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Walsall Football Club Supporters Working Party Meeting - 4th June 2018

7 June 2018

Meeting held in Executive Box 5 at the Banks’s Stadium, Monday 4th June 2018, 15:00

Present:

Daniel Mole (DM) – Walsall Football Club

Steve Davies (SD) – Walsall Football Supporters Trust

Joanna Sainsbury (JS) and Richard Sainsbury (RS) – Walsall Football Club DSA

 

Apologies:

Stefan Gamble (SG) – Walsall Football Club

Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)

 

Minutes:

Nick Adshead (NA)

 

1.       Points still to action from last meeting

 

Safe Standing

DM referred to the Safe Standing item that was discussed at the last meeting. EFL regulations state that any club that has been a Championship club for three seasons or more, stadiums have to be all-seater and you are not able to change back.

 

2.       Update from Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)

No representative of Walsall Football Supporters Club was in attendance. DM said the Club will continue to invite to attend these meetings but there is currently no response from them.

 

3.       Update from Walsall Supporters Trust

SD raised questions that he had been asked to raise.

Olly Beckett had asked if there could be a rent freeze for two seasons to increase the budget available to the Manager. DM responded saying that the club would now speak to the landlord and report back at the next meeting.

Discussion took place regarding Bescot Bar and possibly expanding the bar. DM responded saying that we are not in the position to expand the bar but are currently working on improving the Bescot Bar as well as the Legends Bar.  SD then asked whether Carling could be introduced to the bars. DM said we are tied in with the brewery but will speak to Marston’s and report back.

SD also mentioned that areas of the stadium need some maintenance work. DM said that work is currently ongoing and will be ongoing through the summer to improve facilities including the toilets and signage around the stadium. SD and JS referred to the ladies toilets and whether its possible to add toilet seats to them and whether hot water is included in this work. DM said the Stadium Manager had investigated the toilets and it is not possible to add a toilet seat to the metal toilets. DM also confirmed that the Stadium Manager has been asked to obtain prices for boilers to get hot water in the toilets. The checking of toilets will also form part of the Stadium Manager's pre-match checks.

SD thanked the Club for ordering the new batch of bricks for the Memorial Wall and asked once they are in place if Peter Hart could do a dedication service with members of the families prior to a game. DM agreed and offered two complimentary tickets and Savoy Lounge passes for each of the families.

SD raised the possibility of a statue of Ray Graydon but fundraising activities would need to take place to raise the money required. DM said that the Club would be open to further discussions regarding a fans funded statue before a final decision is made.

SD asked whether the Club had considered re-opening the Early Bird offer or considered the Super 10 again. DM confirmed we will not re-open the Early Bird but will consider the Super 10 again although the take-up numbers last time were very low however SG and the Ticket Office are open to exploring the option again.

SD advised the Trust AGM is on 12th June 2018. At this meeting Kevin Paddock will be appointed Membership Secretary.

SD asked whether there will be Fans Focus and Meet the Manager Evening prior to the new season. DM said that there will be but dates are yet to be confirmed.

SD advised the Legends Team have played one game recently and have two coming up, one at Sutton Coldfield Town and Wolverhampton United.

SD referred to former player Ally Brown. Ally attended the Former Players Day at the end of the season but is suffering from Alzheimer’s. SD has asked Wayne Thomas if we can do an Alzheimer’s fund-raising activity next season. SD advised that Allan Clarke has offered to do an evening event to help raise money. DM asked SD to speak to Wayne Thomas regarding possible dates and the logistics of the evening.

SD have confirmed Trust FC have played a number of games recently.

SD praised the new season’s playing strips and noted that the Adult sizes are in and asked when the Junior Kits will be in? DM responded saying the Club are in ongoing discussions with Errea regarding this and hope to have them in end of June.

 

4    Disabled Supporters Association

RS advised that membership has now increased to 67 members.

The DSA hosted a Disco at The Crown in Aldridge, which proved to be a success with 8 new members joining the DSA on the evening.

The next Open Meeting with Laura Greenhouse has been arranged for Wednesday 1st August. 

Laura is meeting with some of the DSA Committee members on Wednesday 6th June to discuss the Access Audit.  Laura is also meeting the DSA Committee members on 26th June to give them a tour of the disabled facilities at the Stadium.

The DSA have arranged for a representative from Astor-Bannerman to visit the Stadium on Friday 8th June to assess the possibility of a Changing Places Toilet and if viable provide 3D plans for funding applications.

There is a meeting of the West Midlands DSA’s at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday 7th August to have a tour of their facilities and to share good practice. Hopefully Laura Greenhouse will be able to attend as well subject to Ticket Office commitments. 

DM also agreed for an announcement for supporters not to stand in front of the disabled supporters before each game and for it to go on the Scoreboard at Half Time and Ten minutes from the end of each game. 

CL has organised blankets for supporters to use in the cold weather on match days. DSA to speak with Laura Greenhouse to see if they can be stored at the Club.

Flyers have been produced to be distributed with Season Tickets. Action NA to confirm with Laura Greenhouse we have the flyers.

RS referred to the Disabled Parking behind the St Francis Stand if this can be policed better and only allow those who need to park there instead.  Following discussion on this matter it was agreed that training on this matter for the Stewards should resolve this issue. The matter will be raised with Jim O’Grady (WFC Safety Officer).

RS raised whether its possible to look into a Hearing Loop for Visually Impaired fans and those with concentration issues such as ADHD. JS advised Clubs such as Wrexham raised funds and have similar equipment to allow this to happen.  DM asked JS/RS to look into costs for this equipment and report back. 

 

5   Trust and Club Joint Activities

SD has confirmed that more kit and equipment is being shipped to Walsall FC Foundation in Sierra Leone on Thursday.  John Keister has offered to support the Foundation going forward.

 

6   Other Business

SD congratulated the Club on hosting Five of the UEFA U17 Championship games successfully.

 

JS enquired whether there would be an Open Day this year.  DM confirmed there will be on 1st August.

 

DATE FOR NEXT MEETING MONDAY 2nd JULY 2018 AT 15:00

The meeting closed at 16:15.


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