A note from the Chairman

As has been reported in the media today, the financial accounts for 2016 have now been filed.

It should be remembered that these accounts cover a period of nine months when neither Dean or l had any involvement in the running of the club and various businesses.

The report states that 'progress is being made to remedy Wanderers' financial problems'. I can assure you that a great deal of hard work has been put in by the entire team and this will be reflected in the next set of accounts.

There is still a long way to go before we can say the club is financially sustainable but everyone is striving to achieve this over the next year or so.

Indeed, revenues are increasing and costs are being reduced substantially. Some of the costs were a legacy from the past and were not able to be dealt with until the end of the 2017 financial year.

But steps have been taken to ensure that going forward the club will target financial stability through being prudent with expenses and salaries whilst at the same time looking to increase revenues across the board.

The continuing success of Whites Hotel was referred to, and Suzanne Speak and her team are to be congratulated on the fantastic job they are doing. As I have said many times in the past, the work and effort they all put into running the hotel and Premier Suite is to be applauded.

They continue to bring in new revenue sources and are frequently complimented by customers and corporates for the service they provide. I hope many of you will experience and enjoy the ongoing refurbishment of Whites in the future.

As regards to the comment that there are still some major issues to be resolved, this is correct and is reflected in the accounts, but since the 2016 year end a great deal has been achieved and whilst l do not wish to go into too much detail, l would make the following observations.

The Eddie Davies and Brett Warburton debts of £15.2m and £2.5m respectively do not reflect the true picture. For instance, Eddie wrote off another £5m during 2017 and the balance is very much tied into success on the pitch and in my opinion, further write-offs will be made which will effectively wipe out the debt which is contingent on a number of events.

Likewise, the £2.5m debt to Brett is not repayable until March 2018 and then it is £500,000 not the full £2.5m. I must emphasise that both Ed and Brett have been very supportive of the club and at no time have they ever put any pressure on our current finances and I am confident they will both continue to support the club in the future.

The BluMarble and Dean issues continue in discussions and I as l keep saying. I am optimistic of amenable agreements being reached with both parties. The figures being bounded around are wide of the mark of what I believe the final outcome will be.

I am conscious that the £17.5m figure that is being attributed to Eddie on future success may not be portraying him in a good light and without going into detail, he and l have had a number of discussions on this matter and he has been extremely helpful.

In my opinion, it is highly unlikely this amount will ever be paid. Depending on the future success of the club on the field Ed will benefit, but this is a contingent liability and was known from the outset.

As regards to the embargo, we are working away at trying to get this lifted, but it is not an easy thing to do because of the legacy we inherited. The filing of the accounts ticks another box and goes a long way to helping us exit in the foreseeable future.

The comments on Prescott Business Park (PBP) and Michael James accurately reflect the situation but like Eddie and Brett, Mike has been extremely helpful and patient, and constructive and amenable discussions continue. Once again, this is a legacy issue that we inherited as the assets were sold prior to our arrival.

I have not said that the buyback of the assets and the refinancing is being prohibited by a council granted order on the land - what I said is that I do not think the order is helpful to the club going forward.

We have appealed the decision and are in dialogue with the council on the matter as l write. I would also mention that the tenants/neighbours and PBP are supportive of our appeal.

I do not intend to make any further comments on these issues and will now focus on giving the manager as much support as I can in getting a competitive squad together for the fast approaching season.

As I mentioned earlier on in this column, the hotel is continuing to drive additional revenue for the business with a whole range of events being accommodated over the coming months.

This weekend, we are a key venue for the Ironman UK tournament which is being held locally. The hotel and stadium will be the changeover point from the cycling to the marathon, while many of the international athletes are residing in the hotel.

The International Football Programme is continuing to grow apace and we will be accommodating teams from Saudi Arabia (Ittihad FC), United States, Kenya and Colombia over the coming weeks.

Indeed, we will also be sending out some of our own coaches, led by Danny Clarke, to San Francisco.

Please continue to support the hotel by attending their many events and by following them on their social media channels to keep up to date.

We are really pleased that Sammy is back with the club once again and I'm sure you are all looking forward to giving him a big welcome upon his return to Macron Stadium for our friendly against Stoke City later this month.

Finally, we will be revealing our home and away kits at 5pm this evening and I am certain that all Wanderers fans will be delighted by them.

It goes without saying that I hope as many of you wear your colours throughout the season, both home and away, to get behind Phil and the lads.

Every penny you spend at the club really helps us strengthen the team going forward.

Kind regards,


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