American businessman and prospective new Wycombe Wanderers owner Rob Couhig has told supporters he hopes to continue his excellent working relationship with Gareth Ainsworth despite interest from Sunderland and Millwall.
Couhig is hoping to seal a bid to take a majority share in the club from the supporters’ trust, and he’s got the backing of the Chairboys in-demand manager. Voting among members on whether to approve his purchase has started and will last another two weeks.
However, when addressing the supporters trust ahead of the vote, the potential new owner stated although he wished to continue to work with Ainsworth, he would not stand in his way if he wanted to leave. Heavily quoted in the Sunderland press, Couhig said ‘He and I have a great relationship and I hope it will continue.’
‘Should the day come when he decides to move on, we will consult with the best people in the business, consult with you [the fans], consult with others and make a decision on how to go forward.’
‘It would be my hope that it would be someone similar to Gareth in the sense that they would have the discipline, the intellect and the ability to guide these lads forward.’
Ainsworth began his coaching career at Wycombe Wanderers in a player-coach role in 2011, having earned legendary status in his final years as a player.
The former QPR caretaker boss was handed the manager’s reins at Adams Park in September that year and steered the club away from relegation before hanging up his boots after more than six hundred career appearances.
Ainsworth’s first promotion as a manager came in 2017/18, as the Chairboys clinched League One football with a third-place finish in League Two. His stock in the game is currently soaring after keeping Wycombe in League One last season on a minuscule budget and then guiding them to second place this season following a blistering start to the campaign.
Media outlets continue to link Ainsworth with Millwall and Sunderland. He was also recently linked with the Lincoln City job and expressed the ambition to manage in the Championship.
Ainsworth probably wishes the vote at Wycombe could be concluded earlier to make his decision easier.
He will know that if Couhig gets control, his investment could see the Chairboys kick on and enable him to have a realistic chance of achieving his ambitions at a club a he’s heavily emotionally invested in..
However, football is football; there is no room for sentiment, and it is looking increasingly likely Ainsworth will leave Adams Park.
Couhig might be hopeful of him staying, but his tone and talk of a succession plan suggest the reality is otherwise
The question still is to where and when, but that should become clearer in the next few days.
Our money is on Millwall.