Meeting held at the Banks’s Stadium, Monday 5th February 2018
Stefan Gamble (SG) and Daniel Mole (DM) – Walsall Football Club
Steve Davies (SD) and Trevor Reece (TR) – Walsall Football Supporters Trust
Colin Bromley (CB) – Walsall Supporters Club
Nick Adshead (NA) – Walsall Football Club
1. Points still to action from last meeting
SD asked if the baby changing facilities information was available. DM confirmed this is available on the website under the Club section. SD asked if this information could be put in the next programme to make more fans aware.
2. Update from Walsall FC Supporters Club
It was noted that Colin Bromley was unable to attend due to personal reasons. The invitation was extended to other members of the management of the Supporters Club but no response was received. It was noted that members present were keen for the Supporters Club to remain part of the working party going forward.
3. Update from Walsall Supporters Trust
SD advised that bricks for the memorial wall need to be ordered for Jack Bridgett and Dave Robinson (Former Players), Tom Hargreaves and Clive Welch (Former Directors) and Horace Brisbourne (Former Member of Staff). NA to pass information onto Diane Williams so they can be ordered in the next batch.
Meeting with Fans Group
Discussion took place regarding the Fans Group meeting which took place between Directors of the Club and Supporter Representatives on 1st February 2018. DM asked if the Trust had met prior to this meeting. SD confirmed they met after the Fans Group meeting. TR advised that going forward the Trust will meet prior to Fans Group meetings.
SG offered an open invitation to other members of the Supporters Trust Board to join these Supporter Working Party meetings and suggested meeting on a monthly basis on the first Monday of each month.
SD and TR advised their main concerns following the Fans Group meeting was the current Chairman’s Exit Strategy. SG and DM re-iterated the point made by the Chairman last week that his plans are to leave the Club in safe hands and ensure that there is a Walsall Football Club in the future. TR suggested whether a phased purchase of the freehold through from the pension scheme was a viable option. SG to speak to the Chairman.
Disabled Supporters Association
SD advised he would be attending the next DSA working party meeting this evening. This project is ongoing. DM asked if the Supporters Trust could help raise its profile on social media. SD said that initial feedback he had from supporters was that the designated steward (Dave Gollins) has been excellent with supporters and he is keen to liaise more with him to make the supporter experience better for everyone.
SD mentioned the empty advertising boards in the Lower Tile Choice Stand compared to other toilets around the Stadium and asked if these could be populated with events and fixture information. DM will speak to Marketing Team for them to action.
SD also referred to an observation from a fan on 16/12/17 where a fan was waiting to board the Supporters Club coach to Northampton and had asked to use the toilets but was told no at reception and to use the Saddlers Club. DM and SG unaware but explained that the Stadium was not open and reception not manned as it was a Saturday but apologised for the situation.
SD mentioned that the link to the Supporters Trust website is no longer on the Club website and asked if it could be put back on. SG agreed to this. DM will ask the website editor to put this back on.
Co-Op West Midlands
SD advised he would be attending the board meeting on 06/02/18 which is a useful networking event for the Club and Supporters Trust.
SD advised the team is back playing again and that the Supporters Trust helped by paying half of match fees for the recent fixture against Oxford. Rob Harvey is back managing the team.
SD asked the question of who pays the loan players. SG responded advising every deal is different. The club sometimes pays a proportion of a player’s wage but on occasion has to pay the full wage to the player’s parent club.
SD advised the Legends are being run by Brian Palgrave. DM asked if the Club can be advised details of when they are playing to allow information to be put on Club Website and Social Media accounts.
Boxing Day Meals
SD said he had been advised that the cost of the dinners on Boxing Day were doubled. SG replied that the game was a Category A match which would make it £5 more expensive. The Club’s costs were also increased with it being a Bank Holiday with catering staff earning time and a half. DM said Wayne Thomas to provide full response.
Former Players Day
SD has been contacting players already to invite them to Former Players Day which is on 14th April at the AFC Wimbledon game.
End of Season Dinner
SD enquired whether there would be one this season. DM and SG responded saying that the Club would like to do one and currently trying to work into the schedule.
West Midlands Police Supporters Group
SD advised that Sgt Mick Wilkinson and Howard Rees-Jones are moving onto work on the Commonwealth Games and a replacement for the Advisory Group is being recruited.
SD also advised he attends these meetings on a regular basis and asked whether someone from the Club would like to attend the next meeting. SD will confirm the date. DM to see if a member of staff can attend.
SD asked if Matty Fryatt was still with the Club. DM and SG confirmed that Matty is no longer training with the Club.
Development Squad Fixtures
SD mentioned Development Squad fixtures which are on the same night as First Team fixtures. DM advised that no conscious effort is made to play on the same night as first team fixtures but the demands of the Central League, Central League Cup, Birmingham Senior Cup, Walsall Senior Cup and Staffordshire Senior Cup, and having to meet the deadlines in each competition, we have been left with no free Tuesday’s since October and on occasions unfortunately we have had to double up on matches.
SD asked if we actively recruiting a replacement for Neil Cutler. SG and DM confirmed that the recruitment process is currently ongoing.
4. Trust and Club Joint Activities
SD reported that Walsall FC Sierra Leone is now a foundation. It was also reported that the Under 10 team had won a recent tournament. The strips donated by the Academy have arrived in Sierra Leone and are due to be picked up from the container soon. SD to send pictures to Dan Briggs. SD also enquired if the Club have any old badges that could be sent to Walsall FC Sierra Leone to use on training kits that have no badges on. DM advised we do not but will liaise with Errea on costs for an embroidered badge and suggested a joint initiative to raise funds to purchase these and send to them.
5. Other Business
DM advised that the Early Bird scheme is being launched next week 13/02/18 and asked for the Supporters Trust to help where they can. DM asked for SD to confirm membership numbers.
DM advised that the Club has been selected to host five matches at the Stadium by UEFA in May as part of the European Under 17 Championships which is being hosted in England. The Club are delighted to have been chosen to host games in a major Championships.
DATE FOR NEXT MEETING MONDAY 5TH MARCH 2018 AT 15:00
The meeting closed at 16:30.