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End of supporter ownership at WWFC?

I have just read the AGM report on COTN ( and I'm pretty amazed that no one has mentioned this already..

Trever Stroud seems to suggest that there will be a meeting arranged soon to discuss the future of our club

What do people make of this?



  • There's not really much to make of it, unless it's idle speculation you're after. I guess we wait and see.

  • Not really sure that's what Stroud says. We'll probably never be more than a few months away from the next 'serious discussion' about our ownership model.

    Very encouraging report as well, thanks to the Trust board for all their hard work, and the ever excellent COTN for their coverage.

  • Have got to be honest and say that I hadn't spotted that link on COTN.

    Looks like a return to private ownership is very much on the cards.

    It might also explain why we have appointed a General Manager.........

  • I can see many thinking "private we really can criticise"

  • People talk about it like it's a simple choice, If someone actually wants to buy the club, not the ground or the trust but the football club bit, they surely need to show up with real money.

    I would be very sceptical and would want a raft of guarantees, i'd also probably favour us trying to carry on as we are unless they were promising shedloads of cash and had some pedigree.

  • I thought at the time, that now the debts to Steve Hayes had been paid off, and other debts probably greatly reduced, all of a sudden this clun would look very muvh more attractive to a potential buyer.
    My bet would be on Steve Hayes putting in a bid.
    Whether it would get through a members vote , who knows ?

  • Fortunately, whilst there are some nutters within our supporters, I doubt there are enough prepared to get in bed with Shylock again.

    Outside the Premiership, I don't think there is any club financially attractive to a buyer unless they want to go on an ego trip or can see development value in a club's land.

  • Im fairly sure this is all a wind up, i find it very unlikely that he wouldnt have tried to lever the debt to him in his favour if he had any interest in ownership.
    I imagine the meeting would be about who else to pay back when, and appeals for more regular cash from fans

  • @Stewie63 , are you insane?

    Why the bloody hell would we sell to the guy who almost bankrupted us (allegedly).

    Well, unless he says don't worry about the money. Then, i'm convinced! Sign him up!

  • @Malone I'm quite sound of mind, thank you very much. I do wonder though if he still fancies another bite of the cherry. Incidentally I wouldn't vote in favour. I think we have a near perfect model for a league 2 club and possibly a league 1 club.
    In fact I think all professional clubs at least in League 2 and below should follow our ownership model.
    The main focus should be on increasing the match day attendances , not selling the club to a wealthy person again.

  • Having read it through it does suggest that the directors appear to not have any faith in the supporter ownership as a long term model, it's also worrying that whilst he has listed a lot of clubs at our level none of them are having any real success ( I dread to think how much money Dale Vince has spunked away on trying to get forest green promoted ). I am sure I have seen AH hint at this before about the current model not being sustainable and I do fear for our long term future, the last thing we want is a Notts County or Leyton Orient situation.

  • Unless Steve Hayes is some master tactician outfoxing everyone, I cannot possibly fathom why he would buy the club again.

    He lost a fair whack when he owned it, lost even more when he handed it back to the trust, and then lost another unspecified amount when the debt was paid off early

  • Happy to take your bet, Stewie. How much do you want to stake.

    Listen without preconceptions to what they say when the moment comes, ask difficult but objective questions then decide on the evidence provided whether to follow their recommendation whatever it may turn out to be.

  • The worrying thing is that I'm absolutely certain that there are many fans who think it was a disaster Hayes left and that Booker was rejected.
    They refuse to be drawn on issues such as how we'd have actually made any money at all out of being tenants in a ground we didn't own, with no earning capability from the surrounding developments, or many other concerns never addresses.

    Instead they cling to vague "build it and they'll come" conjecture.

  • They should ask Coventry fans what would happen to their club.

  • Alternatively, Stockport County fans. Did Wrexham follow the same path or do they still own the Racecourse ground? Any other examples of clubs selling up, Hillingdon, Hayes?

  • Wrexham AFC lease the ground from Wrexham University, who currently own it.

  • From what I've read in the last couple of weeks, it seems that Chesterfield may be another example of the folly of the "build it and they will come" approach. It doesn't feel that the Chesterfield case is an example of an evil, asset-stripping owner ร  la Alex Hamilton at Wrexham or Ken Richardson at Doncaster, but perhaps it's an even more compelling case study for that.

  • It was always the most compelling argument against Booker for me, that just because someone has good intentions it doesn't mean they should be blindly followed.

  • If Hayes had built the ground and the club owned it I would have been with him. Selling AP for housing whilst getting the council to build a rugby club for us to

  • The best example is Darlington.

  • Didn't Scarborough go out of business trying to build a new ground?

  • And now they operate in the Evo Stik Div 1 North.

  • Not the original Scarborough though as they went bust and reformed as Scarborough Athletic.

  • @bill_stickers A great example of having the wrong owner. Just for info Darlington 1883 FC are planing to move into Blackwell Meadows on Boxing Day - sharing with Darlington RFC.

  • I do wonder if the current ownership model is sustainable in the longer term. With both the Share Scheme and the 500 Club, diminishing returns have meant that targets are unlikely to be met and future financial stability seems likely to depend to a large extent on continued success in identifying. attracting and developing young players from non-league etc with a view to selling them after a few years (or sooner) and having success in one or other of the Cup competitions. At present that does not seem an unreasonable proposition but only time will tell if it is sustainable and I hope there are no plans to depart from it "any time soon" to use the modern idiom.

  • What have Barcelona done to be so successful as a fan owned club?

  • Barcelona play in the top flight of football in Spain and benefit from being one of the largest clubs in the country and a TV detail skewed towards themselves and Real Madrid. They are also big enough that financial problems are solved creatively. I may be confusing Barcelona and Real Madrid, but one of the two doesn't own its training pitch, but the banks would never call in the debt.

    I am in favour of fan owned clubs, but certain examples of good practice are questionable. The move towards fan ownership and sustainability needs regulation on a global as well as a national scale, because football is global. Otherwise too many clubs will simply compete on an uneven playing field or one which has no correlation with the size of fan base/ paying spectators.

  • Aren't Barca something like a billion in debt?

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