Two leading figures at Bucks New University believe that Gareth Ainsworth’s leadership skills played a huge factor in Wycombe’s promotion to the Championship.

The Chairboys defied all the odds to beat Oxford United 2-1 at Wembley on Monday, July 13, to secure a place in the second tier of English football.

And Professor Paul Morgan, head of school for human and social sciences, and Neil Roberts, course leader in multimedia journalism, believe Ainsworth was the driving force to Wycombe’s success.

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Prof Morgan said: "Gareth Ainsworth's leadership approaches have given the club an identity which has led them to thrive.

"This is such a fantastic achievement for Wycombe Wanderers.

"In elite sport, the pathway to success often involves pressure and adversity and the Chairboys have encountered a number of very difficult situations during several seasons.

"Our team resilience research at the university has shown that a resilient team is greater than the sum of its parts and leadership is vital so Gareth Ainsworth's approach has clearly been critical and contributed to a genuine sense of togetherness and a distinctive team identity.

"Thanks to that, and excellent team functioning during pressure, they've achieved something magical."

It was Wycombe’s third promotion in two years – six years after they were nearly relegated out of the Football League.

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Mr Roberts then said: “Wycombe seized their chance with magnificent leadership on the pitch.

“But this is every bit as much a victory for the club's own fans.

"Eight years ago, they were in the lower reaches of League Two and sharing Adams Park with Wasps rugby club.

“But the supporters took control of their own destiny.

“They bought their own football club and only sold it on earlier this year, when the American businessman who bought it promised to clear their debts.

"Crucially, the fans retain a 25 per cent ownership stake.

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“And they're reaping the financial rewards. I believe better prize money and more lucrative TV rights will net them as much as £7m next season.

“So even if staying in the Championship would be a football miracle, they've already hit the jackpot and the fans must take an awful lot of credit for that."

Wycombe Wanderers are now just one promotion away from the Premier League.