Steve Hayes has sent a heartfelt personal statement to The Bucks Herald after handing the reigns over to a new consortium this week.
Having ended his era at both Adams Park clubs, the former chief hopes his efforts will leave the club in a good position to aim for future success.
In the statement, though, he does warn of the potential dangers of losing the rugby club to another district and hopes improved support from Wycombe and Bucks councils will keep them in the area.
Hayes has been eager to have his say on the takeover and what might be in store for both clubs and requested for the statement to be published in full so supporters can hear his side of the story.
Hayes statement in full:
“I am delighted that we have now successfully concluded all the negotiations that have resulted in the takeover of Wycombe Wanderers along with Adams Park to the Trust, Frank Adams Legacy Ltd and the sale of London Wasps to a consortium led by Wasps CEO David Thorne. I wish both clubs every success in the future. It’s been a fantastic experience and I am proud to have been associated with two great clubs who are at the heart of their communities and who have both demonstrated that they have their communities in their heart. I would like to pay tribute to Wanderers Manager, Gary Waddock and Chairman, Ivor Beeks along with Dai Young, Wasps Director of Rugby and Mark Rigby, Wasps Club Chairman with whom I had an excellent working relationship and who have done and will continue to do a tremendous job for their clubs.
“Shortly after the decision not to proceed with the Sports Village was taken by Wycombe District Council, I felt that I had to pass the baton on to new owners who could take the clubs forward in different directions. However this decision does not mean that I will not still be supporting the clubs and will continue to visit Adams Park as a fan of both Wanderers and Wasps. Like many others I still have ambitions for them both and want them to succeed.
“I have not made any comment since Wycombe District Council made their decision as I wanted time to reflect and consider the future. I accept and respect the Council’s position although I am still very disappointed. I still believe in the concept of a Sports Village although I would be the first to admit that some mistakes were made. I have learnt a lot from this experience at not inconsiderable personal cost and the time is now right to move forward.
“Turning to the future, I am certain that Wanderers will succeed in Wycombe at Adams Park under the stewardship of the Trust, Frank Adams Legacy Ltd. But what about the future for London Wasps? Without a doubt they have the have potential to be a very successful club with a great new management line up along with an excellent team of staff and players. I was quite dismayed however by Wycombe District Council leader Cllr Alex Collingwood’s seemingly complacent assertion in comments relating to the sports village that Wasps won’t move from Wycombe because the numbers don’t add up for them to go as it would be too costly. I still believe that as things stand, the numbers don’t add up for them to stay at Adams Park. I believe the reality will be that Wasps will move away from the district within a couple of years unless both WDC and Buckinghamshire CC too, start being more pro-active in helping them with a new separate location within this area so that they cease to be dependent on a ground share.
“As a trust member and supporter of Wycombe Wanderers and ardent fan of Wasps I believe that both clubs need support from a pro-active local authority - not one that simply talks a good game and just makes the right noises. As both clubs start new chapters with new owners, I hope everyone gets behind them and that includes the council who claim that their long term vision is to ensure “Wycombe district is economically strong and the place to live work and visit”. Now they really do need to turn that into action and a tangible commitment - or stand to lose an important and prestigious community asset that helps promote the district.”