Chairman, Jeff Bonser, has today issued the following statement...On behalf of the Board of Directors I am pleased to present the annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 May 2016.
For the eleventh successive year I can announce a trading profit, this time of £417,000 (2015 - £62,000). This also represents 20 years of profit in the last 23 years which I believe to be a significant achievement in light of the perpetual financial pressures all football clubs face in an increasingly competitive environment.
It was also a very successful season on the pitch. In the League, the Team came within one point of securing an automatic promotion place to the Championship, losing out on the very final day of the regulation season. Unfortunately, the Play-Offs proved a bridge too far and we went out at the semi-final stage to a Barnsley team that ultimately gained the final promotion spot, beating Millwall at Wembley.
It was tough on the Team as they had been brilliant throughout the season, finishing ten points ahead of Barnsley and in the process achieving our highest points total (84) since our successful League Two promotion winning campaign back in 2006-2007.
This achievement was all the more impressive given the fact that the players had to work with three Managers during the season in Dean Smith, Sean O’Driscoll and Jon Whitney.
We also had moderate cup success during the year. The Capital One Cup saw us beat Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion before we came up against José Mourinho’s Chelsea. In front of a packed house at the Banks’s Stadium we lost 4-1 on the night but it was a fantastic occasion for the Club, Supporters and Town alike.
A run to the fourth round of the FA Cup, which included victory away at Dean Smith’s Brentford, also generated plenty of excitement.
The Academy continued to justify the huge investment the Club makes each season as second year scholars Maz Kouhyar, Jordon Sangha, Rory Oliver and Kory Roberts signed on professional terms for the first time in their fledgling careers. Former Academy graduate Liam Roberts also made his First Team Debut.
The Youth Team also collected some silverware with a 1-0 victory against Basford United in the final of the Midland Youth Cup.
Off the pitch we were delighted to welcome international pop superstar Sir Elton John to the Banks’s Stadium as he brought his European tour to Walsall. On a drizzly evening back in June 14,000 fans attended to witness a spectacular show that will live long in the memory for all those who braved the weather. The event made me very proud not only on behalf of the Football Club but on behalf of the Town as a whole. Hopefully this will pave the way for other such artists to consider the Club as a fitting venue to host similar events in the future.
As always, we have continued to enjoy fantastic support from our Commercial Partners and Sponsors. I would like to place on record my personal thanks to those organisations and individuals who have invested in the Club over the season and have contributed towards everything we as a Club have achieved.
In particular, I would like to thank HomeServe and Marston’s for their continued ‘top level’ support but also a special mention for Mid-Counties Co-op, Dains LLP, the Walsall FC Community Programme, the University of Wolverhampton, Acorn Group, Accord Housing and Tile Choice.
Once again, I would like to pay tribute to the Community Team who enrich the lives of so many local people and of course my fellow Board members and Staff at the Banks’s Stadium for their ongoing commitment and dedication.
Finally, on behalf of everyone at Walsall Football Club I would like to say a big thank you to the Supporters. As always, they have been terrific and I would like to assure them all that all of our efforts are focused on giving them a Team and a Club to be proud of.
The full Directors’ Report and Financial Statements are available to download here
The Annual General Meeting for Shareholders will take place in the 1888 Lounge at the Banks’s Stadium at 9:00am on Monday 21st November 2016.