Read chairman Andrew Howard's notes in Saturday's matchday programme.Here we are again then at the start of another season – my third as chairman of your football club – and I have to say I’m massively excited about what the next stage of our progress could bring this year.
Years one and two were about survival and stability and whilst we have had some ups and downs, I do feel we have moved towards these goals. The achievements of the team on the pitch – plus developments off it – have meant we are genuinely on our way to becoming a sustainable fan-owned club. There is still plenty to do but I think it’s worth just stopping and saying thank you to everyone who has been involved in Wycombe Wanderers Football Club in the last 24 months.
Let’s start with the football. On the whole, last season was a good one; I always feel you have to look at the bigger picture than just the way it ended, and to surpass the points target in March, and reach an FA Cup third round replay against Premier League opposition, shows that the players delivered over and above what was asked of them, for which they deserve real credit.
This year there is no points target. Gareth and the team don’t need to be given a carrot to chase after because they are so hungry, determined and focused to be successful that everyone at the club knows they will give absolutely everything they have, and let’s see where it takes them. The management staff identified where they needed to improve the squad over the summer, and I have to say the early impressions made by the new signings are extremely encouraging.
I hope you enjoy watching the team this season, seeing how they gel together as a team on and off the pitch, and I hope it will be a great time to be a Wycombe supporter.
Off the pitch, the summer has seen us take some big steps forward commercially, with a number of new partnerships being developed, including the launch of our deal with O’Neills and the superb range of kits they have provided us with. We are going about our business the right way and finding that more and more companies, both local and national, are intrigued about the direction the club is heading, and they want to be a part of it.
The work of the volunteers over the summer has been immense, and once again we are indebted to those who give up their time in the sun, wind and rain to help their club. It saves the club thousands of pounds, it keeps this wonderful stadium looking its best, and it underlines the values that supporter ownership stands for. The volunteers now cover areas as diverse as the accounts department, the shop and the stadium. This is your club, and you shape it.
We want to be able to share with you some more details about the financial implications of Jordon Ibe’s transfer from Liverpool, and that will come in due course. Please let me just make clear that it doesn’t change the way we operate day to day, and does not all of a sudden give Gareth a big increase in the playing budget. We continue to live within our means, being smart in everything we do, to preserve the security of the club.
Your support through good times and bad is the single-most important factor in this club’s success, above the contribution of any individual, and the greater the support, the more chance we have of moving forward together. Thank you for everything you do.
Today we kick off our home league campaign and the lads deserve your backing from the very first whistle to help them get the right result.
Enjoy the season ahead.