Walsall Football Club Supporters Working Party Meeting. Held in the 1888 Lounge at the Banks’s Stadium, Monday 4th November 2019, 3pm.
Present: Stefan Gamble (SG) and Daniel Mole (DM) – Walsall Football Club
Neil Ravenscroft (NR) - Walsall Football Club Supporters Trust
Dave Joesbury (DJ) – Independent Saddlers Supporters Association
Chris Saunders (CS) - Walsall Supporters for Change
Apologies: Walsall Football Club Disabled Supporters Association
Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)
Minutes: Sam Hadwen (SH)
DM starting the meeting by thanking everyone for attending.
- Matters arising from last meeting
It was noted that positive feedback had been received for the changes made to the toilet doors in the Lower Tier.
Further discussion took place around Safe Standing and it was agreed that it is something that can be explored in the future, however implementing this would need to be cost effective. DM thanked WSFC for their survey. DJ and NR to put survey in place for their members with answers being provided at the next meeting.
SG said diagrams of the disabled Parking Spaces/Plans to be uploaded onto the Club Website to make the information more accessible and easier for fans to understand.
Discussion took place around queues and plastic glasses being used at the bars in the Stadium Suite. Concern was raised that the beer was going flat in the plastic glasses. DM/SG advised that the interview process for a new Bars Manager is complete and a new Bars Manager had started today 4/11/19. The main focus will be to ensure all bar and kiosk areas are up to scratch. DJ commented on concerns over barrel changes and availability of drinks at recent matches. SG and DM agreed that this was unacceptable and the new Bars Managers remit is to rectify these issues moving forward.
It was noted that Dougie Swain received his Long Service Award from Chairman Leigh Pomlett at the fixture against Cheltenham Town.
- 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
Former Players game to be either the Swindon Town fixture on 28th March or Plymouth Argyle fixture on 10th April. NR to ask the question and feedback at the next meeting.
NR stated that the website is back up and running.
NR stated over £800 was made from the Fans v Legends game.
- Update from Walsall FC Disabled Supporters Association
No update available at this meeting although it was noted that they are meeting with DSLO Laura Greenhouse on Wednesday 6th November.
- Update from Independent Saddlers Supporters Association (ISSA)
DJ noted that Dave (Olly) Beckett had not left ISSA. However, he had been advised to stand down from day to day duties for health reasons.
DJ stated that ISSA had a pledge of £200,000 (being £1,000 x 200 supporters) and asked if this could be used to gain a seat on the Club’s Board?
DM and SG requested that a formal proposal is worked up and sent over which will then be passed onto the Chairman Leigh Pomlett for consideration.
- Update from Walsall Supporters for Change (WSFC)
CS referred to a merchandise company that could potentially be used for different merchandise items. Committee member Rob Harvey to send details to Emma in the Club Shop. DM advised that a re-order of 98/99 Replica Shirts and 2019/2020 shirts have been placed.
Kits for 2020/2021 Season and members are to be asked as to what the new home kit should be with feedback given at the next meeting.
The recent level of interaction with the Youth Team, Development Squad, Ladies Section and Leigh Pomlett was praised by NR. DM advised that this is something that will continue to do as a way of giving fans a better insight. The Chairman regularly speaks and addresses fans on a weekly basis, whether it be column in matchday programme, video interview or interviews with the Express & Star. This will continue.
The idea of a Testimonial Game for Tom Bradley was raised. DM and SG said that is something that the Club would be open to. One idea was a Fans v Legends game with the proceeds going to Tom Bradley. NR to speak to Trust committee and ideas to be discussed further at the next meeting.
CS confirmed 192 members now signed up to Walsall Supporters for Change.
- Club Update
The Club have offered a £5 a ticket promotion for the Cambridge United fixture on 16th November. This weekend is an International Break and will hopefully increase the attendance for this fixture. As well as this ticket offer, mascot packages were pushed for the FA Cup fixture against Darlington which attracted a lot of interest.
The Bescot Bar project is ongoing. SG and DM agreed to give updates as and when they can but it is hoped the project will start before the end of 2019. The Bar was closed at the last game and fans were advised to use the Stadium Suite. DM will speak to Safety Officer Jim O’Grady to ensure lifts are available to allow Disabled Supporters to use the Stadium Suite at Half Time should Bescot Bar be closed again.
The Club have stated they will do everything they can to raise funds for the hospice with Sporting Dinners and other events going towards that. Link to the story will be put on the website.
SG noted that the Board will work with Darrell in the January transfer window to try and improve the squad.
The Club are looking into new events for next year which will be promoted towards December/early January. Proposed events include a possible evening with Alan Buckley or similar to those 98/99 reunion.
DM & SG advised the restructure of the Football Club is a continuous process and much work has been done with the Academy, Sales Conference & Events Departments in recent months.
- Other Business
DATE FOR NEXT MEETING MONDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2019 AT 15:00.
The meeting closed at 16.15.