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WWFC Acquisition Update

Members Acquisition Update September 4th 2019

As we are sure that you will know by now, Rob Couhig has been in discussions with the Trust to acquire 75% of the shares of WWFC, since late June. Those discussions have now reached the stage where the deal structure has been broadly agreed between the lawyers representing both parties. There are still a number of issues that need to be finalised and it is hoped that these can be agreed in the next two to three weeks.

Assuming that these are resolved in that time frame, then we would hope to get an agreement signed with Rob Couhig by the end of September. This will of course need to be ratified by 75% of Legacy Members voting in favour of the proposed deal. As soon as the deal is finally agreed a meeting of all Trust Members will be called to update them on the overall shape and details of the agreement and then the process of getting Legacy Members to vote will be started.

The Adams Park Stadium will remain 100% Trust owned. Neither the Club nor the Stadium will hold any debt, nor will the assets be available to be used as security. The enshrined rights will also be protected.

A Legacy Member is someone who has been a STH for four consecutive seasons, including this one and who is a member of the Trust. The cut-off date for becoming a Legacy member and being able to vote on the deal, is end of day on 21st September. Trust membership costs £10 and you can join by filling in the form on the Trust website, (Click Membership and Rules at top of home page) or visiting the Trust table in the Caledonian suite, prior to one of the next three homes games against Lincoln, Accrington or Portsmouth.

If there are any Trust Members that have any concerns that would prevent them from supporting this proposal, then please contact Trevor Stroud, [email protected] or Rob Couhig, [email protected] in order to try to resolve them.

We hope that the Legacy Members will support this agreement when it is put to the vote, as we, your Trust Board, sincerely believe that it is the right deal to ensure the long term survival of the Football Club and to make certain that we continue the great start to the season that we have made in League 1.

There will also be a Fans Forum at Adams Park in the Caledonian Suite on September 19th, which will be hosted by Trevor Stroud, Rob Couhig and Gareth Ainsworth. This will be an opportunity for fans to discuss any issues relating to the Club, the Trust and the playing side of the business. Full details will be published later on the Club website. We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

On behalf of the Trust Board

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Comments

  • @Shev where is this from? I have no email. Cheers

  • "We hope that the Legacy Members will support this agreement when it is put to the vote, as we, your Trust Board, sincerely believe that it is the right deal to ensure the long term survival of the Football Club and to make certain that we continue the great start to the season that we have made in League 1."

    I hope that all fellow legacy members recognise that our 'start to the season' is completely irrelevant.

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  • Hey @LX1 - I received it via email, but it is also on the Trust website.

  • @Shev thanks. Hopefully will all be emailed to all in time...

    Who do you prefer...Dire Straits or Guns'n'Roses?

  • Guns N Roses - well, at their best anyway (lots of filler too) I will always have a soft spot, as the first couple of songs I taught myself on guitar were GNR, including 'Patience'. I am not massively acquainted with Dire Straits, either.

    How about you?

  • Have the two greatest guitar riffs for me (SCOM & Sultans of Swing)

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  • Mark Knopfler certainly has a distinctive style.

  • Why the sudden rush? I thought we were supposed to get until xmas to judge for ourselves how much of a difference the Couhigs were making. Couldn’t just be to help it along by riding the wave of enthusiasm from on the pitch results could it?

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  • @drcongo I think its exactly that. There is still no 'Plan B' as to what happens if this take over doesn't go though, and also no transparency with regards to debt, and our current financial position. I think they will struggle to get the 75%

  • Plus the sooner it is, the less you have had to invest before the vote.

  • re: repaying the loans if the vote doesn't go through, is it 180 days from Jan 1st 2020 whenever the vote is, or is it 180 days from the day of the vote?

  • The positive start to the season is not irrelevant. Surely no one can deny that the addition of new, quality players has been a significant factor in improved performances and results. The addition of those players was thanks to the new investment. It’s on record that the playing budget would have been reduced by a third before the Americans came on board. We would not have been able to sign those players without them and that’s a fact.

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  • Perhaps the biggest danger to the club now is for the Couhig's to change their mind before the vote and walk away leaving contracted commitments without funding to pay for them. As ever it is unlikely to be the loans that cause the problem, but the future commitments with no cash to fund them.

    Seems to me a good thing to decide either way as soon as possible.

  • I have been extremely impressed by Rob and Pete Couhig's enthusiasm for the club and the level of commitment that they have made to the club, both financially and on a more personal level. There is no doubt that they are winning over the fans and making a real difference at the club, which we've all noticed and I applaud them for it. However let's not get carried away too quickly with our enthusiasm for how they are improving the club. We need to see some hard facts and figures put on the table and a full disclosure of the Couhig's offer and club's financial situation (which has not been disclosed to Trust Members previously) before I personally would vote in favour of handing over the ownership of the club to any prospective buyer. Furthermore, in my opinion, there should be some kind of financial compensation payable to Trust Members for being willing to relinquish ownership and other rights that they currently posses in the club. Let's also not forget the financial contribution and commitment that members of the 500 Club have made through their voluntary donations. It could be argued that the contributions that the 500 Club members have made have also added value to the club, which a prospective purchaser will ultimately benefit from.

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  • @LX1 said:
    @Shev where is this from? I have no email. Cheers

    Trust members emails get sent out in batches. If you still have not got it please send your own email to [email protected] to make sure we have your current details on file

  • I wholeheartedly disagree that Trust members should be personally financially compensated should the deal go through.

    However I must say that I have felt uneasy for a while that the club was launching the latest iteration of the 500 club whilst also in talks to hand over the football club to the Couhigs. It wouldn't be an awful idea to approach those fans to see if they want a refund.

  • I didn't signup for the 500 club this year for precisely this reason.

  • I have been extremely impressed by > @eric_plant said:

    I wholeheartedly disagree that Trust members should be personally financially compensated should the deal go through.

    However I must say that I have felt uneasy for a while that the club was launching the latest iteration of the 500 club whilst also in talks to hand over the football club to the Couhigs. It wouldn't be an awful idea to approach those fans to see if they want a refund.

    So why do you disagree?
    There is also the question of what the Founder Shareholders of the club should receive by way of compensation. Don't they count for anything any more?
    If you owned shares in a PLC and the company gets taken over, you would receive financial compensation for the loss of your shares at whatever was the accepted offer price. I can't see why the same or similar principles shouldn't apply to a WWFC takeover, after all who owns this club anyway and who else is going to receive the proceeds of the takeover offer?

  • ‘Who else is going to receive the proceeds of the takeover offer?’ What proceeds? We’re heavily in debt.

  • Indeed, the concept of "proceeds of the takeover offer" seems to miss the point quite spectacularly here...

  • @glasshalffull said:
    ‘Who else is going to receive the proceeds of the takeover offer?’ What proceeds? We’re heavily in debt.

    So are a lot of PLCs, but they can still be worth some money as ongoing businesses. Why hasn't someone done any kind of proper financial evaluation of what the club is worth, or are you saying that you're content to just give it away to the Couhigs for some arbitrary sum.

  • @AlanCecil said:

    @LX1 said:
    @Shev where is this from? I have no email. Cheers

    Trust members emails get sent out in batches. If you still have not got it please send your own email to [email protected] to make sure we have your current details on file

    Thanks Alan.

  • @glasshalffull said:
    The positive start to the season is not irrelevant. Surely no one can deny that the addition of new, quality players has been a significant factor in improved performances and results. The addition of those players was thanks to the new investment. It’s on record that the playing budget would have been reduced by a third before the Americans came on board. We would not have been able to sign those players without them and that’s a fact.

    Do you think Bury fans are considering how lucky they are to have the investment that took them up last season?

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  • @drcongo said:
    Why the sudden rush? I thought we were supposed to get until xmas to judge for ourselves how much of a difference the Couhigs were making. Couldn’t just be to help it along by riding the wave of enthusiasm from on the pitch results could it?

    I can't see how the position changes from a vote now to a vote in the spring. Club has been loaned large amount of money that they can't pay back, especially with interest and the timeframe agreed. Ship has sailed surely?

  • @DefactoFan said:

    @glasshalffull said:
    ‘Who else is going to receive the proceeds of the takeover offer?’ What proceeds? We’re heavily in debt.

    So are a lot of PLCs, but they can still be worth some money as ongoing businesses. Why hasn't someone done any kind of proper financial evaluation of what the club is worth, or are you saying that you're content to just give it away to the Couhigs for some arbitrary sum.

    It what world is Wycombe Wanderers in the same venn diagram as any PLC?
    Without the asset of the ground and with the potential for players being worth nothing when contracts run out I'm struggling to see how it can be valued as anything other than a brand?

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  • LX1, there’s no comparison between us and Bury. Their owners spent money they didn’t have in order to achieve promotion, whereas Mr.Couhig (a genuinely wealthy man) has repeatedly said that he intends to improve our revenue streams and increase attendances rather than just keep throwing money at it.

  • A model that the Trust board has repeatedly told us is unsustainable

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  • @glasshalffull said:
    LX1, there’s no comparison between us and Bury. Their owners spent money they didn’t have in order to achieve promotion, whereas Mr.Couhig (a genuinely wealthy man) has repeatedly said that he intends to improve our revenue streams and increase attendances rather than just keep throwing money at it.

    We are not the same as Bury. But there is a comparison that must be considered. I very much like the way Mr Couhig has gone about his business. But short term on field results must not cloud our view of the long term future of WWFC

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  • I would also suggest that how 'genuinely wealthy' someone is should not cloud anyone's view.

  • @eric_plant said:
    A model that the Trust board has repeatedly told us is unsustainable

    Again, not a fair comparison. The Trust board did not have the resources to restore the playing budget or introduce new ideas like the modern ticketing system, Marlow brewery tent etc. Mr.Couhig obviously needed to inject some cash to kick start the project, but as I said he has stated that his ultimate aim is to make the club more self sufficient.

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