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Bearwood. A view from the other side.



  • Hear hear, and one of the many things I like about the Gasroom is the courtesy we afford opposition fans wanting a civilised chat about stuff, particularly compared to the cesspit that is X.

    I really hope this is the end of the affair as far as Wycombe's involvement goes. We've had our name dragged through the mud this last week or so and that's something I genuinely care about.

  • As a relative newcomer to all this, I'm not in the loop regarding the previous shenanigans of the ownership of the Marlow Road training ground.

    However, if we had an 8-figure sum available to contemplate the purchase of Bearwood, surely now that has been kicked into the long grass, why can we not approach Beeks and his cronies and make an offer to buy Marlow Road, which is already adequate for our needs, and has our branding and facilities in place, and only a short drive from AP?

    Or is that too simplistic a question?

  • RC doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would do business with those he considers to have wronged him.

  • Beeks now knows we have a spare £20 mil knocking about and would surely want all of it for Marlow Road.

  • Supposedly we had already started discussions about a new training ground somewhere else as part of a new film studio complex. There may be a part of any next decision that may be around not wanting to pay over the odds for it to enrich the current owners.

    Also have no idea how good it is, can't quite remember if we are little Wycombe where the volunteers have to paint and trim it or Prem chasing giants with investing owners.

    Probably worth noting that an existing fully kitted out venue with potential of a sitting tennant to offset costs and knock down price due to a distressed seller is a very different long term prospect to anything else, we don't know if this money was committed and is now spare or if it just made financial sense to Rob to borrow the money for it in these circumstances.

    ML might be our hero, it might just stand for money lender, not easy to forget that amid all these grand plans it was the trust that had to pay for the toilets and we don't even seem to own that giant barbeque thing they made such a fuss of.

  • Cheers @theRoyalBiscuit - when I am tempted to hate Reading because of some of the abusive reactions, I remember that there are fans like you. Decent supporters who just want their club to remain alive. All the best in that happening!

  • Derby County are under 'financial monitoring restrictions' until August 2024. Hasn't stopped them posting a £10m loss with £15m laid out on wages.

    So it looks like you can still lash a fair bit of wedge about regardless.

  • edited March 18

    Do the shirts for those excess players get to have HMRC as the sponsor?

  • One thing I haven't seen mentioned is whether the facility at Marlow Road is fit for purpose. I believe there is a feeling that our significant number of injuries over the last few seasons maybe linked to the quality of the soil/pitches/drainage at Marlow Road.

    This maybe a red herring but if it can be proved in anyway then perhaps this is another reason the club wish to move away from this facility.

  • LX1LX1
    edited March 18

    I was offered a price on Marlow Road many years ago.

    It was a bit steep

  • Cut price deals available on Paradise Street in Bradford

  • Enjoying the other side @theRoyalBiscuit we often do have other views on here from responsible and decent opposition fans.

    Do I think the EFL will ensure you are meeting responsible financial targets? Of course not. They are impotent and inept. They are great at sabre rattling after the car crash has happened but has never stopped a club getting itself into shit. Derby led them a merry dance in full view of everyone and they were pathetic. So do I expect Reading to be back in the same sh1t down the line, yes. When I see public figures lauded for spouting that Reading’s rightful place is in the Premier League I can see the core of the problem.

    Where do you go from here with 83m of debt? Dunno. Your next owner might give you some respite until they too get bored. Your overheads (including the training facility) are too much for your revenue. It’s really as simple as that. I know you want the best players and the best academy but you can’t afford it.

  • The training ground building has fairly recently (within the last couple of years) had a chunk added. The canteen facility has also had a recent refurb. No idea who has funded those particular improvements. The midweek volunteers were involved in decorating the canteen during refurb & have also been involved in exterior painting, tree pruning etc. during the last 6 months. Does that make us 'little ol Wycombe' rather than Prem chasing giants? Better not tell Rob, Bobby C or RC if it does.

  • Some posters on here give you stick for being the mouthpiece of whatever group of owners are currently in control. Generally I don't, because I think you're a helpful antidote to others' more negative views.

    But you will rightly get stick if you decide you are going to selectively deploy your insider knowledge when it suits you. Just to check you are not doing that here, can you also give us the answer to a closely related question? Have former club directors been unreasonably obstructive in allowing the sale and development of the Marlow Road training ground to Feliciana? And if so, why?

  • The only insider knowledge I have is from the experience gained in over 20 years serving on WWFC’s board of directors. Running a football club is a lot more difficult than some people think it is and it is easy for people to criticise when they don’t know all the facts, some of which must necessarily remain in house. In reference to the Marlow Road training ground, the club was in desperate financial straits when three individuals used their personal funds to help the club get over a critical period. They protected their interests with clauses that might seem unpalatable now that so many years have passed, but they could have used their money in safer, more advantageous investments that would have been no benefit to WWFC. They chose to help the club and that deserves to be acknowledged.

  • I should add that I genuinely don’t know if the people in question have been obstructive or not, I am no longer party to those kind of conversations.

  • Thank you for that insight @glasshalffull . I remember at the time concluding that the terms of the deal were generous to the football club from a straight commercial perspective but can't remember the detail now. As for the present, the Couhigs do play hardball. Only fair that those they do business with play hardball back. We will probably never know the rights and wrongs of this one - especially as it remains unclear what alternative uses, if any, there are for the Marlow Road land.

  • edited March 19

    There is an issue of injuries at the training ground. Do you remember a few years ago, the club were advertising for a full-time groundsman at the training ground? My brother was approached by someone at the club to enquire if he was interested. At that time, the club's kitman was also being a stand-in groundsman but he had no formal training at ground maintenance which caused Kaikai's knee injury last year as he fell and twisted it in a badly repaired divot during a training match.

    I don't believe they filled that post due to money and it's been left alone since.

  • I wonder if the Trust might consider registering the Marlow Road Traning Ground as an Asset of Community Value?

    It wouldn't prevent it's sale at some point in the future, or it's change of use if the planning situation changes, but it would at least stop it being sold out from under the football club without proper consultation.

    I, for one, didn't know such a thing existed until it came up in relation to Reading ground.

  • I wonder if some of the parts of the facility might be falling into neglect as it's been shared that players are having to bring in their own food so most of the kitchen isn't being used / will need a professional deep clean. I also think other areas are closed down to save money. If things aren't being used sometimes their life expectancy also decreases.

  • The pitches at the training ground have been flooded due to the heavy rain and the only viable alternative in the area is to use all weather surfaces which are notorious for causing wear and tear injuries.

  • Those all weather surfaces are a nightmare for injuries. I never pick up injuries unless it’s on one of those. I do feel for the squad if they’ve had to train on those a lot recently. You expect better as an established professional footballer.

  • Is Marlow Road used for anything other than training? If it is only used privately by a professional sports team, I don’t feel like it meets the definition of an asset of community value. If it is open to the public for hire and therefore encourages participation in sport (and is actually used for this purpose) then that would seem different.

    I’m not sure if the Wycombe Wanderers Foundation uses it as a venue for any of the community activities.

  • The sheer amount of rain arriving in the country, I think it was the wettest February on record, I'm not surprised it has been flooded. I suspect lots of other teams have suffered similar at their training grounds.

    Viable alternatives are not always readily available, apart from all weather pitches.

    Having some limited knowledge on cricket pitches and maintenance, it is quite often the soil type that dictates how well a surface trains and either falls apart or stays together. I suspect that we would need to invest a huge amount of money to try and "correct" the soil at Marlow Road, with no guarantee it would be successful.

  • I genuinely love the positivity you bring to the Gasroom, even in our crappiest of hours. But the last sentence was too much for me. As members of the trust we were never allowed to know whether the agreed figure was the value of the site or the money we needed. The value and terms of the purchase v the amount of return would make Dion Dublin whooop on Homes Under the Hammer. The demand for secrecy is always a red flag. The fact that when anyone tried to question how the deal was made up they were shouted down was not on. And at the time we were all owners of our beloved club, equal amongst men/women. I won't be thanking the people involved.

  • We’ve got a fair idea that it was the money we needed because Wycombe Wanderers still exists.

  • Readings Stadium is registered as an Asset of Community Value, 🤷‍♂️.

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