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Increasingly Difficult to be Proud

A few years ago a substantial proportion of the clubs suppiorters were very keen for the club to go down the Supporter owned route. They got their way. Its not my preferred route, but fair enough, I live too far away to see many games, those who go regularly should have their wish.

So we are where we are, we have supporter ownership. As a result we have a low playing budget (reckoned to be in the bottom six at least) and a small playing squad. But all options have advantages and diasadvantages - the ownership option you wish has that consequence but no doubt you see that as a price worth paying for other advantages. That ownership structure though brings certain obligations and responsibilities for the supporters - of which a little intelligence and understanding is the minimum requirement.

At the start of the season, I would have expected the core first team to be Brown: Jombatti (or Harriman), Pierre, Stewart, Jacobson: Harriman (or Bean) Onein, Rowe: PCH, Hayes, Weston. On Saturday five of that team were injured, two more (Hayes and Rowe) are working their way to match fitness after a disrupted pre season. Ainsworth would be well within his rights to be publically screaming at the problems he faces, the small squad he has, the virtual impossibility that causes him in fielding a competitive team and at the frustrations and potential damage to his future career that results in. He could be bitterly protesting that he took a team to wembley 18 months ago, challenged for playoffs last season but has never had the resources to maintain those standards every year. But he doesnt, classy chap our gareth, so he keeps his silence, keeps cobbling together a team in difficult circumstances, more often than not, keeps producing better results than the club has any right to expect. The minimum expectation in return from the supporters, the more mature, more intelligent ones anyway, should surely be a little understanding of the situation and a little support and pulling together when times are tough. What do we see instead, moaning, abuse and a complete lack of understanding of the realities of WWFC.

Meanwhile our long earned reputation as a family club with good natured welcoming supporters is being almost weekly undermined by a group of yobs behaving like morons. Playing the hard man, witless songs, abusing players who are struggling and now arguing with senior pros on the pitch. I have no idea why these idiots are tolerated by the club. Reputations take years to build, moments to lose. Time for action now I feel -its not like the club do not know who these idiots are.

I still will not get to many games, when I do i will support the players, understand that it is not easy and increasingly feel little empathy towards my fellow supporters. Remarkable to think that the unity felt on the Plainmoor terraces just twenty seven months ago has dissipated so quickly. The club still teeters on the brink, a bad run could see the club threatened with relegation and possible threats to its very existence. IMHO Gareth Ainsworth is the best hope we have to avoid that scenario. Be very careful what you wish for gentlemen.



  • People are entitled to their opinion - this does not make them idiots.

    Me? I was in the Frank Adams, I didn't boo, I didn't cheer. My initial reaction was 'thank **** they've stopped with the Elton John music when we lose'.

    Watch the GA interview on Player (the extended one). It's slightly worrying - I've never seen him look so downbeat and flustered. Maybe he realises, as we all do now, that something DOES have to change? Not suggesting for one second that we get a new manager, but something has to change. It really does.

    I think right now the team will be in a room somewhere having a heart to heart with the manager getting any discontents aired. Tomorrow we will see a no holds barred, unpressured performance where players are taking people on, hassling, passing with one touch. We'll probably lose 2 or 3 nil but they'll feel like footballers again and it'll be the boost they need for Saturday.

  • Whilst we are legally a supporter owned club, in practice the supporters are generally not consulted on important matters, given no information on injuries and any financial information is minimal. Whilst I detested the Hayes era, we were actually better informed and more valued as supporters.

    I would not in any case consider replacing Ainsworth unless we are in the bottom 6 at Christmas. However that option is probably even not feasible financially with the compensation that Gareth would be due with 2+ years left on his contract.

  • The football he is playing is dross, I don't want him sacked but something needs to change and quickly! It has been a painful 4 games so far. I have genuinely been bored this season. The atmosphere was poor on Saturday for a derby game too which is in part due to the dire football being served up on the pitch.

    Fans having an opinion and talking to Hayes after the game doesn't make them idiots. Its a good thing that fans can have this dialogue in my opinion. People are entitled to ask what the f is going on. Hopefully it will give them a boost.

  • edited August 2016

    from what i read on other forums it wasn't our fans who are the problem our playing style is we are hated because of that now by alot team supporters and why cant our budget be increased a litte considering the player says we have made last season .

  • @DevC when did you last post without mentioning that Torquay game?

  • Totally agree about the moronic behaviour of some of our fans. Horrible to watch yesterday and a stain on our club.

    To have a go at those who are disappointed by the current playing style is not understanding the current feeling though. Blindly following a manger who has done some good things won't get us where we should be. The current squad and even the eleven who played yesterday are better than they showed. That takes budgets and injuries out of the equation. It brings in to question the playing style and the motivation. I've never been able to fault the players effort and dedication before yesterday.

    I'd love Ainsworth to turn it around. He has to believe he can though and I'm not sure if he has anything else to offer. I have never been more bored watching us play. Never been less expectant that we will score a goal. I hope we can hold on for a nil nil and really wish we wouldn't fade so badly in each second half. Ainsworth can do this. He just has to want to.

    As a fan owned club we have no real control over the direction we take. The club has to realise though how many fans are stopping coming to games and being less interested when they do.

  • Can't understand why GA can't a coach a team to play football and a few formations and tactic tricks up his sleeve? Switch things around when called for.

    It's been the same since the beginning of the year (it's not a dip) What do they do in training? Let players play, not over restricting boundaries, and percentages with playing the ball from the back and give and go.

    Surely it can be addressed with coaching/training with GA leadership? Fan owned or not.

  • Have to say I haven't seen a police presence like that at AP for a long time. Most clubs have their idiots, I follow England away occasionally and that can be worse.

    @Right_in_the_Middle totally agree with your points above. GA has got a big few weeks ahead. The alienation of fans and attendances of 3.5k are very worrying.

  • GA obviously hasn't become a bad or tactically inept manager over night, but i do worry that he's become a scared manager. And that may be a bigger problem to solve. I do wonder whether he wanted to turn it around in the summer, signings like PCH and Weston certainly seem to suggest that, but it seems like their injuries have pushed him further back into his shell.

  • I actually think you hit the nail on the head with the 'GA is a scared manager' bit. He found himself in at the deep end in the Torquay season, and the first thing he then got working well was the tight defence. From that moment until now I feel he has treated that as the most important aspect of games, with his tactical setup, team selection and general philosophy. That's not necessarily a bad thing but I feel it has somewhat dictated our attacking play as that is an afterthought, and the percentage game is one which offers us the least risk in being hit back, but also unfortunately the least chance of scoring. When in the past things have clicked, morale has been at its highest and we've had a few loan gems in the side, we played this same system with a little more success and at times a little more luck.

    I may get chastised for this and nobody else may share my views but after this boring run since Christmas (it started somewhere around the Villa away game and Hartlepool away, around the time that Holloway left and Ugwu became a cult hero), I was kind of happy that we didn't sneak another 1-0 or 0-0 against Col U. Trust me we've played just as bad and won through a 'McGinn Wonderstrike' or Luke O Nine going on a solo run. That is just papering over the cracks. With poor performances AND boring rubbish, the Gaffer can not say 'it's the result that matters not the performance' or 'we were resolute at the back but lacked creativity going forward'. Truth is we've played like this for a while but the ball has sometimes deflected off someone's bum for a last minute winner, opposition forwards have left their shooting boots at home or teams have been even more inept than us.

    Wycombe fans at the minute have it tough, everyone wants to support the club, keep the money flowing in etc. But it is incredibly hard to watch.

    This style of football only works when you win. That is the long and short of it. Give me 15th place with 3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-3, 0-3 over 8th place with 1-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0 any day.

    I really think Saturday was a wake up call to GA. He needs to go all in and take risks, with the formations, with the team selection. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, and broke or not broke, I don't think he will find the supporters or the board as eager to sit back and do nothing as in the near miss season.

    On a side point I really really hope Hayes was not taking his first steps towards trying to get the fans on side for his push to become manager. That would be disappointing if true, as there will be cliques within the dressing room pushing in different directions. I hope that is not the case but it is entirely possible.

  • I've said this before but I very much doubt that Andrew Howard would ever sack GA unless he has absolutely no option (say, we're seriously adrift in the drop spots by Xmas).

    GA is Howard's man (in the same way that the likes of Hayes and Bloomfield are GA's reliables), Howard is a pragmatist - not necessarily a bad thing - and as he says himself, not a fan of the club, just doing this as a personal challenge. So he's unlikely to be swayed by any kneejerk reactions from the fans, I can only see GA going if we lose game after game and the fans have been completely lost to the extent they were with, say, Sanchez.

  • Or, to play devils advocate, in GA's first full season we avoided relegation on goal difference. The next season he got lucky thanks to a last great season from Paul Hayes, the Mawson and Pierre pairing and the late loanees from Brentford. Last season it all went back to 'normal' and this season has started the same. We have a terrible reputation as being cynical and habitual time wasters, something that applied even in GA's one good season. I have no alternative to propose, sadly this is probably as good as it gets for a cash strapped Div 4 team. Mind, it would be good to see the Chairman take an interest.

  • edited August 2016

    Actually @PBo I disagree with you on Andrew Howard. I've only met him once, and briefly, so I have no personal knowledge of him or how he works. But the man's a racing car driver and a successful entrepreneur and you don't become either without being willing to take risks or think a few moves ahead. He's doing this a personal challenge, not from loyalty to the club or its staff - he may well think that it is worth ditching Gareth by the end of September / October if he's lost the dressing room and proves himself to be tactically unadaptable.

    I'm sure Howard would only do that if he had someone lined up and, like others, I expect that to be Paul Hayes, who I'm confident we'll be hearing a lot more from in the next few weeks (much like Ainsworth himself stepped up his media relations when Gary Waddock was looking rocky). As a sidenote - I wondered at the time whether Gaz, as captain, was fully wedded to pulling things round under Waddock or whether a part of him was hoping the gaffer would get sacked to give him a chance of stepping up. I wouldn't blame Hayes if he did the same - I want my Wycombe managers to have a Machiavellian streak, to be honest.

    There's an argument that Howard awarded Ainsworth a five-and-a-half-year contract because he wanted long-term stability at the club, and another that he suspected Ainsworth would be poached after a successful season and wanted maximum compensation. I don't get the impression Howard's a sentimental man, I can see him dispatching Ainsworth quite clinically should he feel the need has arisen. As for paying him off... there's £2.25m sitting in an account somewhere and it ain't going into the transfer kitty. Until the club tell us where it's gone, I'm willing to believe a sliver might be kept behind in case the manager needs to be paid off...

  • @aloysius - re the £2.25m I suspect that most of that is now sitting in an ex loan sharks account! The rest has probably been expended on paying off other debts.

  • edited August 2016

    The account that the £2.25million quid is currently sitting in is probably somewhere in Liverpool; while the premier league fat cats bugger us around talking about paying it in installments.

  • @AttitudeEra said:
    This style of football only works when you win. That is the long and short of it. Give me 15th place with 3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-3, 0-3 over 8th place with 1-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0 any day.

    Give me 15th place with 3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-3, 0-3 over 24th place with 1-0, 0-1, 0-1, 0-1, 0-1 any day.

  • edited August 2016

    @AttitudeEra; very observant post, spot on after Villa game, recall the Gasroom posts, about attitudes and what not in the dressing room (players getting starts before others etc) and here we are today, void of anything inspiring going forward.

    Why has Harriman since signing not produced his best? hence his attitude/frustrations towards the fans. It's being rocky for long time, a few results here and there (end of last campaign) camouflaged how bad we've become.

    Two big games coming up, let's get behind the lads, it can't get any worse, surely.

  • Can only express my personal view but when we asked 3000 fans to invest in their club , the majority left it to just 300 to do so.

    If another 2000 fans invested at least £10 a month for 5 years, then we would have a further £1.2m or more coming in and target would have been reached.

    Cannot help but think what we could have done with that extra money coming in via the Share Scheme to boost the club on and off the pitch.

    Are You Getting/Giving Your Share?

    The Jordon Ibe money when received has to go to repay SH first.

  • Well said @DevC agree with every word.. OMG am I ok?

  • @AlanCecil why do you think only 300 have invested?

  • @AlanCecil The club means a lot to me but I haven't got £10 a month extra to donate. And I guess 2,700 other fans think the same.

  • Wise words @AlanCecil but I look forward to your answer to @peterparrotface's question.

  • I think only 300 have invested because a lot of people like the talk of 'fan owned club' but not the reality of it.

    Alan's point is valid and I find it hard to believe that everyone else doesn't have a spare tenner a month (while accepting that a number of people will be in that situation).

    It would also be interesting to hear reasons why people who have got a spare tenner haven't got on board with the scheme?

  • I guess I could be one of those people with a spare tenner to whom @arnos_grove refers.

    I have not "invested" in the share scheme because I don't see it as an investment opportunity, but rather as being a donation to the Supporters Trust that, despite the marketing blurb that went with it, has little chance of being returned; a loan with no guarantee of repayment or, if repaid, interest.

    As an alternative, I prefer to use my spare tenner to support the Football Club financially in other ways, with no expectation or desire for my money to be returned in the future: buying merchandise in the club shop, programmes, food from the kiosks, 50:50 tickets and purchasing a season ticket every year for a family member who attends only few matches.

    It would certainly cost a lot less to pay for this person's tickets match-by-match, but I see the season ticket purchase as a means by which I am making a donation directly to Football Club funds, instead of making (what feels to me to be a phoney) investment in the Supporters Trust.

  • In answer to Arnos's question, my reason for not donating is very simple.

    I already donate money monthly to a charity. There are obviously many good causes but its the one I believe is the best use for my money. In truth I probably could afford another £10 per month to a good cause, but if I choose to do that then I still have to make a decision who to donate this money too. Frankly although WWFC gives me great pleasure, if it comes down to a decision as to whether to give £10 a month to support a child in Africa, attempt to give them access to clean water and hence better chance of avoiding disease and better life prospects OR help to fund a fourth division football club, frankly that decision for me is bit of a no-brainer.

    Personally instead of this scheme, I would rather they just increase prices by say £2 a game and scrap the discounts for at least 60-66 year olds but that's a different debate held before.

  • Ultimately "investing" in the share scheme is just subsidising empty seats and the football clubs failure to offer a product that people want to come to watch.
    How many extra people on the average gate would it take to provide the extra income that Alan Cecil refers to ?

  • @AlanCecil Whilst I am sure your post is meant with all the best intentions you do know that many people, myslef included, simply can't afford to add an investment amount to our season ticket and individual match day spend. To suggest, as one reading of your post might suggest, that it is our fault that the team is performing as it currently is only going to alienate me and them from investing should fortunes change.
    I think a slightly different sales pitch might be in order but if I'm honest I'd have thought the percentage of investers to targets is actually pretty good and in line with normal expectations.
    Maybe you should target those how have to invest more before shaming those who can't afford to spend anymore.
    Maybe senior citizens might invest more if they were given ticket discounts in line with almost every other professional sporting club rather than the pathetic offering Wycombe give.
    Maybe there is more than enough money being spent on the playing squad and it jsut needs to be utilised better.

    Sorry for the rant Alan. I know you are well intentioned and fighting a huge battle to gain new investment. I just don't agree with the tone of what you are trying to say.

  • @AlanCecil - in your opinion, do you honestly consider it an investment or a donation?

  • Following on from my and Righty's post, thought I'd do a bit of research on competitive prices charged by London suburb Lg2 clubs (cheapest, seated, OAP). As ever all sorts of deals, but I think this is broadly comparable

    seat main....22.......22.......22........29.....22....25
    OAP age.....60........60.......60.......65......65....65
    OAP seat.....19.......19.......18.......21......14.....14

    Col U - prices are in advance. Stevenage inflate them for "premium" matches by £2.

    Take from that what you will - what I see is that we are out of line cheap for terrace (competing with yet another arm tied behind back?), in line for seats, generous in terms of when senior discounts kick in, in line with senior pricing apart from LO and Barnet who seem very cheap.

  • If, when the scheme was first advertised, it had been sold to me as an investment opportunity, I would have said "sorry, I'm out". 'Donation' doesn't quite hit the spot either. The current disappointments on the playing side have made me wonder a little whether I was wise to commit to a significant contribution over five years but, to the extent that infrastructure improvements and innovations have at least been helped by my contribution, I am happy to carry on. Age and health issues have forced me to give up voluntary work at the ground so that is another factor for me to take into account.

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