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Re-cap from Trust meeting 11th July 2019
Thu Sep 19, 2019 16:54
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Some further background reading posted ahead of the Fans Forum at Adams Park on Thursday (19th September 2019).

This was Trust and Football Club Chairman Trevor Stroud's introduction at the meeting held at Adams Park on 11th July 2019.

"[Luby and Collis] withdrew their offer five days before they were due to present to you. Since then we have been having extensive discussions with a number of parties, all of whom approached us.

Through April and June [2019] there were numerous meetings and due diligence checks. At the time I said we are not going to rush into this. We will wait and find the right partner, rather than necessarily the first one.

In June we successfully negotiated with Luby and Collis to pay the legal costs of the failed bid. All the costs that the Trust have spent [on the legal cost] up that agreement we have had reimbursed by [Luby and Collis].

Also in June we had several credible offers of investment. During June the Trust Board met on a number of occasions to decide the preferred partner. On 17th June 2019 Rob [Couhig] was informed of our decision of [choosing him] as our preferred partner and most impressively at 12.25 on 18th June he landed in the UK to start discussions.

On 27th June we provisionally agreed to proceed and the thing that is also very important is that Rob has provided the Club with a short term, interest free and unsecured funding to get us through the classic summer gap in terms of turnover.

So what is the proposal?

We have reached agreement in principle with Rob to acquire 75% of the Wycombe Wanderers shares. That deal will need to be approved by Legacy Members. The timing of the vote, however, for Legacy Members is to be confirmed.. It is likely to be in around six to nine months [January 2020 – April 2020]. So what the Legacy Members will have is a track record of what Rob has done with us for this Football Club and be able to make an informed decision rather than necessarily voting on a plan or intentions, or whatever.

Until that vote takes place, Wycombe Wanderers remains 100% Trust owned but Rob has agreed to fund the Club to an agreed budget until such time as that vote takes place. What that has allowed us to do is to re-instate the Playing Budget we had for 2018/19 through to this [season]. If you remember about two months ago, I broke Gareth’s heart and told him the [Playing Budget] was being cut by 30%. He has now got a smile back on his face as he is now working with the Playing Budget we had last year.

Rob has also agreed to re-pay [Luby and Collis] the £500,000 they loaned us, on the finalisation of the legal agreements and all this investment will be interest free, unless the deal is rejected.

So, there will be a track record over a six to nine month period, if at that point in time the deal is still rejected, then there will be an agreed interest rate. A sensible time period will be allowed if that deal is rejected. So it’s not going to be a ‘gun to our head’ if the deal is rejected, we will agree a sensible time for us to re-pay.

All Club and Trust debt, currently outstanding, will be cleared on completion of this deal.

If the deal does go through, the Trust will have first refusal to buy back. Certain conditions apply to that but in principle we will have the ability to buy back. Whether we have the money to buy back is maybe a second question.
And most importantly too, is that the ‘Enshrined Rights’ will be protected as part of this deal. So, all the traditional ‘Enshrined Rights’ the Trust have, in terms of the stadium … etc, will be including in this deal.

So, on the basis that we do move forward, where would we be?
Firstly all charges on Adams Park would be lifted. So all of the debt would be cleared, so therefore all the charges would be lifted. So any perceived threat to the stadium would now disappear.

The money that Rob advanced will be converted to shares. So that won’t be a debt it would be converted to shares – and the playing budget will be increased, as I have said.

There will also be investment in the infrastructure. You will know the stadium is a great stadium but a little ‘tired’, so there will be investment in terms of some areas of the ground.

An annual commercial rent will be paid to FALL for the use of the stadium.

Two Trust Directors will stay on the Club Board.
The Stadium will remain 100% Trust owned and no charges.

So why did we choose Rob?

Firstly it was a unanimous decision of the Trust Board, secondly he is a man of his word, every commitment he has made to us, he has kept. He has also embraced the concept and complexities of Trust ownership. He thinks it is mad but he understands the complexities.

He uses words like Journey, Marriage, Partnership. He is committed to improving the fans’ experience and he brings an experienced team at no cost to us to assist in the development of the Club.

Most importantly he wants to prove to the Members the value of his involvement in the Club prior to a Legacy Members vote. He is prepared to put his money where his mouth is, and that to us is special."


The associated presentation slides from the meeting can be view at:

http://wycombewandererstrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/TRUST-MEETING-110719.pdf

This was Rob Couhig's opening address following the introduction.




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