have placed our club in a new world stay with it.Because we will
I enjoyed the days walking down from Castlefield with mates to watch Wycombe Wanderers beat Corinthian Casuals by 8-0 Tooting and Mitchum by 6-0.Got massive pride going to Runcorn on one of 8 trains,only to lose 2-1. But every game always ended with a stop at Ogilvie Road chip shop on the way home.Mr Hayes you have placed our club in a new world stay with it.Because we will ferrellcat
  • Score: 0

1:22am Tue 7 Jul 09

ferrellcat says...

Point.Fans did not vote to hand control to him,we werent asked
Point.Fans did not vote to hand control to him,we werent asked ferrellcat
  • Score: 0

2:02am Tue 7 Jul 09

ivor says...

It will go down in history as the day the Wanderers Founder Shareholders sold out.

What would Frank Adams say?

The last thing the town needs is a new 20,000 seat stadium....

Have you read Ivor’s blog today? Click on the “YOUR SAY” link at the top of the page then click on “BLOGS”.
It will go down in history as the day the Wanderers Founder Shareholders sold out. What would Frank Adams say? The last thing the town needs is a new 20,000 seat stadium.... Have you read Ivor’s blog today? Click on the “YOUR SAY” link at the top of the page then click on “BLOGS”. ivor
  • Score: 0

6:55am Tue 7 Jul 09

DeepThinker says...

The cuckoo in the nest has won.

Everything will now be concentrated on Wasps Rugby Football club.

Wanderers will left to decline. Watch out for Conference football within 5 years.

Then Wanderers will be told that the pitch at the new stadium can't sustain Rugby and Football.

Guess who has to make way.

Goodbye Wanderers.

Hayes and Wasps get EXACTLY what they want - exactly what they planned.

A sad, sad day for an historic football club.


Final note: With all the talk/rumours(?)of "buttering up" certain councillors, etc, you will have to be squeeky clean Mr Hayes ... we're watching you.
The cuckoo in the nest has won. Everything will now be concentrated on Wasps Rugby Football club. Wanderers will left to decline. Watch out for Conference football within 5 years. Then Wanderers will be told that the pitch at the new stadium can't sustain Rugby and Football. Guess who has to make way. Goodbye Wanderers. Hayes and Wasps get EXACTLY what they want - exactly what they planned. A sad, sad day for an historic football club. Final note: With all the talk/rumours(?)of "buttering up" certain councillors, etc, you will have to be squeeky clean Mr Hayes ... we're watching you. DeepThinker
  • Score: 0

8:46am Tue 7 Jul 09

tom.marlow says...

"A sad, sad day for an historic football club...."

But possibly not as sad as going into administration and getting points deducted before a single game gets played in League One.

Maybe DeepThinker's scenario will turn out to be true, maybe it won't. Who knows what will happen over the next few years. Maybe the football club will do a lot better than the rugby club.

I can't help thinking that probable money on the table is better than no money on the table.

Anyway good luck for the coming season. I'm looking forward to it.



"A sad, sad day for an historic football club...." But possibly not as sad as going into administration and getting points deducted before a single game gets played in League One. Maybe DeepThinker's scenario will turn out to be true, maybe it won't. Who knows what will happen over the next few years. Maybe the football club will do a lot better than the rugby club. I can't help thinking that probable money on the table is better than no money on the table. Anyway good luck for the coming season. I'm looking forward to it. tom.marlow
  • Score: 0

9:04am Tue 7 Jul 09

TheT0nemeister says...

Great news this has all been cleared up, now can we start sorting out a team for next season!
Great news this has all been cleared up, now can we start sorting out a team for next season! TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

9:38am Tue 7 Jul 09

WycombeBodger says...

Relieved at the news but nervous at the same time. Mr Hayes please do the right thing and ensure the future of Wanderers is not put at risk by the Wasps link. Lets get fully behind the Team and Mr Hayes, don't let us down !!!!
Relieved at the news but nervous at the same time. Mr Hayes please do the right thing and ensure the future of Wanderers is not put at risk by the Wasps link. Lets get fully behind the Team and Mr Hayes, don't let us down !!!! WycombeBodger
  • Score: 0

10:53am Tue 7 Jul 09

Hans Schmit says...

"Hayes, who has ploughed almost £7m into the League One club in the form of loans, warned fans that he would stop funding the club if they voted against his plan to write off £3m of that figure in return for full ownership."

So he blackmailed them?

"Hayes, who has ploughed almost £7m into the League One club in the form of loans, warned fans that he would stop funding the club if they voted against his plan to write off £3m of that figure in return for full ownership." So he blackmailed them? Hans Schmit
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Tue 7 Jul 09

TheT0nemeister says...

Hans Schmit wrote:
"Hayes, who has ploughed almost £7m into the League One club in the form of loans, warned fans that he would stop funding the club if they voted against his plan to write off £3m of that figure in return for full ownership." So he blackmailed them?
I can't see the problem really. If we had not had the funding we would have gone backwards and into the ryman laegue with our own large dept.
This way if Hayes botches up we just go into administration and get a 10 point deduction and then start again, maybe in this league or the league below.
win win situation!
[quote][p][bold]Hans Schmit[/bold] wrote: "Hayes, who has ploughed almost £7m into the League One club in the form of loans, warned fans that he would stop funding the club if they voted against his plan to write off £3m of that figure in return for full ownership." So he blackmailed them? [/p][/quote]I can't see the problem really. If we had not had the funding we would have gone backwards and into the ryman laegue with our own large dept. This way if Hayes botches up we just go into administration and get a 10 point deduction and then start again, maybe in this league or the league below. win win situation! TheT0nemeister
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Tue 7 Jul 09

NW1963 says...

He has completley blackmailed us. The bloke is not stupid why has he managed to run us up debts of 8 million, most of that has been since he has been making the decisions, then 2 weeks to change 122 years of history. I hate what he has done. He has split the club down the middle with this. It will never be the same.
He has completley blackmailed us. The bloke is not stupid why has he managed to run us up debts of 8 million, most of that has been since he has been making the decisions, then 2 weeks to change 122 years of history. I hate what he has done. He has split the club down the middle with this. It will never be the same. NW1963
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Tue 7 Jul 09

tom.marlow says...

NW1963 wrote:
He has completley blackmailed us. The bloke is not stupid why has he managed to run us up debts of 8 million, most of that has been since he has been making the decisions, then 2 weeks to change 122 years of history. I hate what he has done. He has split the club down the middle with this. It will never be the same.
He hasnt split it down the middle. He got a huge majority - the article says
[quote][p][bold]NW1963[/bold] wrote: He has completley blackmailed us. The bloke is not stupid why has he managed to run us up debts of 8 million, most of that has been since he has been making the decisions, then 2 weeks to change 122 years of history. I hate what he has done. He has split the club down the middle with this. It will never be the same. [/p][/quote]He hasnt split it down the middle. He got a huge majority - the article says tom.marlow
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Tue 7 Jul 09

NW1963 says...

If you really believe that then fine. But look on the tyrust website for voting figures. and take note of this.
In line with the Trust Board’s previous advice to members, those votes which were cast as “discretionary” (i.e. members had given the Trust Board the right to vote as the Board saw fit) were counted in favour of the proposal, following signing of the legal agreement between the Trust and Steve Hayes on the morning of 6th July.

So, voting on the Founder Shares was 75% in favour and 25% against. On the Ordinary Shares, voting was 73% in favour of the proposal. The Trust’s shares were therefore voted in their entirety in favour of the proposals for restructuring at the respective EGMs of Founder Shareholders and all Shareholders.
If you really believe that then fine. But look on the tyrust website for voting figures. and take note of this. In line with the Trust Board’s previous advice to members, those votes which were cast as “discretionary” (i.e. members had given the Trust Board the right to vote as the Board saw fit) were counted in favour of the proposal, following signing of the legal agreement between the Trust and Steve Hayes on the morning of 6th July. So, voting on the Founder Shares was 75% in favour and 25% against. On the Ordinary Shares, voting was 73% in favour of the proposal. The Trust’s shares were therefore voted in their entirety in favour of the proposals for restructuring at the respective EGMs of Founder Shareholders and all Shareholders. NW1963
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Tue 7 Jul 09

tom.marlow says...

So 75% and 73% looks to me to be pretty comprehensively in favour.

So 75% and 73% looks to me to be pretty comprehensively in favour. tom.marlow
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Tue 7 Jul 09

wayneo says...

Shows how much this scum sucking leech cares for the Wanderers if we was going to call in the loan then see it go into administration.

The 'supporters' club are out of their minds to allow this.
Shows how much this scum sucking leech cares for the Wanderers if we was going to call in the loan then see it go into administration. The 'supporters' club are out of their minds to allow this. wayneo
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Tue 7 Jul 09

wayneo says...

Oh, and as for the air park, dream on Hayes.
Oh, and as for the air park, dream on Hayes. wayneo
  • Score: 0

8:42pm Tue 7 Jul 09

Laneender says...

What a bunch of idiots. They have effectively given up land that is worth millions, they've given the club away by debts engineered by this greedy so-in-so. Why are people so stupid?

What a bunch of idiots. They have effectively given up land that is worth millions, they've given the club away by debts engineered by this greedy so-in-so. Why are people so stupid? Laneender
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Tue 7 Jul 09

tom.marlow says...

Laneender wrote:
What a bunch of idiots. They have effectively given up land that is worth millions, they've given the club away by debts engineered by this greedy so-in-so. Why are people so stupid?
Perhaps they are not so stupid as you seem to think are simply because they disagree with you.
[quote][p][bold]Laneender[/bold] wrote: What a bunch of idiots. They have effectively given up land that is worth millions, they've given the club away by debts engineered by this greedy so-in-so. Why are people so stupid? [/p][/quote]Perhaps they are not so stupid as you seem to think are simply because they disagree with you. tom.marlow
  • Score: 0

9:01am Wed 8 Jul 09

Laneender says...

Tom, look at the language and the press releases from the months leading to this, land that's worth millions, owned by the 'CLUB' (which is no longer a club), that could not be sold without a majority vote. Greedy guts comes in, obtains 100% voting control and can now sell the adams park site, directly benefitting his portfolio which can be siphoned off to other parts of his group.

Yes, I would call that stupid.
Tom, look at the language and the press releases from the months leading to this, land that's worth millions, owned by the 'CLUB' (which is no longer a club), that could not be sold without a majority vote. Greedy guts comes in, obtains 100% voting control and can now sell the adams park site, directly benefitting his portfolio which can be siphoned off to other parts of his group. Yes, I would call that stupid. Laneender
  • Score: 0

10:10am Wed 8 Jul 09

tom.marlow says...

Of course you would.

You are so clearly right and everyone else is wrong.
Of course you would. You are so clearly right and everyone else is wrong. tom.marlow
  • Score: 0

10:36am Wed 8 Jul 09

Laneender says...

tom.marlow wrote:
Of course you would. You are so clearly right and everyone else is wrong.
Right on this case!

You've not written anything to prove otherwise have you?
[quote][p][bold]tom.marlow[/bold] wrote: Of course you would. You are so clearly right and everyone else is wrong.[/p][/quote]Right on this case! You've not written anything to prove otherwise have you? Laneender
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Wed 8 Jul 09

tom.marlow says...

Laneender wrote:
tom.marlow wrote: Of course you would. You are so clearly right and everyone else is wrong.
Right on this case! You've not written anything to prove otherwise have you?
No but equally I dont go round saying that people who disagree with me are stupid.

Although your analysis may turn out to be right, I think it unlikely. Many others share my view, hence that is why they voted the way they did.
[quote][p][bold]Laneender[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tom.marlow[/bold] wrote: Of course you would. You are so clearly right and everyone else is wrong.[/p][/quote]Right on this case! You've not written anything to prove otherwise have you?[/p][/quote]No but equally I dont go round saying that people who disagree with me are stupid. Although your analysis may turn out to be right, I think it unlikely. Many others share my view, hence that is why they voted the way they did. tom.marlow
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 8 Jul 09

wayneo says...

I agree with the orginal summary LaneEnder, dropping a million quid per acre metre for a measley quid a share (if the club is sold). is stupidity in my opinion.

best-land
I agree with the orginal summary LaneEnder, dropping a million quid per acre metre for a measley quid a share (if the club is sold). is stupidity in my opinion. best-land wayneo
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Thu 9 Jul 09

timmyo says...

Probably right that Hayes will make money if he gets to develop Adams Park. Many a twist before then tho.

He's got to agree a new place to go and moving to the airfield's not a done deal. And he's going to have to pay for that land isn't he?
Probably right that Hayes will make money if he gets to develop Adams Park. Many a twist before then tho. He's got to agree a new place to go and moving to the airfield's not a done deal. And he's going to have to pay for that land isn't he? timmyo
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree