Date:Friday August 24 2007
Steve Hayes' major announcement was unveiled at the Fans Forum last night and it involves his purchasing of an 11% stake in Wasps and planning a 20,000 capacity community stadium in the town.
There is no doubt that Steve Hayes has his heart in the right place when it comes to Wycombe Wanderers but after looking back on the plan you can't help but feel that Wycombe are playing second fiddle to their rugby counterparts. After all it's the capacity of Adams Park that is causing them the issue of a possible fine from the RFU yet the 10,000 attendance is ample for a club the size of Wycombe despite the long term plan for Championship football.
It's clear Reading and London Irish aren't far from Hayes' mind but it just seems that we don't have the fanbase to do it. With a host of higher league clubs nearby the only thing a bigger stadium is going to do is to drag more rugby fans into the Wycombe area and it's hard to see their presence being beneficial for Wycombe Wanderers.
Those who have been to Darlington will know than there's nothing less atmospheric than 5,000 skittling around in a quarter or less full stadium and as much as it's going to be dressed up as 'the only stadium in modern times to feature a terrace section' it just doesn't seem to appeal.
Another point was raised about without Wasps we would struggle to survive. This seems innacurate as there are several teams in this division with sub-3,000 attendances and no tenants to rely on to provide funding and none have got the prize and television money gained from a domestic cup run to the semi-final.
Hayes has also said he will review his funding club in 2 years time and that it will rely heavily on if the new stadium gets the go-ahead.
So, a stadium that we have had given to us and have grown fond of changes to us being tenants to a rugby club that is supposedly 'keeping us going'. I admire the ambition and the dedication shown by our Managing Director but I'm not won over by it...and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
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