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Trust Vote



  • I've posted before about finding it a bit odd that Trust members were being told at the last AGM on one hand we had no money to put forward for cash calls from WWFC instigated by Feliciana, but then in the same meeting we were told we had loaned the club £100k. Now we are being told we are donating this money (and presumably the interest due) to WWFC.

    It could well be that this is part of a strategy to appease the Couhigs or there is a strong business case for this being the most desirable course of action for WWT, though it does feel like we're being told one thing then something else, if not the opposite being true. I would certainly look forward to an explanation for this course of action.

  • edited June 2023

    From the books it seems that the £10m Championship monies paid for most of the improvements.

    To help me recover from my delusions, do you have any evidence the Couhigs have put their own cash into these upgrades?

  • I should think comparing the playing squad shortly before and shortly after they took over would do the trick.

  • That’s a fair point @floyd they must have put in working capital then. Whether they were loans or whether they’ve subsequently repaid those investments isn’t clear.

  • Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. What 'putting their own money in,' meant in the summer of 2019, means today, and might mean in say, 2025, has never been clear.

  • That spend could well have funded out of the monies we received for the Championship season? Without real financial detail we will never know.

  • To say the Couhigs are taking money out of the club implies a L1 club with 5000 gates can be profitable in this day and age. I can't see that, myself.

  • edited June 2023

    I’m not sure it does. We made something like a £3.5m loss last season but it’s not clear how that will be funded. IIRC there was no detail on any salaries taken by the Couhigs or otherwise, nor information on any dividends etc.

  • My feelings about the Couhigs and their financial opaqueness is an old story, told many times. I won't bore you all with another retelling. Though I do wonder whether we're asking enough questions of the Trust members on the WWFC board who seem to be the only ones with access to financial information and are calling the shots when it comes to Trust decisions. Are Trevor Stroud and Tony Hector sufficiently robust in their independence? Are they exercising their roles in the best interest of the Trust or of the Couhigs? Is there enough transparency towards and scrutiny from the Trust board to warrant confidence about whether they're fulfilling their duties competently?

  • I'm not one of those rabid anti Couhig people, but clearly the distinction is WHERE the money has come from for wifi, the new boards floodlights etc.

    We did have a highly profitable season in the championship, and have this big "shortfall" of funds / debt.

  • From what I've been told by people itk... championship money paid for all that

  • I think Trevor Stroud does whatever he thinks will make other people happy and is best for Trevor Stroud

  • edited June 2023

    There is no magic money tree (despite what some politicians may imply) so someone is funding day to day operations of the Club etc. Presumably this is in the form of loans as there have been no additional share issues since the Couhigs converted £600k in debt into equity.

    I have no issue with directors funding the club via loan notes provided they

    a) charge no interest on the loan

    b) realistically have zero expectation of the loan being repaid until such time as the club is sold or some other mug is parted from his cash, sorry third party investors are found

    In truth this is pretty much how all bar the top 6-10 clubs in the PL are funded; once we descend the pyramid the mismatch between income & expenditure means no-one is making money & pretty much all are reliant to a greater or lesser extent on the largess of their owners.

  • Is there any evidence whatsoever to suggest that Mr Stroud and Mr Hector are not performing their roles to the best of their ability in what they see as the best interests of the club?

    As far as I can see two long term supporters of the club giving endless hours without reward deserve much much better than seemingly baseless scurrilous insinuations from behind an anonymous keyboard.

    one of my pet hates in this modern world tbh (as you can probably tell).

  • and much better than getting a slagging from the Chairman?

  • As a Trust member I asked at the Trust AGM if we as shareholders could see the full annual accounts of the football club. The answer from the Chair was, ‘No, as the Couhigs do not wish to make that information available’.

    And indeed the club does publish abbreviated accounts, which is all that is required by law. But I feel frustrated by that lack of transparency.

    It was also made clear by the Chair that when the Trust Directors sit on the football club board they are obliged to act in the interests of the shareholders (and the main shareholders are the Couhigs).

    So there is absolutely no shred of evidence that Trust Board are doing anything but their proper duties and their absolute best for the club.

    Since the Couhigs bought the club we have enjoyed our most successful seasons ever and we should be thankful for that.

    Finally, since that sale, I have always doubted that the Trust would be able to fund 25% of the losses of a loss making football club or 25% of future investment. That has turned out to be true and we are seeing the inevitable decline of the Trust’s power and influence.

  • It's true that the Trust now has less power and influence over the football club than before Couhig ownership. However, as you say, that was always inevitable and without the Couhig ownership where might we now be?

    I've always believed that the primary purpose of the Trust was to ensure ownership of Adam's Park remained separate from ownership of the football club. To that end it's my view that the current ownership model - 10% ownership of the football club with no requirement to match cash calls - is a better situation for the Trust than before it's share of the football club was diluted.

    Without the current agreement the Trust share of the football club could have been diluted to zero; as I understand it if we'd not been able to match any future owners financial investments.

    As it now stands the Trust can look to raise funds for other projects rather than funding football club investment. Maybe even to ensure that they do have enough funds to keep Adams Park the home of Wycombe Wanderers in the unthinkable scenario that a future owner of the football club takes it into administration!

    I realise that I may be alone in thinking that the sale of 15% of the football club to the Couhigs was in the long term of benefit to the Trust. However, it's important to remember that the Trust only came to own the football club after SH took us to the edge. The Trust wasn't really conceived to own the football club but to own Adams Park.

  • My knowledge of business finance is somewhere between limited and sweet Fanny Adams so I usually defer to the experts on here even when you disagree (fun to read even though I can’t tell a loan note from a share issue).

    In my simplistic view I always struggled to see how the Trust could come up with 25% of anything beyond a few grand when it appeared to be funded by smallish number of people paying a small amount each year to belong to it. I expected Rob et al to say at some point that the Trust had to produce far more cash than it could possibly raise for something so either the something didn’t happen or the Trust defaulted in some way.

    So I think @Twizz seems right here. If we (I’m a legacy member) no longer have to put cash in, Rob has to maintain the ground as part of his lease, and we via FALL own the ground then that seems a safety net of sorts. If Rob bankrupts WWFC then FALL and the Trust together have somewhere for a phoenix club to rise from. Albeit with, I assume, little in the bank unless the Trust is making money in some way beyond membership subs. Does the Trust get money from non football events at AP?

    One question if I may though? If WWFC was bankrupted, does the Trust have 10% of the liability?

  • FWIW I had an email chat with Nigel and am now much more comfortable with the position the Trust are in and over recent decisions taken.

    I don’t feel it is appropriate to share the correspondence but I was impressed with his candour and openness.

    There is still plenty of money in the Trust’s account and little to no possibility of any calls from the club for further funding.

  • No.

    WWFC is a limited company and hence shareholders are not liable for losses on failure.

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