Wanderers chairman got involved for a bet
‘Not being a fanatical Chairboy will help me be successful’
INCOMING Wycombe Wanderers chairman Andrew Howard has incredibly revealed how a bet with former Wanderers stalwart Ivor Beeks eventually led to him taking the reins at Adams Park.
Howard is a life-long Leeds United fan but will officially take over from the departing Don Woodward tomorrow (Friday) following formal ratification from the Wycombe Wanderers Trust last month.
It is an unlikely development for the British GT3 motor racing champion, who also owns Bucks ice cream firm Beechdean Dairy Farmhouse, as his affiliation only dates back to the 2009-10 season.
“I’ve only been involved with Wycombe for four or so years,” explains Howard. “I only got involved with Wycombe because I had a bet with [former chairman] Ivor Beeks that the day Leeds United were in the same league as Wycombe I’d buy a box. He phoned 20 minutes after Wycombe were promoted to League One, so I bought a box and here we are today. I’m a businessman through and through and I’m used to running with teams that win in top level of motor racing.
“I got involved and having watched everybody in Wycombe, I felt somebody had to put their hand up and say ‘you know what, this is achievable’. I was very lucky that Don asked me to do it and I jumped at the chance.
“I’m not doing this to be paid and I don’t have some ambition to be a football tycoon, but I believe that with the right players, manager and support and input from me, I reckon we can make it a survivable success.
“I love football. I’m a Leeds fan at heart, but if you cut me in half I wouldn’t be half Wycombe Wanderers, I’d be half success at business and half success at winning. I think having someone that is perhaps not a fanatical fan, but someone who is level-headed and sees the commercial side of things, will help. I’m very excited.”
Howard’s time on the Wycombe board has been brief, having only taken his place on the board a month before being named as the club’s next chairman, but already he has a clear vision.
“One of my key strategies is to try and bring as much financial stability to Wycombe Wanderers as possible,” he added.
“Having been involved in motor sports and team sports for a long time, hopefully I can couple that with my experience of business and it will be a good fit.
“The first objective is to build a stable environment. There’s some really good people at Wycombe, some massively loyal people and fans, and it’s about making sure they are able to trust in what we’re doing.
“We need to be clear in the message we’re trying to give to them.
“We won’t agree with everyone all of the time, but hopefully they’ll see that we’re trying to do our best for Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.
“There’s a lot to do, masses to do, but I want to do it.
“We rely on the fan base for the income at the club. If you can create stability then everyone will recognise that and all pull together.
“I think the people that are there, along with a couple of additions, can do a good job.”
Wycombe continued their preseason preparations this week with a 2-1 win at Wealdstone, where former West Ham defender Callum Driver and ex-Stevenage Borough defender Jhai Dhillon turned out on trial for the Chairboys.
That came after Wanderers, who travel to Barnet on Saturday, lost 2-0 to Championship side Reading at the weekend.
Ainsworth: ‘Transfer business not yet done.’ See www.getbucks. co.uk/sport.
‘ SURVIVABLE SUCCESS’: New Wycombe Wanderers chairman Andrew Howard