The board of directors of Wycombe Wanderers Trust are in advanced discussions with American sports team owner Rob Couhig in relation to Mr Couhig becoming a shareholder of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.
The Trust have been in discussions with a number of interested parties since announcing their intention to attract investment into the football club last September and have now reached an agreement in principle with Mr Couhig, who will also appoint football consultant Mark Palmer and financial consultant Peter Couhig to the club’s management team.
In addition to the investment of funds into the club’s on and off-field operations, Rob Couhig and his team will have direct involvement in the club’s ongoing management and will review all operations to help create a sustainable model for future success, with a view to securing the backing of the Trust’s Legacy Members – those who have held a season ticket for four or more consecutive seasons – for the acquisition of a majority share in the future.
It is intended that, at that point, neither the club nor its Adams Park stadium will hold any debt, nor will the assets be available to be used as security.
Rob Couhig is an investor, lawyer, businessman and above all, a sports fan and former owner of his hometown baseball team, the New Orleans Zephyrs. During his ownership, the Zephyrs were among the most successful Triple-A baseball clubs, at an equivalent level to the EFL Championship.
Together with his team, and his wife Missy, Mr Couhig plans to develop strong links with the local community, drive the club forward by supporting Gareth Ainsworth’s endeavours in recruiting and retaining the best players available, and place significant emphasis on improving the matchday experience at Adams Park.
Trevor Stroud, chairman of Wycombe Wanderers Trust, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement in principle with Rob Couhig and welcome him into the football club at the beginning of what we strongly believe will be a fruitful and successful journey over many years to come.
“For more than a year now, the Trust board have held the view that the football club requires investment to remain sustainable and to help the club continue the excellent progress it has made in recent times.
“Rob has demonstrated a real and genuine commitment to adopting the values that make this club a proud part of its local community, and also carries the ambition, expertise and financial resource to be able to build on the foundations that we have in place.
“Since the withdrawal of an offer from our previous recommended partners in March, we have continued discussions with a number of wide-ranging parties and conducted meticulous legal and financial reviews into each party to identify what we believe to be the best route forward.
“We now look forward to introducing Rob and his team to the Trust members and supporters of the club, and believe that together we can help Gareth Ainsworth strengthen the team on the pitch and improve the experience for all visitors to Adams Park through a shared vision of what is right for Wycombe Wanderers and its supporters.
“Rob shares our belief that the progress that we can achieve over the coming months will provide a suitable platform to enable Rob to reach the next level of financial backing by acquiring a majority share in the football club.
Rob Couhig said: “It is a privilege to join the team at Wycombe Wanderers and I’m honoured to be arriving at the club at a time when the club has achieved such fantastic progress in recent years. I would firstly like to thank the board of directors of Wycombe Wanderers Trust for selecting me as their preferred route forward and pledge with my hand on my heart to do the very best that I can for this proud football club.
“You have a fantastic structure in place that I believe I can help develop on and off the pitch, and I look forward to working alongside Gareth Ainsworth, the rest of the staff and the supporters to develop a plan to ensure that the achievements of the past five years are built upon. I am hugely passionate about creating a great fan experience at games and I know we can increase attendances by making Adams Park a truly entertaining place to come and watch football.
“This will be a collective effort, and it will need us all to pull in the same direction to make sure we make a success of the opportunity that lies ahead of us. Positive change may not happen overnight, but I will give full support to every department of the club and I’m extremely confident that supporters will gradually be able to see that our combined efforts will pay off for the benefit for everyone associated with Wycombe Wanderers.”
Wycombe Wanderers Trust have called a meeting for all members at Adams Park on Thursday 11th July. Full details will be sent directly to members via email in due course.