Many people are concerned about the principle of public money being used to fund what is essentially a private enterprise driven by London Wasps. This is particularly worrying when both clubs have significant debts and currently run at a loss.
A GASP team of financial experts are currently looking into the financial case for the stadium and associated developments to see if the numbers add up. Some key areas of concern are noted below;
- The Council have allocated £750,000 from their decreasing budget to investigate the feasibility of the scheme and say that expenditure is matched by the clubs. Why is it that Wasps and Wanderers have only agreed to spend £250,000 to date, that doesn't seem very matched to us?
- The commitment of the clubs seems a little sketchy at best. Why is it that Wycombe District Council's own cabinet chose not to endorse the recommendation of their own 'Improvement & Review Commision' 8d seeking "clear and irrevocable commitment from WWFC and London Wasps to be obtained, backed by a legal agreement, to support the Council's intent and to ensure a long-term legacy for the district".
- Currently Wanderers have debts of £6 million and had a reported loss last year circa £1million. Included in all that was rental that they receive for the use of Adams Park from London Wasps circa £300,000. In a new stadium they will receive nothing from Wasps and will have to pay the District Council rental costs. The signs look ominous for our home town football club.
- The Council say this is only the early stages and that they have still to look at the business case. A report carried out in 2008 showed that a new stadium made in a worst case scenario a loss circa £190,000 but this was not the real worst case. Sporting performance is a risky business and the Council have not considered the impact of one or both clubs being relegated or worse still going into administration. Where would we be then?
- Wycombe District Council say that the Wycombe area benefits to the tune of £7 million from having the two clubs but have so far failed to provide any facts to back up their statement. Is this true and in the face of a 6.9% cut to the budget next year is this really where we want our money spent?