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Bearwood. A view from the other side.



  • It's probably not horrendous, but it is very bad and the surface does contribute to our excessive number of injuries.

  • i certainly wouldn't put it past Dai Yongge to do something along those lines. In fact I think I posted something along those lines earlier, if I didn't, then I certainly thought it a possibility. He only does something when he thinks he can benefit from it.

  • edited March 19

    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)

    4) Lomtadze meets Yongge at the training ground and says "You stringing me along? You don't string me along"

    5) Yongge then informs Rob Couhig his deal is off

    5) Yongge pulls a gun on Lomtadze and says he wants the money now. Lomtadze says "Oh. You brought a piece. You know how to use it? You fucking know how to use it?? and pulls an AK47 on Yongge.

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

    6) The ensuing bloodbath sees a pitched battle between Yongge's ninjas and Lomtadze's henchmen where the facilities are shot to bits and rendered useless. Both men decide to blame the LibDems in order to save face.

    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.

  • It is my understanding that the offer made by a North American consortium for Reading FC and their stadium was just £6 million.

  • When I had to go in there about 2 years ago to do some work, everyone up there was banging on about how great it was up there and how lucky we were.. so what's changed in 2 years ?

  • That is exactly what I thought. I am sure I remember people volunteering to paint the kitchen and other rooms etc and the pitches having an overall. I also remember that people from within the club were saying that they were lucky to have such a facility, fit for a professional football club.

    Was that not the case?

  • Plenty of signings have mentioned how good the training ground is , can’t comment on its bearings on injuries though. Obviously far more to this as I don’t think we need to get another training ground obviously not owning it no doubt is an issue.

  • Yes it was.

    I think this is a classic case of ..

    We own it... its great

    We don't own it... its not good enough

  • The facilities themselves are fine. It's the surface that's the issue.

  • edited March 20

    Are the football club currently paying rent for the training ground ? My understanding is that they defaulted fairly soon after the sale but I don’t know whether, for example, payments were resumed following the Couhigs’ acquisition of the football club.

    I was part of an OWWSA group given a tour of the training ground about ten years ago (?) (including lunch on the same table as GA) and I was impressed with the facilities, not least the very well equipped gym where I shyly asked Gareth what he thought of The Doors as he pedalled away on a stationary bicycle. *

    Interestingly, we were told that we would not be able to go on the grass to watch the players training as recent rains had made the surface too muddy.

    * sounds like it was a mobile stationary bicycle. GA probably wished it was.

  • Surprised it doesn’t drain pretty well tbh. Surely must be chalk. Certainly high.

    my guess is it’s pretty similar to most smaller Lg1 and 2 teams - maybe better than some??

  • Chalk when wet gets very slippery. Perhaps that's why we get so many injuries with players falling on their arse!

  • This issue of pitch quality is beside the point I think. The geology of the training ground is the same as Adams Park and we don't see chalk or bits of flint popping up there. The pitch position at Marlow Road is arguably better as there is less shadow on the grass.

    The difference between Marlow Road and Bearwood is size and number of pitches. Marlow Road has two full size pitches whereas Bearwood has at least eight, probably more, based on Google Earth.

  • I have never heard of someone pedaling away on a stationary bicycle before!

  • edited March 21

    As in beavering away. Going hard at it , as it were. But I did acknowledge the faintly comical ambiguity with my footnote.

  • Ludicrous to compare the surface and soil composition at the training ground with the Adams Park pitch which has had tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of pounds spent on it. And the elevation of the training ground may well put it above chalk levels.

    I don’t think the issue is at all beside the point.

  • edited March 21

    Wycombe used to host a summer youth football festival at Adams Park. They used it as scouting for youth talent for the centre of excellence and we used to take teams as coaches, it was a great experience for the teams to play on the pitch at Adams Park. Our lads (Chalfont Saints) won the tournament one year as well, beating the wanderers youth team on the way.

    one year the pitch was unavailable and the event was held at the training ground. I have to say the pitches there were terrible in comparison to Adams Park.

    this was before the Couhig’s takeover but the pitches were that typical Buckinghamshire chalk and clay…I.e. rubbish for football.

    btw we need good pitches to coach good football. I am convinced that poor pitches locally have held back youth coaching and development for far too many years.

  • I am no geologist, but the pitches at the training ground used to be a neglected field, the pitch at Adams Park was designed, built and maintained as a football pitch. Big difference.

  • Make of this what you will. Any geologists out there?

  • This shitshow is taking pretty mind bending turns, but that would take the (Huntley & Palmer) biscuit.

  • The ground belonged to Instron to serve as their sports club if my memory serves me correctly, so it was unlikely to have been prepared to any particular standard. Not long after we moved there in 2002, IIRC Martin Taylor was injured when he dived on an exposed flint, causing a nasty gash on his knee.

  • Never knew we had such an exquisite level of expertise on the composition of football pitches on the gasroom.

    Such a shame the club didn't put a shout out on here for advice.

  • You are correct but it was a farmer’s field before Instron acquired it and they only converted part of the land for sports use. The pitches they laid were nowhere near the standard required for professional footballers to use several times a week.

  • Rob says in his interview that the two fields at Marlow Road are unusable 25% of the time and that the condition of the field is important to Kian. The main reason for lack of use of the pitches was stated to be too much rain or too little. My instinct was that Rob thinks we need more pitches, not that ground conditions at Marlow Road are the issue, although the map shared does show shallow clay deposits at the training ground which are not present at AP, clay rich soil is less likely to drain easily.

    I accept that Adams Park has had more investment in the pitch than Marlow Road- but surely there's been some efforts to improve the pitches? They look ok on videos and photos from the training ground- I appreciate there is more to it than appearance.

    Another important point in the interview is that Rob states the training ground owners are good guys who love the club, but for some reason they do not want to sell it to the club. Does anyone know why they don't want to sell it?

  • Probably because they can't build houses on it if they sell it to the club

  • But if that’s true surely their commitment to the club could be questioned. I don’t know Beeks and co personally but my gut feeling was that they wouldn’t want to exploit the club for personal gain. Something doesn’t add up.

  • A considerable amount of money was spent on improving the pitches in recent years but they are still not good enough and have directly or indirectly (needing to use all weather surfaces) led to a number of players being injured.

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