Wycombe Wanderers have successfully cleared the debt to previous owner Steve Hayes, it was revealed last night.At an AGM of Wycombe Wanderers Trust – the parent company of the football club – members were informed that the debt has now been repaid using money received from the sell-on clause in the deal which took former Chairboy Jordon Ibe from Liverpool to Bournemouth in the summer.
Hayes handed ownership of the club to the Trust in 2012, with an agreement in place that a seven-figure debt would be repaid over a 10-year period. That sum has now been settled, with Hayes making a significant donation to the Trust as a gesture of goodwill.
Club chairman Andrew Howard said: “Our long-term objective was to pay Steve back over many years - on an interest-free basis – and the money from the Ibe deal has allowed us to meet that objective ahead of schedule.
“The legalities behind the various deals mean we cannot go into greater detail, but the reality is that this is a big step forward for us as a supporter-owned club, and it takes off the pressure of having those regular repayments to make.
“Steve was incredibly supportive of the club during the change of ownership and helped to ensure that Wycombe Wanderers could continue. This turn of events marks the end of an era and I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Steve for everything he has done.
“The next step for us is to continue working towards making Wycombe Wanderers entirely debt-free, and there is still a long way to go. Our financial model is based on succeeding commercially in every area of the business, not being dependent on selling players or embarking on cup runs to meet a break-even point.”
"The money received from the Ibe deal does not leave us with great sums of cash in the bank but we will be looking at the best ways to invest in the future of the football club.”