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Club holds contract talks with players

A sad farewell to some promotion-winning stars.

8 May 2019

Gareth Ainsworth has held discussions with those players whose contracts with the club expire this summer, as more than 20 years’ service from six different players comes to an end.

The club held a planning meeting on Tuesday afternoon to determine its playing budget for the 2019/20 season and has taken the difficult decision to make significant reductions as a result of the increasingly challenging financial position.

As a consequence, Marcus Bean, Darius Charles, Paris Cowan-Hall, Michael Harriman, Yves Ma-Kalambay and Nathan Tyson will all be leaving the club this summer at the end of their contracts.

Ben Frempah – who joined the club on non-contract terms in March – also departs, while Luke Bolton and Charlie Owens have returned to their parent clubs.

New contracts will be offered to Adebayo Akinfenwa, Dominic Gape and Scott Kashket, while an option has been taken to extend the contract of goalkeeper Cameron Yates for a further year.

Chairman Trevor Stroud said: “We are immensely proud of the club’s achievement in reaching and then sustaining its position in League 1, and are desperate to continue our upward progress which we hoped would be supported by investment going forward.

“While we remain in talks with a number of interested parties, we have not yet been able to secure the funding that we had hoped and simply cannot gamble the club’s future by maintaining a playing budget that we are unable to afford.

“We are all aware of the pros and cons that come with supporter ownership, and the limitations that it places on us, and I hope that at the same time as celebrating our recent successes, the fans can appreciate the reality of our situation and that we must cut our cloth accordingly. There are too many stories across the country where clubs are finding themselves in real trouble due to the financial pressures and it’s imperative that we avoid falling into the same situations.

“It is regrettable that we have had to place Gareth and his staff in the difficult position of preparing the squad for next season on a greatly reduced budget, and having to part ways with some fantastic servants of this club over the past few years.

“On that note, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Marcus, Darius, Paris, Michael, Yves and Nathan for their efforts for Wycombe Wanderers, and wish them every success for the future.”

Gareth Ainsworth added: “This has been one of the toughest situations I’ve faced in my time here. Of course I appreciate the position the club is in, and the security of Wycombe Wanderers must come first.

“We achieved promotion from League 2 with a mid-table budget, and stayed up in League 1 with a bottom two budget, so we will always believe in ourselves to deliver the objectives against all odds. However, I’m under no illusions that survival next season is likely to be an even bigger challenge.

“The squad will be small, as we’re used to, and we are unlikely to be doing much business this summer in terms of the permanent signings. We will need to use the loan market well, but we back ourselves to find the right players who are ready to jump straight into League 1 football and fit into the culture we have here.

“One thing we can guarantee is that no side will work harder than us, or have a stronger team spirit than us. We’re used to doing things the hard way and we’ll be giving everything to punch above our weight once again, but we need the fans with us and appreciating where we’re at.

“It’s been a really unpleasant day for me, saying goodbye not just to some really talented players and fantastic professionals but also some good friends who I’ve loved working with over the past few years. I hope our paths cross again and I’ll be looking out for how their careers progress because they’ve each played their part in the club’s success and we’ll always look back fondly on their time with us.”

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