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Andrew Harman bid for WWFC

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  • First, I owe Marlow Chair an apology as I thought his posts last year were scaremongering and could have been vicious rumours, but they have proven to be true and he must have been in the know that this was all going on.

    I have just returned home from the meeting probably attended by around 150 people. The truth is now finally out in the open and after hearing it both during the meeting and having it confirmed afterwards in conversations, it is important the facts now get out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Particularly Legacy Members who are going to be voting in the coming weeks.

    Andrew Harman has been in conversation with members of the Trust Board for some time (over a year). No bid was tabled at that point but it was only when Harman was re-approached by a member of the ex players association in November that he realised there might still be an option to table a bid should the American bid not be voted through.

    Talks have since happened and a bid was tabled. Harman gave Stroud 48 hours to mull over this option and the fact that this was still rejected and to instead pusue the American proposal tells you everything you need to know.

    So, Harman has been talking to the club for some time and has clearly been blocked by Stroud and the Trust board have been complicit. I do have some sympathy with individual Trust Board Directors as not all of them may necessarily back this stance personally but none have so far taken a stand, and have presented it as a united Trust Board which is wrong.

    Harman presented a passionate proposal to the floor which is investing £3m over 5 years. £2m for the Club and £1m to kickstarting and developing an academy.

    The bid is headed up by
    Andrew Harman, proposed as Chairman,
    Ken Wilson (currently Elite Performance Scout for the Scottish FA for junior players) proposed as Academy Director
    & Ben Langdon, proposed as CEO and in charge of Day To Day and Financial performance.

    Ken was in attendance and spoke mostly in regard to the academy plans but Ben was in South Africa so unable to attend.

    Andrew gave us a breakdown of his current roles, he is in Director or Shareholder positions at Oakman Inns, White Oak Financial Services, F3Group Management Consultancy and also that he has been a trustee of Scannappeal for 5 years.

    He talked about how our on-pitch performance is currently impressing under the guidance of GA & RD, but informatively and passionately spoke about the need to address cash flow issues, underusage of corporate & hospitality boxes, and the lack of academy structure. Ken Wilson would help Paul Foley at WWSET to build on the great work they currently do. There would be added focus on scouting - processes, structure and technology to help the football management team.

    The 'ambition' is to stablilise in League 1 over the next 3 years, with a view to hopefully then pushing for the Championship. £1m would be ring fenced for academy development and Harman has a 4G pitch in mind within a 10 mile radius to use as a site to grow it.

    The % ownership proposed was an initial minority stake, with a view to taking a majority stakeholding after 2 years, but Harman did say that this wasn't necessarily a demand.

    Harman also spoke about increasing revenues to offset some of the losses the club is currently making. Stadium tours, corporate hospitality, event hire - making use of Adams Park as a facility. More fundraising events. There are 700 businesses in Bucks with 50+ employees and he has contacts within most of these and can get his foot in the door and with a marketing team (and a full time marketing manager in place) can tackle this, especially being based locally.

    Alan Hutchinson (it was good to see him) passionately spoke in favour of Andrew's bid and clearly lots of ex players were also supportive - Rhino, Brian Lee, Keith Scott, Anton Vircavs, Bob Dell, Mark Hill, Glyn Creaser, possibly others.

    This was presented as an ALTERNATIVE bid to the US one on the table, which we will hear about on Monday 28th.

    Now I don't take what I am about to say lightly. I have no self-interest in saying this and worked with many of the Trust Board and Trevor Stroud for 3 years and have no personal axe to grind with them.

    However, quite frankly, I have drawn my own conclusions that it is a complete disgrace the Trust Board have not presented this option to its members. To rule out minority investment, a serious viable alternative and railroad Trust members into a single choice of majority ownership when this Plan B exists as a fallback is unforgivable.

    Since the preferred US bid was announced there has been a lot of misinformation and scaremongering out there that voting 'No' would have serious financial implications for the club, when in fact this fallback option has been staring them in the face. We now only find out about it because Harman is forced to as a last resort call an open forum at a neutral venue.

    Then, there is the absurd situation that the Trust has broken its own rules, has agreed a charge against Adams Park with the American loan, and is STILL fobbing off fans that they have done nothing wrong when this is factually incorrect. I still had Trust Directors defending their position on this post-meeting - unforgivable.

    If we as members elect the Board to make these key decisions, then them failing to present this very good proposal to members means they have completely failed and deserve to be held to account.

    The entire board should resign en masse if they have any shred of credibility about them.

    I would certainly back an EGM and vote of no confidence in this Board and its Chairman, because the fact that this bid has not been presented to members as an option is purely down to self-interest and personality clashes. This is the future of our football club and personal interest should not play a part in deciding it.

    The American proposal may well still be the best way forward for us as a club and they have done nothing wrong themselves to this point, but the Trust cannot be forgiven for failing to present us with this choice, and they should not be 'trusted' one jot that they have proposed the best solution.

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  • That’s such a nice thing for you to say and for me to hear , I’ve had a very difficult time of being it for other reasons in recent months and football at Adams Park and my friends and the club I love have been very important to me and I’ve not been able to stay silent at risk of injustice harming it.

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  • Thank you DJWYC14 for such a comprehensive and detailed report on this meeting. Frankly I am astounded about what has been going on. I have lost complete trust in our Trust.

  • Excellent post @DJWYC14

  • @DJWYC14 - Thanks for the great summing up. Was there a representative of the BFP at the meeting, and if not, they need to be made aware of the dubious goings on at our club.

    It would be interesting to know whether Alan Parry is still solidly behind the Trust Board's conduct.

  • Unable to attend tonight.

    Was anything said about the alleged history of AH (Andy Harman - let's call him 'AH1') having approached the club previously but having been rebuffed?
    Was there any reference to the alleged clash of personalities with the other AH (Andrew Howard - let's call him 'AH2')?
    Mention is made in Lloyd2084's post above to due diligence being undertaken by AH1. How is that likely to happen if the Trust board is not taking his existing approach seriously?
    Mention is made in Trublue's post above to a "director" being present. Others mention "board members". Who were the directors and board members present and did they say anything?
    Above all, what is the process for AH1 now?

  • I'm not sure @mooneyman but glad to say Phil Catchpole was there and I am sure he will have a better more comprehensive summary to put out there.

  • @Thicketblue AH has to wait until February 20 for the vote to fail before he can proceed. Which ridiculous in itself.

  • Great post by @DJWYC14. The whole trust board do need to resign or be ousted ASAP.

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  • Interesting to see a “sports representative” from the bucks free press. I wonder what intelligent input he will blow our minds with this week. Great that he brought his notepad, shame he wrote about six words on it.

    The only place to go for genuine news is @bluntphil ....but we already knew that.

    @marlowchair I’ll always be thankful, the barrage of abuse from some on here has been almost deafening, almost.

    Great summary @DJWYC14

  • Mr. DJWYC's posting above is extremely detailed and impartial.

    Although I was counting as best I could and I thought the crowd was nearer 175.

    The club control the communication to the fans and we had very, very short notice on a cold January evening so a multiple of what they get for a Fans Council - less than 20? - and not a lot less than we have had for AGMs.

    The turn-out reflects the concerns most people excluding the auto-responders have.

    The biggest problem is how can the Legacy Members etc. get access to Mr. Harman's presentation tonight before the vote starts on Monday?

    As long as Mr Stroud is Chairman of both the F.C. board and the Trust board and the Andy Harman ex-players bid, or offer or whatever, is not in the best interests of Mr. Stroud and other external influencers, the fans will never get to hear of it.

    We have 4 weeks to make a decision that will affect our club forever.

    Give us the information and let us make our own minds up.

    As they keep saying when they ask for money, it is OUR club.

    Trust board directors were there as was Mr Davies, please relay the message as accurately as the poster above.

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  • TS should go. But I’d be happy with the rest of the board to say. Believe me, good men have been badly led

  • Have shared this thread on Twitter as it's the most detailed account anyone who isn't a Gasroom user is going to get of tonight's meeting as it stands. As has been said though, Phil was there and hopefully someone from the BFP as well.

    Was there any impression that the official details of the proposal might be freely uploaded by AH et al for all to see tonight/in the coming days?

  • Trust directors Alan Cecil and Tony Hector were present, possibly others who I didn't see as well. Nicholas Tunney from the BFP was also there.

  • edited January 23

    Very good, accurate post @DJWYC14. Andy Harman was annoyed that the Trust had not allowed his option to be presented to members. He said members deserved to have all the options on the table. He was also a little critical that Trevor Stroud had said that he had not made a bid, although he admitted that due diligence had not been carried out. The presentation he gave tonight was 95% the same as the one he gave to Trevor Stroud very recently.

    AH spoke very well, he is blunt and comes over as honest, as Hutch vouched, and transparent. Ken Wilson also spoke well.

    Tony Hector and Alan Cecil were there, as were Matt Cecil, Tom Jarvis and Michael Davies. Most there were legacy members on a show of hands.

    Phil said there will be a report on the 3CR morning show, and he will be airing his thoughts with a Sound Cloud recording again.

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  • What a ststorm Stroud. One fking job!

  • @TrueBlu said:
    TS should go. But I’d be happy with the rest of the board to say. Believe me, good men have been badly led

    D Cook is his right hand man and lead whip. Instrumental and everpresent at every juncture, the power group who give each other roles on the football club board must be accountable and ultimately must step down or be removed

  • Evening all. There will be an interview with Andrew Harman aired on the BBC3CR Breakfast Show in the morning, just after 0730 I believe. I'll post up a listen again link afterwards for those who can't tune in at that time.

    I will also be attending Monday's meeting and I've been in contact with Bill Luby and Jim Collis and I'm looking forward to interviewing them too.

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  • @marlowchair
    But we all know who is controlling both Stroud and Cook, the walking ego that hasn't really walked ?

  • Could not make tonight so thanks @DJWYC14 for an excellent report on the meeting.

  • edited January 23

    AH sees closer contacts with the local community, educational institutions and businesses as a key strategy. Those are fine words, and it will take a lot of hard work and acumen to make a success of that, but he says he already has a lot of contacts in those areas and was clearly passionate about it.

    The Academy is also key, it would be level 3 or 4 "hybrid", also taking overseas students.

  • What the heck was Andrew Howard’s problem with any of this? @DevC ?

  • Ive just seen a sneak preview of Halfglassparry's report of the evening.

    "Only 6 people turned up, and they all booed all the speakers"

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  • The difference in Harmans proposal is the expertise and skill set he proposes to bring in to achieve it. The Americans may do the same .

    I Was very close to our current general manager tonight who has overseen utter mediocrity and failings in his time being paid to lead our club. He muttered and scoffed when Harman spoke of the lack of commercial clout at the club and where we should be focusing to bring in revenue, as if our GM thought he had it all under control , results clearly suggest otherwise ad we have slid to compete operational and financial ruin under his and Trevor’s watch.

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  • Apologies if I am being a pillock but, just as a matter of interest, does anyone know whether the Ken Wilson mentioned in @DJWYC14's post tonight is the same Kenny Wilson who used to play for us in the 1980s at around the same time as Andy Harman?

  • Thanks for all the reporting folks, much appreciated. Good to hear it is hopefully another option. Not at all surprised to hear about all the stuff coming out about the board... maybe others will all believe now as well.

  • I would also like to place on record my thanks to the individuals whose efforts to speak up in the face of adversity have eventually managed to open a few more pairs of eyes. The silence from certain regular posters this evening is quite deafening.

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  • @Cyclops Yes he is the same one.

  • @cyclops yes you are correct.

  • @M3G Thanks. Makes the bid sound even better to me. Sentimental I know, but I always liked watching him.

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