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WDC Leader wants talks with new owners of Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps
A COUNCIL chief wants to sit down with the new owners of Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps to discuss how the authority can work with the clubs in the future.
Wycombe District Council Leader Cllr Alex Collingwood revealed he emailed the Wycombe Wanderers Trust to congratulate the group on its acquisition of the League Two side from former owner Steve Hayes.
And the Blues’ heralded Centre of Excellence - scrapped last month - could still be saved, after Cllr Collingwood revealed to the Free Press that he wants talks with the trust this week to “see what we can do”.
He said: “I sent an email to the Trust asking if we can get together on Monday and look at planning for the future.
“The takeover means local people are taking back the ownership of the club they love and taking them forward.
“I want to sit down and find out about the finance behind the academy.
“I think by the sounds of it, it is very expensive to run and each parent is looking at paying £40 a month – if you have two children there it is a lot of money.
“So we want to understand how it operates, how it could be done differently, look at some of the training facilities and how we can help, whether that be in a modified form I don’t know until I’ve sat down with them and found out what the issues were and how to make it better.
“Ultimately it is the Trust’s decision but at least we can have a chat and see what we can do about that and other issues.”
The contracts of the sale of Wasps from Mr Hayes to a consortium led by former player Ken Moss were also exchanged this weekend, with the takeover expected to be formally completed later this month.
And Cllr Collingwood still hopes to keep the former Heineken Cup champions in High Wycombe, amid rumours Wasps have been looking to up sticks and leave Adams Park.
He plans to hold a summit with the new bosses of the Aviva Premiership club as soon as the formalities of the deal have been completed.
Cllr Collingwood said: “That’s the plan (keeping Wasps in Wycombe) but ultimately it is the club’s decision.
“They have a fantastic fan base here, a fantastic academy, all the local rugby clubs feed into Wasps - so to try and replicate that elsewhere will be really hard. They are part of this community.
“We have some fantastic sports facilities here - swimming, football, plans for a new rowing club in Marlow - so what sport there is, the whole community gets a part of it.
“So how are Wasps able to integrate further into the community instead of being off to one side as it were - what we’re saying to them is; there’s a great base to work from here, how can we make it even better?”
Click on the links to read about the respective takeovers at Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps.