Date: 19th January 2018 at 7:54pm
Written by:

Olly Beckett has given us notes of what was asked and said at today’s meeting between board members and a selected group of fans.

Today’s meeting has taken place, and was attended by the following

Stefan Gamble. CEO of Walsall football club
Dan Mole director
Olly Beckett Representing the protest group
Dean Neville Representing the fans trust
Paul Davis. Lifelong fan
Matt Saigon Saddlers lifelong fan

Mr Bonser was not in attendance, however has asked that a further meeting take place next week, which he will be definitely in attendance at and requested the same fans if possible and Ian Astbury who due to pre stranded commitments couldn’t be present today
It was stated that if at this present time, by Dan Mole, if he was to be in front of so many as those in attendance, on Thursday, he would be probably lynched,, so today was the first steps towards him facing ,the fans and is the beginning of ongoing talks

I will do my best to tell you what was asked, and the answers furnished, but please bear in mind that a lot was said, and impossible to relay in this post, but I will be at charlton tomorrow and will be more than happy to relay what happened today in more depth

Q. What is the immediate plan to steer us away from relegation this season, and will immediate funds be made to Whitney to sign players committed to club rather than loans, in order to avoid another summer rebuilding job, and avoid a repeat of what we witnessed this summer

A. Jon has funds availible, it could be stretched to a six figure sum if need be,
Any player signed must meet the clubs,criteria I’e of which they state, is be of a younger age with potential for future development, Be a ball player, be of a better quality, than we have, and be committed to the club long term, which included relocating to the area. They stated that they would rather sign players, than utilise the loan market, as they want the club to progress, also stated that recruitment is solely down to Whitney, but pointed out, that if identified targets fail to materialise then yes the loan market will be used, relegation would be a catastrophe for the club, and if it did happen all in room were in agreement, that we wouldn’t get back up easily

Q Is there an exit strategy in place by bonser, and what safeguard is in place to ensure that the club would continue, if a point in time came that bonser could either not continue. Or wished to no longer continue

A. There is no exit strategy in place at present however the safeguard is in the lease held
There are over sixty years left on the present lease with the option of a further twenty five years if required and for as long as we could pay the rent, the football club would continue, but was pointed out that it would have to generate and survive on the income it solely generated, and would not be anything to do with the corporate, and retail side of things

Q what is the true value to purchase the club lock stock and barrel?

A six million would be the ball part figure, to purchase the stadium and freehold, but there would also be a further amount payable to bonser for his majority shareholding, Steph said he couldn’t state what that was, but said bonser would speak in relation to that next week if we agree to a meeting in his presence taking place

Q. many fans feel that the last few years have been one of the most affluent periods in our history, I’e. Incoming transfers Wembley etc, and at this point in time we should be in the position of being cash rich
Yet we have to operate within one of the smallest budgets in the league a point highlighted by Whitney in many press releases

A. Stefan and Dan said they don’t know where smallest budget in the league comes from they categorically stated that Whitney had received a far higher budget than any manager in recent history had available to them
When grilled wether Whitney had used it responsibly they stated the players we see at the club was solely down to Whitneys recruitment and they had no input in influencing his decisions into what players he brought to the club

Q. As Whitney future ever been discussed at board level in view of results and especially after the Newport defeat

A. Yes Whitney was spoken to and told that results must be improved upon, but no further comment would be made as they see this as an in house matter

Q. Did Saturday’s protest show in match day takings

A. Yes it did impact on the club

Q this was put to us by Stef. Are the dwindling attendances a direct action of bonsers ownership of the club and if he was to relinquish ownership did we feel that attendances would increase and would the fans who neither protest or attend games return to the club

Myself Paul Matt and Dean said that in our opinion they would but that is only our opinion and that the planned march from Fellows Park may provide a greater indication of this fact

Q put to us by Dan Mole, what is the ultimate aim of our protest

A. Our long term aim was to ultimately see the club be reunited with sole ownership of the club and freehold and to regain its true identity and to provide present and future generations a club we can once again be proud of

The above is a true recollection of today’s meeting there was other talk but feel the above were the crucial elements, maybe Paul Matt and Dean may want to add to these if they think I have missed anything,it was pointed out to Dan And Steph that the protests will continue until such a time we as fans can actually see a change of attitude by bonser as in my opinion actions speak far louder than words, but would publicly thank Steph and Dan for affording us today’s opportunity for today’s talks, which I firmly believe that are the first steps in the long journey we face

Whilst in there today myself Paul Matt and Dean represented each and everyone of you and hope that we got your points across.
See you all at Charlton tomorrow


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