Held in Executive Box 5 at the Banks’s Stadium, Tuesday 7th May 2019 15:00
Daniel Mole (DM) – Walsall Football Club
Lesley Buckingham (LB) and Dave Beckett (DB) – Walsall FC Disabled Supporters Association
David Bromley (DBr) and Dave Joesbury (DJ) – Independent Saddlers Supporters Association
Stefan Gamble (SG)
Walsall Football Club Supporters Trust
Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)
Nick Adshead (NA)
DM starting the meeting by apologising on behalf of the Board for relegation, explaining that the Board take ultimate responsibility for relegation.
2. Update from Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)
In the absence of any representative of the Saddlers Club, no update was available.
Update from Walsall Supporters Trust
DM advised that since the last Supporters Working Party meeting, on 1st May, Trevor Reece of the Walsall Football Supporters Trust came to see SG to discuss an incident that occurred at the last Supporters Working Party Meeting and to express their concerns over the behaviour of members of the Independent Saddlers Supporters Association (ISSA) on Social Media.
As a result of the above the Trust had a General Meeting and passed a resolution that they would no longer be prepared to sit around the same table as ISSA and therefore could not attend the Supporters Working Party Meetings moving forward.
DM asked for a meeting to be held between all parties to resolve this issue ahead of the next working party meeting for the benefit of all. DM explained that the Working Party could only continue with all stakeholders present as they represent the supporters who the very reason for the existence of the Working Party. LB, DB, DBr and DJ agreed. DJ said that the ISSA would like to attend this meeting. The group agreed that, if the June Working Party had to be adjourned in order to allow all parties to meet that this was the course of action to take. DM explained that it would not be practical for he and SG to attend separate meetings with the various groups and that, as a bare minimum, the ability to all sit in a room to discuss matter concerning Walsall Football Club is paramount to the future of Working Party Meetings.
3. Update from Walsall FC Disabled Supporters Association
DB confirmed that current membership figures are as follows:
65 members signed up, 68 members on Facebook and 42 followers on newly created Twitter account.
DB advised the DSA AGM has been delayed until August.
LB is currently Acting Secretary for the DSA until the AGM.
DB advised the DSA website is currently unavailable and undergoing maintenance.
DB advised that the meeting scheduled between the DSA and the Rainbow Group was cancelled at Laura Greenhouse, Walsall FC Disabled Supporter Liaison Officer’s request and needs to be arranged. DM said Laura will be asked to re-arrange this meeting.
DB asked if there was an update on the car parking situation. DM advised that SG would need to answer this and will try and get this included in the minutes.
DB asked about the donations made to Sierra Leone and asked if the next batch of old kits can be donated locally. DM confirmed Walsall Ladies are given old kits before Sierra Leone and asked NA to confirm when the next kits are available so a decision can be made where to donate them to.
4. Update from Independent Saddlers Supporters Association (ISSA)
DBr advised that current membership of the ISSA is 209.
DJ presented a letter of questions to DM. DM re-iterated his, and SG’s, long term ongoing commitment to the working party and the football club, which would answer a number of questions regarding their own futures. DM explained that he would discuss the questions internally but stated actions speak louder than words at this moment time and many of the questions would be answered by events taking place with much work being undertaken in the coming days and weeks, respectfully asked the Working Party to relay this back to the supporters in question.
DBr asked who would be making the decisions on the players who are out of contract. DM answered that the Club are hoping to appoint a new manager in a short space of time ahead of the deadline of 18th May to submit the retained list.
DM advised that the Club are looking to rebuild the structure of the Club right from the Academy to First Team and part of this will include the help of the supporters. The Board all believe this needs to be done but DM realises that the Club needs to show actions.
DBr asked about the Development Squad and whether that will be restored for the 2019-2020 season. DM gave a summary of the squads at the Club from Under 9’s to First Team advising that that the Under 9’s to Under 16’s compete in an EFL games programme against other Academies. The Under 18’s compete in the EFL Youth Alliance. The Development Squad only competed in the Senior Cups but it will be recommended that the team re-enter the Central League but that the new manager’s opinion must also be taken into consideration. DM explained that the Club has also applied to put an Under 17 team into the Midland Floodlit League to add to the games programme for the Under 16’s and Under 17’s.
DM also advised in his position as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Community Programme that the Community Programme run a similar scheme called Talented & Gifted and will also have an Under 18 team, to compete in the EFL Colleges League against other professional Clubs who run similar schemes.
DBr asked if the Club were after a particular type of manager. DM responded to the say the Club hope to appoint a manager who has experience at League 2 level but is still young enough to agree on a philosophy for the Club. DM said that lots of applications have been received but the manager needs to be the right fit for the vision of the Club.
5. Club Update
DM advised that planning permission has been received for the development of the Bescot Bar but there is still lots of paperwork to be completed for the funding application through the Football Foundation but the Club hope to be in a position to start the work in July.
DM advised that the Bonser Suite renovation is now almost complete and that work on the Away Bar is ongoing.
6. Trust and Club Joint Activities
7. Other Business
DATE FOR NEXT MEETING MONDAY 3rd JUNE 2019 AT 15:00.
The meeting closed at 16.00.