Ambitions for the Championship, turning the club into a global name, and a reference to the sitcom, Cheers.

Moments after the brilliant 2-0 win against Oxford United on January 15, I was given the opportunity to sit down with Wycombe Wanderers’ chairman, Rob Couhig, for an exclusive chat about the club.

Mr Couhig, who along with his wife, Missy, and his nephew, Pete, have been involved with the side since January 2020, but just weeks after purchasing the club, the global Covid-19 pandemic began, Wanderers gained promotion to the Championship, their first season in the second tier was accompanied with empty stadiums, before relegation back to League One was confirmed.

This all happened in just under 18 months.

However, the 2021/22 season has brought a sense of normality back to Adams Park, and after talking to the American, I could see his passion for Wycombe to succeed, on and off the pitch, ooze through.

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Speaking exclusively to the BFP after the win over their Thames Valley rivals, Rob said: “I was not originally a football fan of any great depth so for me, over the last two to three years, I have learned to watch and appreciate it.

“When you watch a game like that [Wycombe 2-0 Oxford], there is an obvious rivalry between the two, the players know each other, the managers know each other, the speed at which these guys play, the way the crowd got into it, and I think this was the biggest crowd we have had since we purchased the team.

“Certainly our biggest paid crowd since we’ve purchased the team, and they loved it.”

Based in the US, Rob spends a week each month in Wycombe to help the club grow to an international level, as well as make the Chairboys a household name in England.

The term ‘Little Wycombe’, could be a thing of the past as he has outlined the long-term future of the Hillbottom Road side, who less than 10 years ago, were facing Non League obscurity.

Eight years on from that memorable day at Torquay, Wycombe have grown, despite their struggles, and with the Couhigs at the helm, you just know this is the most exciting time to be a fan of the club.

The owner also spoke about how the club’s finances have improved through online merchandise sales, with Wycombe boasting supporters from all across the world, thanks to the Worldwide Wanderers campaign, which has boosted the Chairboys' popularity.

He also confirmed that Wanderers will be leaving the iFollow platform to move to their own network.

Mr Couhig continued: “I’ve got my issues into why we got relegated and why we shouldn’t have been by one point, but, from day one when Pete, Missy and I came over, we explained to people that we like to win.

“We expect to be in the Championship.

"Everything we do is centered on the concept of being in the Championship.

"If you walk around our stadium, we have got the top Wi-Fi system over any other stadium in the country, we have a superb audio system, we have got an incredible safety and cross circuit TV, we put in the LED boards and the big scoreboard, with the idea that I want our fans to know that we are going all out for them.

“For the players, we’ve re-done the training ground from the bottom up, and we’ve now got a training facility that is as good as anyone’s in the Championship, and I love the term ‘golden generation’.

“Everybody has a tenancy to look back and say 'you remember when?'.

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“For people coming now, this is the period that they will always remember.

“We’re part of building something that has never existed, and I love it.

"I'm having the best time.

“I want us to be a force in the Championship, and with the recognition that we can compete with anybody in the Championship.

“I reject terms such as ‘massive club’ or ‘little club’ because to me, our players are just as good, or even better than anybody else.

“Ultimately, our job in the ownership is to support the ability to pay for quality players and if you look at it, I think people get misled due to the size of the stadium.

“People may say, ‘they must be a massive club because they’ve got a 30,000-seater stadium, whilst Wycombe can only hold around 9,500.’

“The thing that intrigues me is that the world has turned upside down in how one does it.

“We appeal to people all around the world.

“The people who go to the games here are really the tip of the iceberg for us.

“We have fans in 70 different countries now, compared to the seven when we took over.

“Seventy different countries follow us on a broadcast.

“Our merchandise sales when we took over, we did less than £100,000 a year, but in the middle of Covid, we moved it to £200,000 and this year, we have already done more than last year, and we’re on line to double last year’s sales, of which, 20 per cent come from overseas and before that, we had no overseas sales to speak of.

“This generates revenue that we can use on the team.

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“It’s an interesting mix.

“With our TV and radio, we’re going to be changing that radically.

“We will be coming off iFollow in the next two weeks and into our own TV network so that we can talk more about Wycombe, and when I say Wycombe, I mean the entire Bucks area.

“Not just carrying the games, but, provide other shows and more content.

“Our website will become more ubiquitous in terms of its ability to be used, and everyday, we try and find a way to move the club forward by adding value to the product.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the future.”

And I don’t blame him.

The future looks incredibly exciting for this club that has spent most of its existence in the Non League.

Wycombe Wanderers [at the time of writing], are currently top of the League One table, have only lost five games all season, have scored the most goals from outside the box in all four EFL tiers, and are enjoying one of their best ever seasons.

But this isn’t just down to the brilliant football that is played, or the management, or the pre-match food and drink.

It stems from the positivity that radiates from the Couhig family, which is felt by fans in more ways than one.

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Missy is very active in the ever-popular Wycombe Wanderers Facebook fan page, where she regularly updates supporters on the new items that are available in the club shop, to what is out of stock due to their popularity.

Pete, who is incredibly vocal at all the matches, is ever-present on social media supporting the team, which has struck a chord with the fans who look at the American as a life-long supporter, whilst Rob’s investment is making the Chairboys into one of the most talked-about clubs in the EFL in recent years.

He continued: “Missy and I come over once a month for a week because I am so excited.

“Pete, Missy, and I all have a goal, and we all know that anything could happen during the course of the season, but, we’re doing the things that we set out to do.

“We’ve got players such as Anis Mehmeti who is from our development squad.

“Tjay de Barr is also another from our development squad.

“Ali Al-Hamadi is also from our development squad.

“This is something people I don’t think understand, as it all works together.

“Recently, people have asked me to define what it’s like to be part of Wycombe, and I point to the old American sitcom, ‘Cheers’.

“When you walk in and everybody knows your name.

“It’s a home.

“So, one of the things that's helping us grow is that our fanbase has started to realise that they have something very unique.

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“Not just the fact that you can bring your wife and two kids, spend about £100 and be the king of the mountain, as opposed to going into London and watching a Premier League club, where it’s going to cost you £400 for the day.

“We’re a difference that way and the quality of our football is good, the quality of what we do for our fanbase is good, and who doesn’t like fireworks?”

However, in every success story, there are always things to improve on and Mr Couhig believes that targeting schools to encourage children to come and watch Wycombe is something that needs work.

Despite having numerous schools in and around the Wycombe area, along with surrounding towns and villages, Wanderers have never sold out Adams Park in their history, following their move from Loakes Park in 1990.

Their win over Oxford saw an attendance of 8,005 – their highest since the 1-1 draw against Ipswich Town on New Year’s Day 2020 when 8,523 people visited.

Despite these big crowds, Wycombe still average around 5,000 per home game, but with the club growing its name across the globe, the Couhigs hope it won’t be too long before a sell-out at Adams Park finally happens.

Wycombe’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in January 2016 in the FA Cup is one of the club’s highest attended matches this century with 9,298 people, along with the semi-final first leg against Chelsea in the 2007 League Cup, with a whopping 9,771.

Mr Couhig said: “I don’t think we’ve done a good job to date in trying to get those kids here.

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“Part, there is this oldline philosophy where that if you want them to come here, you’ve got to give away tickets.

“I don’t believe in that.

“What you do is, you make it attractive enough that they want to come, so we are really working at that.

“We’re going to work more and more with the schools to try and get out there and show them, ‘look, you are part of this community, we’re a part of this community, let’s try and figure this out together'.”

Finally, on the people of Wycombe, he concluded: “I’ve been fortunate in my life to travel a lot, and we have loved it here.

“We stay in the same hotel and last week, one of the guys that we have come to know within the hotel came to the game as he's a big Sunderland fan, and I wanted to show him what real football was like!

“We have had a wonderful time and the people have been incredibly nice to us and we are grateful.

“The more people that come out here, the more successful we will be and it’s more likely that we’ll be in the Championship.”

Every team has a golden generation, and it’s now the turn of Wycombe Wanderers to have their time in the sun.