Skip to content

Bearwood. A view from the other side.



  • But not their training ground.

  • edited March 19

    True. But the planning permission prevents it being anything but their training ground. BRK!

    It was just a thought I had that's all. I'm sure others are better qualified to make the assessment.

  • The point I was making was that the party involved had inside knowledge of that cash hole at that time. So were able to offer a sum that was equal to that. Was an independent valuation taken of the property at that time so we could sell it for market value to other parties to raise more money? I very much doubt it.

    Let's face it if we advertised a double digit return on a piece of real estate in that location I am sure we would have had more than one taker.

  • I respect your opinion but I did say those involved in the deal should be acknowledged, I didn’t use the word thanked. However, I would say that alternative funding wasn’t available at the time (the banks certainly didn’t want to know) and the situation was so critical that wages and bills needed to be paid or the consequences could have been dire. With hindsight it’s easy to be critical of the deal and/or the motives of those involved, but the phrase beggars can’t be choosers comes to mind.

  • And I believe Ivor is still President of the football club. If so it could be argued there was/is a conflict of interests

  • I can't remember the numbers involved but don't remember them being very generous to the investors. Suffice it to say that an asset with only one obvious potential tenant , no obvious alternative use and that tenant being known to be financially unstable is not an attractive proposition for any commercial landlord or lender. We did of course default on the agreed rent pretty shortly afterwards as I recall. With respect I think you have not taking proper account of the commercial realities that existed at the time. If we are going to rake over these coals, it would be interesting to be reminded of what the numbers actually were if anyone can find them.

  • We come from a place of mutual respect. But I come back to the cloak of secrecy and the fact that when people tried to find out the nuts and bolts of the deal (trust members) they were shouted down. I think I started to lose faith in the concept of the trust around this time when it became clear that some were more equal than others and the ordinary trust members were kept outside of the room where the grown ups did grown up business. Tapping out now.

  • Sure. I’m not saying it was a master stroke of good real estate business, I am saying that we very much needed the money, and needed it as quickly as possible.

  • There was helping the club out in a cashflow crisis, then there was seeking rent off a distressed asset from a club you were the chairman of for decades. I don't blame the Trust doing what they had to do, the anger amongst those I speak to who haven't forgotten about it is with Beeks and his cohorts.

  • I’m thoroughly depressed reading about the seemingly dangerous state of our training pitches and the suggestion (which sounds perfectly plausible) that both they and the astraturf (?) alternatives are the cause of what I assume to be a disproportionate number injuries. And it has felt for a long time that this may have been the case.

    The shouting down by the club chairman (at the time) of one of our fellow Gasroomers when he enquired at a Trust meeting about the composition of the rescuing group was startling. In effect he was told to shut up, concentrate on the football and keep his nose out. If memory serves, I was sitting next to @Twizz at the time. (I should add that he was not the questioner.)

    As @glasshalffull says, beggars can’t be choosers but the underlying feeling, certainly amongst the more cynical/realistic of us, was that the investment was seen as having longer term potential for a cash killing. I’ve no idea whether that is likely to come to fruition but, if it does, the football club looks unlikely to be a beneficiary.

  • Players bringing in their own food doesn’t feel like ‘best in class’ Championship aspirant behaviour either, disappointing.

  • At the time though, as I recall, we had a buy back option which by definition precluded the possibility of a "cash killing". We only lost that option when we defaulted on paying the agreed rent if I recall correctly.

    As I recall it, the terms were a relatively low yield (rent/cash advanced) in commercial times with a financially distressed tenant and hence no certainty that the rent would be paid (and in fact we subsequently did default), with no obvious replacement tenant if we did fail and no obvious alternative use for the asset in that circumstance. Any material significant upside in land value (which felt unlikely at the time given green belt status and indeed given that the surrounding fields are still grass doesn't appear to have materialised) should have flowed to the tenant rather than the landowner via the buy back. With those realities it doesn't feel surprising that no commercial landlord or bank would lend/sale and lease back on those terms.

  • edited March 19

    Rumours on Reading Twitter that one of the three bidders is an NFL owner who would want to use the training ground for NFL purposes while sharing with Reading, and will walk away if Wokingham say no.

    How awkward for Wokingham. Having grandstanded over the clause, they now have to use it to shoot down a third of the remaining bidders for the actual club, evidently.

  • edited March 19

    Only NFL owner who would really make sense is Shahid Khan, but he already owns Fulham.

  • Why would only one NFL owner make sense?

    Could be any of them

  • Because that's the team touted for years to move to London. Then again, the San Francisco 49ers have invested in Leeds.

  • Surprise surprise.

  • Nice up-to-date photo of Wycombe they've used there

  • I've also seen it reported that a bid of £28M has been made for Reading FC to include the stadium, training ground, academy players, women's teams etc etc.

    Makes it seem even more unlikely "our" offer was anywhere near £25M for just the training ground.

  • Here's my hypothetical for what happened:

    1) Dai Yongge approached Rob Couhig about purchasing Bearwood

    2) Rob Couhig know a distressed asset with a owner desperate for short-term cash when he sees one: he will have put in a deliberately low offer - say £2m - and tried playing hardball

    3) Yongge would have strung him along while actively pursuing better offers

    4) Once a viable consortium came along Yongge leaked Wycombe's offer to the press to force the hand of said consortium into making a bid (they may well have been biding their time until Yongge was about to go bankrupt to get the best offer)

    5) Yongge then informs Rob Couhig his deal is off

    6) To save face Rob Couhig says the reason Feliciana pulled out was because of the planning permission.

    Who knows, eh? It's all just supposition - there are many other hypotheticals that would also fit into the known facts. But that's mine.

  • edited March 19

    You love a fabricated storyline

    Should edit before getting hammered with down votes - I think this is plausible.

  • We might as well push on slightly further and just buy their whole club.

  • Surely you can devise more hypotheticals to make everyone involved look even more sly and incompetent.

  • edited March 19

    One thing on my mind about the training ground is that considering how much of their working week the players spend there, if it was that horrendous surely we wouldn’t get players wanting to re-sign with us year after year, especially with other clubs having nice facilities within an hour’s drive.

    It probably isn’t ideal at all after an extremely wet winter like we’ve just had, however I think our issue is probably more around how much we’re being charged for it rather than it being a poor facility.

Sign In or Register to comment.