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Wycombe Wanderers Trust have ended their discussions with Bill Luby and Jim Collis regarding potential investment into the football club.
A meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening (10th April) whereby the American businessmen were due to present their offer to Legacy Members of the Trust, leading to a vote to determine their suitability as majority shareholders.
The Trust received notification over the weekend that Mr Luby and Mr Collis wished to postpone their visit, and – during further discussions between the two parties earlier this week – the offer of investment has now been withdrawn.
Wycombe Wanderers Trust chairman Trevor Stroud said: “This news has come out of the blue for us, but we respect the position of Bill and Jim and appreciate their honesty and above all, their desire to see the best possible outcome for the club. We felt for a long time that they would have been excellent custodians of the football club, and it’s a shame that we were unable to reach a point where Legacy Members of the Trust would have the opportunity to vote on the matter.
“We were excited about the journey that potentially lay in front of us and enjoyed developing a plan which would have laid the foundations for long-term stability and success for the club. However, they now feel that they may not be able to devote as much time to the club as they had originally envisaged, and have taken the decision to withdraw their offer.
“This is a setback for us, however we will resume talks with other interested parties, and are confident of finding the right person or people to take the club forward. We know we have a wonderful club to be proud of, and there will be many parties who would like to join us on our journey. The timing of this news is unfortunate, but we will not be rushed into accepting an offer which may not be right in the long-term.
“This is a very amicable parting of ways with Bill and Jim, and on behalf of the Trust board, I would like to thank them for their interest and support over the past year or so.
“We will continue to keep Trust members updated with our progress with other parties, and in the immediate future, our focus is on giving our full backing to Gareth Ainsworth and the team in our quest to secure League 1 survival in the next three weeks.”
A statement from Bill Luby and Jim Collis reads: “Wycombe Wanderers is a special club that has done extraordinary things under fan ownership. It has been a privilege for us to have the chance to get close to the club and we are grateful to everyone in the Wycombe community for being so welcoming.
“We have been working on this opportunity for two years now. And it was our firm intention to become the majority shareholders and provide the club with the financing and resources required to evolve in a sustainable way on and off the field.
“When we began the process our expectations were that our professional obligations would be slowing down and that we would have ample time for additional business pursuits. Unfortunately, that hasn’t turned out to be the case and we have both taken on significant additional business responsibilities. Upon reflection, we realized that we simply couldn’t dedicate the required focus that Wycombe Wanderers and the supporters deserve and have decided to withdraw from the process.
“We know people will be asking if we were serious in this endeavour. Our loan to the club provided the working capital required to operate this season. We would have never made this loan if we weren’t fully intending to complete our investment. We know that the club doesn’t currently have the capital to repay us. We have therefore offered to move the maturity of the loan to the end of 2019 and have deferred 100% of the interest until that date.
“We wish everyone involved with the club and the Wycombe community the very best of luck and will be fully supportive of the Trust Board as they work to bring in additional investment.”