Welcome. This site is an archived version of the previous UpTheSaddlers forum (December 2004 to May 2018). To visit the new UTS website, please click here.

Ray Graydon Sacked (22nd January 2002)

Reaction to the biggest events in Walsall FC's recent history. This section also houses the tributes paid to Jolysaddler.
Site Admin
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:15 pm

Ray Graydon Sacked (22nd January 2002)

Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:26 am

By Stuart Cox ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:07 pm:

Statement from the club shortly

By saddled in Leeds ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:19 pm:

It looks like he's been sacked rather than resigned.

Considering his refusal to condemn the Board's transfer policy, i think it's disgraceful.

Is this why they brought back Nicholl???

By Pico ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:25 pm:

After reading the statement from Jeff "tight arse" Bonser on the official site, it appears Ray has been sacked.
Bonser saying "It is the overriding concern of the board for the club to maintain it's first division status.".........well, does that mean you have to rely on free transfer signings and loan players in a bid to achieve it.

Well Mr Bonser "it is an overriding concern of the Walsall supporters that the board have spent no money, hence our current league position. That is why we are third bottom. we are a complete joke and our record transfer fee was in 1979!!! it is just incredible!!!!!!!!"

By D R Rolls ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:25 pm:

Ray's departure
Whatever the mode of leaving, the facts speak for themselves, much as we all love Walsall, with the present set up they are a second division club and will remain so- even if they manage to scrape survival fo this season. A good manager worn down by lack of backing. Good luck Ray you have done well

By Manc Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:36 pm:

I'm outraged. Our greatest ever Manager. Never recevied any support from the board, but performed miracles on no budget. Sack the board not Graydon.

There's only one Ray Graydon......

By belgian saddler (Belgiansaddler) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:43 pm:

absolute disgrace. i can't ever remember ever being as disgusted with the club. sure he has made mistakes and has his shortcomings on occasions but everyone knows where the fault lies. bonser you are scum. it will be an even bigger disgrace if taylor stays. they are the people who have supposedly supplied the tools (ie. money and players) for sir ray to use. if either of them gave a toss about walsall they would both hang their heads in shame.

to sir ray, all the best and thanks for your magnificent efforts in the last 3 and a half years. the rendition of 'there's only one ray graydon' after the ipswich defeat will live with me and everyone who was there (and hopefully sir ray too) for ever.

By MV ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:47 pm:

Disgaceful move by the board. Our best ever managed sacked even though he has done a miraculous job with the resources provided. RIP Walsall FC - 22 January 2002, the day the club died.

Cheers Ray, I'm gutted.

By William Hope ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:49 pm:

Congratulations to Jeff Bonser and company, At last you have shown your true colours and said something to the media. Thank you for showing us how 'ambitious' the club is - not in this statement but in your actions over the past years. We all can judge you on this. The fact that the club is where it is is little Thanks to you. What next? a threat for you to pull out-please, please. You have just lost-probably a few hundred supporters from the ground for the forseeable future, I am one and I personnally know 2 others already. The club gained some new regulars after Cardiff, THEY ARE GONE. Anything else apart you could have let Ray resign. "We are going down..... we are going down and staying down will be your song for the future

By Sheffield Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:52 pm:

The performance on Sunday looked from a team that had given up, a manager that did not know where to turn next after trying all the options he could think of.
At the end of the day RG was a great manager and got us promoted from the second division on 2 occasions, along the way he gave all Saddlers fans the day out of their lives, a day which each Walsall fan will have great memories for the rest of their lives.
However, I am afraid to say that RG was not a first division mananger. True a lot of this can be put at the door of the current Board of Walsall FC through lack of investment at first division level. RGs tactics both this time round and the last time round in division were just not good enough, the players brought in over the summer were just not good enough, PT may have got them but surely RG will have said "yes" or "no" as to whether they stay or not. Added to that the recent change of discipline lines with the current squad compared to previous squad members.
After Cardiff he should have asked for a decent transfer budget to keep us in this division, whether he did or not is another question that needs answering by RG himself. At then end of the day he should have done a Ronnie Moore at Rotherham and made his feelings felt in the right direction.

By anon ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:55 pm:

Lets all boycott next Tuesday's home match. A week to the day of the disgraceful decision by the board.

By James ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:00 pm:

What a fudge disgrace - I agree Graydon's lost the plot the last few weeks but he dosn't deserve that. Our best ever manager - The only thing i didn't like about Graydon was the fact that he wouldn't satnd up to the board - bet he wish he had now

Bet Bonsor charges him for his name to be on the wall of fame.

By andy van hagen (Andyvh) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:05 pm:


Ambition? wanting to keep 1st division status!? does this sound like a board who gives a promoted team £0 to spend two promotions in succession!? i think not!

Surely instead of gettin these forigners in that come on frees but are 'expensive' when all taken into account why not spend some of that on english players who do not mind playing in the english winter!!!!

Ray graydon is walsalls greatest ever manager and i really do think this is the day walsall died! gaurenteed relegation im afraid!

Ray i wish you well and hope you go to a club where a board will back you and hope you go on to great sucess! thank you

By BeaconFM ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:09 pm:

GET YOUR OPINION ON AIR - local news station Beacon FM is asking Sadllers fans to ring in with their opinions on Ray Gradons sacking - call 01902 461 260 for our news team.

By Geordiesaddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:14 pm:

Spot on James. Bonser and Taylor have treated the fans with contempt this season. Whlie Graydon was there the majority refused to critisise. Now he has gone it will be open season. Wish to God he had stood up to them as you and Sheff suggest - he would have had 100% support, but in the end he paid for failing to do so. People will come on here and say he didn't stand up to them because of his dignity, I personally don't think there is anything dignified about sticking by folk who you know are liars - and he's paid the ultimate. Should have resigned after the Chettle farce and let the sheisters get on with it.

By Jon Summers ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:18 pm:

Ray's task over the past years at Walsall can be likened to an Air traffic Controller over Heathrow airport. He has 15 planes to control at one time

Message from Heathrow management- Ray you are doing a good job-keep it up- if you avoid crashes this year we will ensure a regular supply of pencils and if you keep the noise down to a whisper (at all times) we will(sometime) buy you some glasses so that you can see what you are doing, and if we win the lottery we will get you one of those Radar fingimibobs.
Kind Regards
Resnob Ffej (work that out you fellow fans)
PS interested in managing a football club in yor spare time?
Has anyone got a better scenario for Mr Bonser

By steve rushton ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:24 pm:

I agree with Sheff. Saddler (unusally) - Although most of the problems this season (and the last time in that division) are down to the lack of funds, if that lack of funds is going to remain the same as it will while ever Bonser is in charge, then it was time to change to see if anyone else can do better - I sincerecly hope the board do not go for the easy option (Nichol) and find someone who can get the players to fight their way out of the situation. Sunday's performace was by a team who were not playing for their manager - they should also shoulder some responsibility. I hope Paul Taylor does go too - otherwise it wouls be a travisty. Lastly - to Ray Graydon, our best manager by far - I hope you get a better job with more backing in the very near future GOOD LUCK.

By weoley saddler on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:25 pm:

Has to be the final nail in the coffin drilled in by bonser&board. The chances of relegation have today been greatly increased. Im assuming that Chris Nicholl will now take charge of team selection - utter bollox about Tayloy staying on to "assist" or should it be hinder the next manager. I am honestly shocked at this decision, and my anti-bonser feelings have increased 10fold. Does he not take any blame for Walsall F.C's current league position, No! sack the manager, gotta be the worst attempt at making somebody a scapegoat, ever.
Good luck Sir Ray, whatever it is you turn to next, thanks fo a memorable 3 years.
R.I.P Walsall F.C. 1888-2002

By Andy ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:40 pm:

I echo all the pro-Graydon stuff above and I am intreagued as to what Bonser thinks will happen next. There are very few potential managers out there who will take such sh!t from the board regarding transfer fees. There are very few potential managers who will work with a twerp like Taylor breathing down their neck and trying to do half their job. There is not NOT ONE manager out there who will keep Walsall in division one with the constraints that Ray has had to put up with. If anyone was going to keep us up on the cheap it was Sir Ray.

Thanks for the greatest day of my life, Ray. 27/5/01

By StuW on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:43 pm:

Disgusted, absolutely bloody disgusted. Probably our best ever manager! " promotions in 3 seasons with bugger all cash from Bonser.
Now he's looking for a scapegoat to divert all the criticism he would inevitebly get at the end of the season when we are relegated.
What exactly is this sacking meant to do for team morale?
I'm not going to boycott the Wimbledon game because I care too much about the club, but I'll be there telling Bonser exactly what I think of this decision and singing There's Only 1 Ray Graydon! It'd be nice to see a few banners & a bit of support for him.
I just hope he goes on to get a decent job at another club with a bit of ambition and money, gets them to the 1st or higher and makes Bonser look the fudge idiot that he undoubtedly is.
Sure he looked desperate for the past few weeks, changing the team, playing different formations, but this was a guy who had no support from his chairman, had to field a second division side and was at the end of his tether.
Good luck Sir Ray, You deserve much better.

By former fan ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:57 pm:

Now it all fits. When I saw Ray's team -if it was his-on Sunday I thought what the hell is he thinking of? This is not a RG team that I recognise. Frustrate the opposition, who can't score, just what's going on here?
Answer, This sacking was in the air then and Ray knew it. Look at the basics-you don't need to be Matt Busby- Angel a good player, as a target man, but not suitable to be up front on his own with no support from the flanks! The only support from Wrack who struggles all the time and only looks decent when the rest are dreadful, never mind when playing against such a good defence and I can't remember-ever- him winning a 50/50 ball. Anyone, yes, anyone on the terrace could have put a better team out and set some tactics for a better performance. We might have lost but we normally have a reputation for a fight. Not on Sunday we did'nt
Ray and the Players were aware of the sword over their heads and went out to try and avoid defeat. We know the rest.
Goodbye Mr Bonser Ray is not the only one leaving today and I have been there a lot longer than you
A former fan

By Dr Nick Yarnall (Rnsaddler) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:00 pm:

As a "lurker" I felt compelled to register and comment on this traversty having logged on to Teamtalk and heard the news.

I am absolutely disgusted with the sacking of "Sir Ray". The most successful manger we have ever had. I can't understand what JB is up to. This can only demoralise the fans, players et al. Who could he get to do a better job? Fair enough if he had put his hand in his pocket over the close season and spent several million pounds but (with some justification) he didn't. If we were doing a Stockport I could understand.

Chris Nicol may be a decent candidate but as a good friend of Ray would he want the job when Bonser has shown such a lack of loyalty? Or will he be as disloyal himself.

I have been supportive of J Bonser until today, and can't agree with some of the extreme whingers who post to this site.

We are a small club, we have only been promoted to Div 1 on 3 occasions (2 under Sir Ray) and have always been relegated. So we are playing to form.

OK, we haven't got 20,000 fans, and Bonser isn't one of those super rich chairmen who throws money down the drain for reflected glory (we have had one of those in the past look where that got us). Therefore we can't afford silly money signings. On the plus side we are unlikely to go belly up in the near future(unlike several other clubs, including Premier league). But under such circumstances how can Bonser expect us to be doing substantially better than we are?

As a non-season ticket holder I am thinking of voting with my feet and staying at home.

By les evans on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:06 pm:

"The King is dead......". The rest of this quote seems inappropriate at this moment in time.

Mr Graydon has a place in all true Walsall supporter's hearts that can never be erased.

The best way of showing our appreciation for his efforts is to support the players sent out to represent WALSALL FC in every match between now and the end of the season, through thick and thin.

To Mr Graydon. Thank you !!

By Stu ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:09 pm:

I've posted the statements from Bonser, Taylor and Sir Ray on my site:

Probably the worst decision ever made by Walsall Football Club. Who on earth is going to do a better job with no financial backing? Good luck Ray - you will always be Sir to us all.

Late 80s early 90s here we come - at least we can look forward to the day in Blackpool again.

By Sheffield Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:16 pm:

les evans - I would love to support the players sent out to represent WALSALL FC. However, having watched certain players perform in recent weeks I do not feel they can justify any of my support.

By MarkW ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:50 pm:

He deserved to go for the performance / team selection against Albion alone.A total disgrace.One of very few times that I have been ashamed to follow Walsall FC.--not a single goal attempt in 90 mins.
Let,s hope it,s an end to bizarre team selections /crazy substitutions and players that are affraid to tackle.
Yes Cardiff was the greatest day ever as a Saddlers fan however I still believe we got promoted inspite of Graydon not because of.

By stayingup ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:50 pm:

It is with a heavy heart that I post this message today....
Extremely sad that it has come to this. Ray was to the end an honourable man and his statement showed no bitterness towards the guilty parties. He constantly praised and thanked the fans for their part in the promotion seasons. Maybe that was his downfall in that the old adage nice guys never win is a part of Bonser's philosophy. My opinion is that anyone who can win promotion from Div 2 twice in 2 attempts with a club like us is a 1st division manager. Or at least deserves to be given the correct tools to have a fighting chance of doing his appointed job. This sacking shows clearly that Ray was never fully suppported from the top by this club which is a disgrace. I questioned where the blame should lie for our current predicament after the WBA match and now the boards opinion on this matter has been made abundently clear - Ray is the scapegoat. I can see now a terrible situation could develop when we appoint some no hoper like Nigel Spackman or Andy Kilner and end up back where we started in the early nineties. Bonser states ambition - well now prove it. Lets get a manager of quality in. Lets make some signings - not loans or free transfers.
As for Ray, I thank him for everything, most particularly two of the greatest seasons in this little club's history. For the sunny May afternoon and pitch invasion against Oldham. For the win at the Molineux. For Cardiff. Lets show our appreciation for Ray on Saturday with (probably for the last time, as now we'll have to move on) THERE'S ONLY ONE RAY GRAYDON.

By Sally Alicia Leese (Saddlersal) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:54 pm:

I know this is a bit repetitive but I have to say that I am very disappointed in the sacking of Ray.
Like many other fans, I do not feel that our current position is the fault of Graydon but rather his lack of monetary support.
I can't help but feel for Ray who has tried his best for the team and been thanked in this way.
I want to wish him luck, the best manager we've had in my life-time.

By steve marsh ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 02:55 pm:

I agree with almost everything that has been said before. This decision is an absolute disgrace! When a mate told me I didn't believe him. Graydon is by far the most successful manager we have had. We all remember the state the club was in when he took over and how quickly he turned it around. He is a great manager and with a little support from the board could have established us in this division.

There have been criticisms on this board this season about Sir Ray tactically which I have ignored. People are entitled to their opinion. However, it seems clear to me that Ray was struggling to find a system which could mould together a group of sub standard players into a team who could compete. He has been given no money to improve this and the players that have been brought in are just not up to scratch in the main. If we were able to compare the transfer fees and average wage paid to players I can gurarantee that they would be way less than any other first divison club, including Grimsby, Crewe, Rotherham and Stockport who are similar sized clubs. We could have survived in this divison but we have just got rid of our last slim chance of doing this. I think that it will take us a long time to get over this, if we ever do. 2,000 crowds against Torquay here we come.

I have ranted long enough. We must protest at the Wimbledon match. Something must be done!

By shaun ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:02 pm:

so you want to protest now too late I'm afraid .
if the clubs on a killing spree how about Kearns the Judas can't we get rid of that big mouthed twit

By Pillar5 ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:05 pm:

Gutted to hear the news this morning as everyone else but not surprised.

Firstly a BIG BIG thank you to Sir Ray for what he has bought to this club and I wish him every success in his future...... what an honourable man and gifted too with the foresight that when being interviewed in his first week as manager the one thing that he could guarantee was that "one day he would be sacked"............

The reason I say 'not surprised' was the resignation of sundays team to the fact that where else could this team under Ray go? Players out of position, different formations, foreign imports, loan signings, inconsistancy with punishment for red carded players........ I think the task became too much for Ray and Im quite sure he knew it too. We havent had a settled side and play week in a striker that is on the transfer list because he doesnt figure in Rays plans........... ala Rammell and Robbins.

But nevertheless a truly sad day for all and I for one wont turn my back but rather voice my support for the club even more which means more to me than any supposed Chairman or Director of Football with a suntan.

RAMBO AS PLAYER MANAGER? please please please

By Ulster Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:23 pm:

I cannot believe how brass Bonsors balls are when he pretends to be concerned abount our 1st division status. He must think we are all as thick as pig cack. He is as concerned as he was two years ago.
For a board that has authorised the policy we have of "unearthing talent" should hang their heads in shame.
Theres Ray Graydon, asked to build a house but given no money to do so. Then, he is saddled with a bloke that simply does not understand the requirements of 1st division football. Taylor is the man who brings in the players and he should be kicked out. He has completely failed to carry out his job description.
We can argue about whether some of Rays decisions were right or wrong. But simply the team is not good enough whatever formation or tactics are used.
I hope Sir Ray tells warts and all in an interview but he probably won't.
Yet the board expect fans to continue to support the club(which I'm sure we all will). Its like asking somebody to marry a women who they know is gonna sleep with half the town.
On a final note, I really do not think Bonsor wants to sell the club. Its a good earner for him.
I wish I could be at the next home game. There should be some protest. Even if not at Graydons sacking, just how sick and tired we are of the board.
Heres an idea, since many do not want to boycott the match, why not have a situation where everyone gathers outside the ground and enters around 3.10pm. It would make the point.
I'll shut up now.

By Phil Neale ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:24 pm:

This is the worst day that I have ever known as a Walsall fan. Surely the board have to stop passing the buck soon and realise that they are responsible for our current league position and that money needs to be spent if we are going to ever establish ourselves as a decent division 1 club. We are now certanties for relegation and I would be very surprised if we come above mid table in division 2 next season. Absolutely pathetic.

By Unhappy Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:26 pm:

Can't understand this at all but I'm not going to go into it all again as everyones feelings are quite obvious. The question I want to know is when a new manager comes along, will he be given some money to try and keep us in this division if that is what Bonser really wants? If we do get money to buy a couple of players then this descision to sack Sir Ray will be a disgrace as he should have had some but if the new manager has to work under the same conditions then I cant see what else we could have done as it has been obvious that this team wasn't going to stay up.
Cheers Ray for all the good times, good luck.

By Sheffield Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:27 pm:

MarkW - How can you say "Yes Cardiff was the greatest day ever as a Saddlers fan however I still believe we got promoted inspite of Graydon not because of.".
You must live in a dreamland if you can honestly say we have got promotion twice to the first division inspite of Garydon.
For gods sake man when he took over we didnt have a squad to send on a pre-season tour to Scotland. Do you think we got promoted that season out of sheer luck? Or like any Saddlers fan with a brain and because RG created the team and team spirit that got us promoted?
He may have had his faults in division one but in division two he was a miracle worker.

By Dave Hawkes (Dave_h) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:29 pm:

I am not going to complain about Ray going. If I had been manager this year and had got the results he had I would have deserved to have been sacked. Cardiff or no Cardiff, we need results and he hasnt got them.

Even so, he gave me the best year I ahve ever had last year watching the Saddlers. Some great games and that day in Cardiff was superb. Cheers Ray. Its a shame it came to this but hey, results are everything.

Lets get someone like Kinnear or Molby in, clear out the shite, and get in some good players. Give them £300,000 grand JB and keep us up.

By Tango ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:32 pm:

Ray deserves all the praise and more. His statement reflects the man's great integrity BUT
Let's face facts Ray's had a poor season. He never blamed referees and we shouldn't focus on Bonser or Taylor. The team selected to play the Albion and the performance were dire. Ray has failed to pick and play his better players all season. Whether this was tactical inability or poor man management the fact is that we have seriously under-performed. The squad Ray has had at his disposal should have kept us up with Rotherham and Crewe.
And Ray cannot be excused from his pivotal part in the Ricketts debacle - see Killary etc.For this alone it could be argued he deserved to go.

By everready ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:40 pm:

Looks like it's nearly all been said. I agree with the point that Taylor is being 'modest', like hell, he is riding on the back of the situation, What a Hero!
How can you have a so called Director of Football and a Manager at such a small club. Easy, but Taylor was told to pull the strings by Bonser and he did, Ray was merely the coach. A manager selects the players that he wants regardless of fee or frees.
No offence intended but its a good job that Walsall has a lot of thick skinned fans who are prepared to give up their time and hard earned money to watch half a team week after week. There will still be those three and a half thousand when the club is in the third division. Otherwise we would be playing at the level THAT BONSER DESERVES - The Conference league

By Jim ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:46 pm:

Next home match instead of a boycott as many of us have season tickets how about 90 minutes of singing Graydons praises or 90 minutes of anti Bonser and the rest of the muppets that run our club. They are, to coin a widly used phrase from above, an absolute disgrace. To treat such an honourable and loyal servant of the club like this they should be ashamed of themselves.

Long live Sir Ray.

By Ian Gittins ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:47 pm:

Sir Ray is surely destined to be a future footie quiz question - what manager won two promotions in three full years in charge of a League club, then got dismissed? Well, as everyone here has commented, history will judge him far more kindly than it will Jeff Bonser. What a sad day. By the way, anybody noticed that Lincoln are struggling lately - what price the Buck, a man with a proven record of keeping teams in Div One?

By andyvh ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:49 pm:

we should sing graydons praises all game! it will get a good coverage on tv and radio. we should also protest about bonser! and ask him how ambitious is he when he gives ray no transfer money!

By Mr Wolstenhome ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 04:24 pm:

They think its all over.......it is now

By BLOXO SADDLER ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 04:54 pm:


PASSED AWAY 22/1/2002.


By Large Ken ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 04:55 pm:

We should indeed sing Graydon's praises on all game - today is a very sad day and Graydon's time at the helm is full of fantastic memories. The club is now in a position we could never have dreamed of 5 or 6 years ago.

But I have top say I think it is time for a change. Sunday's game said to me that Graydon had run out of ideas - we have the best squad of players we've had for years and a squad that is capable of staying up. We need the application and consistency to make sure it happens.

I had got to the stage that I really couldn't see us staying up now - we had run out of ideas and something had to change. Maybe the fault does lay at Bonser's door but as there are no millionaires queuing to take over from him what else was going to change ?

By Slovaksaddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:01 pm:

Ray Who? Proclaimed this website and many fans when Graydon was appointed. I was one of them. Now it has come to an end. 3 1/2 years is a long time for recent Walsall managers he pulled the club out of the second gave us a relegation the following season and of course Cardiff last year.
Of course no manager is perfect and our tendency to sit back on 1-0 leads used to frustrate me no end. From the performances this season I've seen (three games WBA(H), Brum(A), Crewe(H) two wins and a defeat) we haven't looked good enough to stay up and reading the comments from the fans who attend more regularly than me this is the case in the games I've missed.
From a footballing point of view the sacking is understandable, the new appointment needs time sacking a manager any later doesn't give the new guy a chance. However the question remains who? I suspect it will be another unknown (please not another Jan)
From a Walsall Football Club point of view the sacking seems like madness. The good press we generate in footballing circles is thanks to Graydon. Who better to get us out of the second division? Reading the player's reactions they are as shocked as everyone else.
If come the end of the season we are still in division one we will have to bow to the boards superior judgement but it will take more than a change of management to achieve that.
Ray Graydon thanks for the good times I hope you get another job in football soon. A true footballing gentleman.

By everready ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:05 pm:

SIR RAY GRAYDON, to all Walsall fans It occurred to me that something unofficial said by many fans should be made 'Walsall official' as a tribute to Ray's achievements and to get up the backside of Bonser. I am talking about the adoption of the title "Sir Ray Graydon" as the accepted title by fans who support him. It should be used on banners notes e-mails and in conversation so that it becomes the accepted usage. Are you with us guys and girls? If you are post amessage and start now. By the way congratulations to whoever it was who started this . Go for it!

By Pico ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:15 pm:

Sir Ray,

I hope you go on to win the premiership with a club who will give you the backing you deserve. You have given us 3 and a half years of great service and everybody at Walsall respects you 100%.
You will always be a legend at Bescot, all the best in the future and Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you are reading this thread Bonser, you may learn something!!

By Stu ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:21 pm:

The arguments for and against this can go on all day.

Its obvious to all that to achieve two promotions and being within 1 match of stauing in Division 1 at the first attempt, with a team worth £185k in transfer fee's was amazing.
Graydon has got the best out of many players and has been amazing.

On the other hand, he has also been responsibile for that dire 4-5-1 with 20 minutes to go when your defending a 1 goal lead.
He has shown a lot of naivety and experience of managing at a higher level at times.

My opinion is that I wouldnt have let him go.

What can Bonser expect if RG and PT are not given the cash to survive?

Now I wish RG would come out and tell us the truth about cash available to him, but he wont because is an honest man. He wont want to be seen as moaning and making excuses.

Good luck Ray, but for now, we must all concentrate on this season as its going to be one hell of a task to stay up now.
Maybe we'll do a Barnsley though and suddenly find ourself in 16th or 17th. But I doubt it.

Charlton here we come!

By deano ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:32 pm:

What do i say thatb hasn't been uttered a million times before and will probvably be said another million before i have finished this message! I can't believe what has happened today.
To top everything i have just been told by some bint in the club shop that there is now a statement on the site from Ray, Taylor, Bonser and Pete Waterman!!! I have been told that Ray deserved it and that he had plenty of cash to spend and that the only problem was that no-one wanted to come to Walsall! When i stated that footballers would rather be playing than sitting on the bench like some premiership playerts i was told well Fitzroy Simpson dropped down and has played all season until Carlos Andre arrived...and what a signing he has been! I can see that Bonser's relatives run the shop!!

There are so many feelings in my head i cannot express them. Anger, hurt, disgust are just a few to list. At the end of the day no person is bigger than the club but Ray had turned the club into what it is. People can say that he has no experience of keeping a club up but when he came that is what to most it looked like Ray would be trying to do-promotion was a bonus.

Whoever comes in will have a hell of a job to do. Nicholl won't stay as he only came for a favour to Ray. Might be David Kelly or even Kevin Wilson-suppose you cannot rule out Buckley. But the same problem will remain. Tight arse Bonser won't give no money to spend.

The faith i had in us staying up went out the window today.

By Ian T ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:33 pm:

Sad to see any Man lose his job, BUT after Sundays performance I'm not surprised. Walsall lacked in all departments we were very poor indeed. However is it not the managers job to 'Get the Best out of His Players', if this is the case then he has not been doing that. and this goes back to last season not just this one. We can all get excited about Cardiff but do you remeber our 2nd half of the season it was relegation form????

Anyway all the best to Chris Nicol (I'll be stunned if he is not appointed even though he's still falls short of the type of manager we need)



By Stu ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:39 pm:

I think it'll probably be Nicholl, the same person who left us 4/5 yrs ago due to 'lack of cash' and taking us 'as far as he could'.

I dont want Wilson, the man was awful at Northampton, they were a bunch of clogging long ball experts.
David Kelly would be a nightmare, please no.
Buckley doesnt reall inspire me either.

But, I do have 1 fear.

If we all lash out at Bonser over the series of matches coming, I have 1 fear that he may turn around and say "Fine, have it your way, I'll leave at the end of the season, buyer or no buyer" and effectively do a York.

If we really give him that much stick, he might turn around and decide he doesnt want anything, and that unless we have buyers buy the 1st April he will no longer run the football club and we might be left high and dry.

That is the real excessive view, but it does hang in my mind.

By Helen S on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:45 pm:

Thank you Sir Ray for all you have done for us. Long live Sir Ray - There's only one Ray Graydon!!

By Brookes Family ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 05:51 pm:

We agree with everything that has been said about how great Ray Graydon was and how fantastic Cardiff was. But as a family of 5 season ticket holders who've sat through weeks and weeks of strange team selections and even stranger substitutions we feel, as do fellow season ticket holders who sit round us, that Ray Graydon had finally lost the plot. It is best for him to leave us now with our happy memories in tact.

By stayingup ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:02 pm:

Another thought - I can't help feeling that there is a mirror to our situation with Port Vale. Chairman can't make up his mind whether he wants to sell the club or not. Flat capped 'gentleman' manager performs miracles on a shoestring to give the club some of its greatest years in its history. Sacked after struggling to avoid relegation from the first division. Now Port Vale are only just keeping their heads above the murky waters of division 3. We'd better not end up following Vale's history too closely...

By popperpancake ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:03 pm:

Everyone who posts on here knows my opinion on Graydon. It is a scandalous decision. He deserves better. It's gonna be very amusing seeing people who were chanting "f**k off graydon" at the end of the preston game singing "there's only one ray graydon" against wimbledon. Hope he does well wherever he goes..cheers Ray.

By Neil ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:16 pm:

its over--the only way now is to look forward. Ray is a great bloke, well liked and respected, no doubt worked wonders with what he was given but I don't know about you but I am a Walsall supporter and the wellbeing of the club has to be the most important thing. It may be that a change of manager might be the right thing. If you are honest a lot of threads have been saying ray's tactics and team selection were poor. One thing that won't acheive anything though is pointless demonstrations, havn't we been there before and nothing changed then. The only way to show our disappointment at the decision of the board is to stay away. Its a certain fact that no more of my mony will be going through the turnstiles at Bescot. There is one good thing to come out of this, something we have all been praying for for years "PAUL TAYLOR IS GOING" thats got to be worth something.

By James W ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:34 pm:

As some have said above, my fear is that the Saddlers will not only be relegated this season, but struggle again in Div 2 next year. When Sir Ray took over, we were one of the favourites to be relegated from Div 2, but instead he took us to promotion. I can't see that the club will pay a salary to attract anybody better to manage the club. Bonser will not give the manager any more money to spend on players. With the resources he has had, Sir Ray has over-achieved in a big way at Walsall. I despair at his sacking.

By Neil ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:35 pm:

Lets reflect on the way Bonser thinks-------------JB is a ruthless businessman, we all seem to think his only interest in Walsall FC is financial and he has little or no interest in the football side of things, something that has been amply demonstrated over the years. So think on if you want Bescot to become an extension of the Broadwalk Retail Park then have your pointless demos and your chorus of "Bonser Out" ask yourselves what the ground the stadium stands on is worth as building land, residential or retail.

By London Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:51 pm:

I feel truly sorry Ray Graydon is going. As we have all said he is our best ever manager. So many times at away games, the away fans I have spoken to have sung his praises- particularly those from his former clubs, e.g. Oxford, QPR etc. Words like true gentleman are always used. It is indeed a sad day for the club.We have NEVER had this level of success over a three year period.
What I would like to know, however, is what is Chris Nichol's role in this sorry saga. It seems from casual observation that he seems to be running the show from the touchline and conducting matters like a parking attendant in charge of a bunch of ballet dancers. I have always been sceptical of touchline managers directing affairs like this- the players need to watch the game rather than boss man. As to the future I can only assume Mr Jeff Bonsor wishes us to remain in Div1- after all, as a business man, he will make more money this way. But as has been said many times, Jeff, you need to spend or it is back to Div2.
Also what is Peter Waterman doing putting his oar in on the official site. Any ideas fellow saddlers.
So who will the new man be. I have a suggestion! Fellow upthesaddlers.com readers must vote between the Doffer or Geordie Saddler with Sheffied Saddler as side kick for press interviews after the match.

By robert ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 06:57 pm:

what will happen to the rest of the coaching set up all the school of excellance player coaches reservists all who looked to ray graydon for discipline and guidance. Paul Taylor shoud go not Ray Graydon let GRAYDON HELP ASSIST IN THE SO CALLED TRANSITION PERIOD. RAY had to play all Taylors foreign imports and OAPS.

By MK RED ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:02 pm:


By JUNE ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:14 pm:


By lee54 ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:19 pm:

sack the board
they gave ray graydon penny's
i will never forget what he done for
this club
(lets see what happens at the next home game)

By Mitch ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:25 pm:

These are the facts, and judging on the fact that Graydon managed to this spending way less than £1million, this is the ammount that any other first divison club is willing to spend on one player, but no. Bonser's scrooge like effort to run a football club are not going to keep a team in Englands 2nd best league. In my view Sir Ray is simply being judged by a chairman that quite simply does not understand the mechanics of the modern game. SIR RAY WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR THIS CLUB, THANK YOU RAY.

By lee54 ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:37 pm:

ive just heard garry newbon on central
sport say i hope walsall go down now
after the sacking of rg.
well f**k u newbon u b*****d
how about the supporters of walsall fc
u twerp

By phil_g ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:51 pm:

Has anyone read Taylor's statement on the official site? No wonder he hasn't signed any decent players, it must be hard to spot potential with your head that far up your own arse. No mention of the fans, just a quick resume of his successes over the last 13 years for any potential employers.
By the way, as no-one seems to know exactly what contract Sir Ray was on, I wonder what kind of severance package he and Taylor will receive?
Didn't Sir Ray sign a new deal at the start of the season?

By Dave Hawkes (Dave_h) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 07:54 pm:

I just want to point something out to all of you who defend RG and the dodgy players, blaming them on Tyalor -

True, Taylor has had an impact on the quality of the players but as manager it was up to Ray who he brought in. I doubt very much if the last word on transfers didnt stop with Ray. Therefore, he is just as responsible for the poor signings as anyone. After all, I have never heard of a manager who did not have the final word on the players he wanted to sign, so why was it any different with Ray?

Therefore, I think that saying that he was provided with poor tools players wise is wrong. The players were crap yes, byt Ray chose them too, and he used them wrongly anyway, changing formations and players every week.

Ray has done a great job, and the day at Cardiff was amazing, but I said we needed a change and here it is. If it goes tits up now then so be it, but we were going down with RG on board or not.

By Paul G ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:24 pm:

Usually I keep an open mind to the departure of managers or key players from the club - after all no one individual is bigger then the club. But today has challenged this. Ray's honesty and determination in the face of the constant adversity thrown at him should be a lesson to us all however we conduct our own daily business. If only the club as a whole could show the same qualities Ray has shown.

Sacking the manager, Paul Taylor, half the squad, all the squad, even Bonsor will achieve nothing until the culture of the club changes. Perhaps the board have realised that they have adopted a false strategy and we are about to see a new manager unveiled with a million pounds in his pocket and 2 first division players in mind. The probability is however that we will see Nicholl given the job until the end of the season and possibly two or three freebies from Portugal come in on Transfer deadline day. Come the close season more unknown foreigners brought in for the 2nd division campaign. Ray Graydon's dismissal will be for nothing. Alex fergusson, Franz Beckanbaur, Arsene Wenger - none of them could achieve anything with this strategy in place.

By Sheffield Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:31 pm:

All the R.I.P messages are a bit OTT dont you think? We have lost RG, many clubs have lost better managers and gone onto better things, for gods sake calm down with such stupid comments.

By Frustrated Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:32 pm:

I suppose today's news was almost inevitable. Once again, it's the wrong fall guy. Graydon had his faults - odd team selections/formations, favourites among the players, failure to develop young players principally among them. However, he was still the best manager we have had.

Our failings this season are clearly down to the players not being good enough. It's no good the Board wheeling out Roy Whalley to give us the usual crap that they have spent a lot of money on signing-on fees and wages, "there's no such thing as a free transfer, etc., etc.". We know that but we want the Board to be prepared to pay transfer fees AS WELL. Other clubs do it - why can't we? Invest money wisely and we can hang on to our 1st Division status with all the extra income that that brings.

The cold, dead hand that is throttling this club is that of Jeff Bonser. He MUST re-advertise the sale of his shares and the freehold of the land. To siphon off ever-increasing ground rent from the club into his pension fund may well be legal but is it ethical? Surely a conflict of interests, at the very least? Will Jeff sit tight on his nice little earner? Is the Pope a Catholic? Do bears s**t in the woods?

The one ray of hope in all this is the possible resignation of Bonser's "gofer", suntan man himself. IF (and it's a big IF) he does go, it will be the first honourable thing he has done. I will believe it when I see it. I can envisage the Board asking him to reconsider and we will be stuck with this parasite who goes on more holidays than Judith Chalmers. Maybe he thinks he has bled the club of enough money? Fat chance.

Does anybody out there know of any wealthy football fans willing to invest? Bonser can help by spelling out how much the club will cost.

I will be going to The Valley but with a heavy heart and no optimism.

By Nige ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:33 pm:

Gutted...Absolutly gutted.
Good luck Sir Ray...(at Derby?!?!)
Thanks for the BEST day in my life.

I refuse to say anything about our board......
not worth typing.

The wrong people have left our club today.

RIP Walsall FC.............

By giza ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:43 pm:

At least one good thing has come out of this Paul Taylor offered his resignation surely his wages were probably more than RG.

The concern in now he has gone, who will we get in?

we are NOT going to get a good quality manager with the amount of money the Walsall manager is on.

Is it still the worst paid job in proffessional football??

who are we going to get??????

By Neil Ravenscroft ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:46 pm:

I just hope that the idiots who have been calling for him to go on the various message boards are feeling proud today. Where the hell are we going to find a manager at this stage of the season who is capable of keeping us up? The answer is probably nowhere.

By Nige ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:50 pm:

We ALL owe it to Sir Ray...lets sing out hearts
out at bescot...."Theres only one Ray Graydon......"

He deserves that...at least.

By Sheffield Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 08:53 pm:

Neil - Lets be honest with ourselves - Do you honestly think that RG would have kept us up this season? I think not.
As I have said before, he was a great manager but one who was not good enough on the budgets set to keep us in the first division.
As much as he tried the mistakes were happening too regular as I have explained before, discipline, formations, players signed, tactics I am sorry but the majority of this were mistakes by RG.

By Killary (Killary) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 09:01 pm:

Very disappointed at today's news. I know that Ray made mistakes, and I was sometimes frustrated at his tactics and team selection, but nothing can take away from his brilliant achievements and his character and leadership. I wish him well.

The sooner Paul Taylor goes the better.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 09:11 pm:

Paul Taylor has gone, according to the Express & Star

By Geordiesaddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 09:14 pm:

London Saddler - I think the fact that I refered to Bonser as being: "about as much use as a
sewn-up clown", in my last poem probably makes me a bit of an outsider. Plus Martin Swain would have a field day writing about my Ajax addiction.

By Pedro ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 09:32 pm:

Thanks Ray for 3 great years as manager . You put Walsall back on the football map , and gave Walsall fans may happy days. The last few results have no been that great but what can a man do with people such as Taylor and Bonser working along side him. Me thinks even Sir Alex could not do a job working with those so called gentlemen.

Least Taylor has done the right think and resigned maybe he should take the likes of Ofodile,Garrocho and Andre with him they are not fit to wear the Walsall shirt and would struggle to get into a Division 3 team.

Who next for manager ????????????????

Anyway thanks Ray . Where every you go next I hope you getting the backing of a decent board. You could have took us far but we lack so much ambition . Thanx

By BLOXO SADDLER ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 10:27 pm:


By ex saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 10:35 pm:

apparently nicholl is the bookies favourite according to WM.

OH almost forgot, sheffield saddler, f**k of you sad twerp, go and see the baldes or the owls you no-nothing bollock.

By Exile (Exile) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 10:40 pm:

A football club owned by Jeff Bonser
Had fans who thought he was a poncer
Did his financial extension
Just top up his pension
Or will we stay up in D-1, sir?

Thanks Ray, but right timing from JB - time to really sort the club out. Next few weeks / months will prove either that Sir Ray couldn't cut the mustard in D-1, or that no one can with the squad we've got. That much will be clear to JB by the end of the season.

Personally I'd like to think he'd spend a bit to get a decent manager, but doubt we'll secure the services of anyone with a reputation (of any variety) due to our reputation...

Still, don't write us off just yet, after all - tomorrow is another day!

Cheers all

By Raysflatcap ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 11:22 pm:

Sir Ray Graydon - sacked for currently being one place in the table below where we would have considered this season to one of our most successful ever.

Thanks for giving me the most pleasurable and optimistic 3 years in my 40 years plus of following the Saddlers.

Unless he has an ace up his sleeve, Bonser may have given our beloved club the death sentence today.

(As for you, Sheffield Saddler, can't you even manage for one measly day to control your obnoxious personality. You'd be a fantastic character on the Fast Show - on here, you have become an irritating know-it-all tosser. I pity anyone who has to live or work with you).

By David Roe (Daveroe) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 11:24 pm:

I would just like to thank Ray for what he has done for us over the last 3.5 seasons. They contain some of the best football memories I'm likely to ever have.

I do however feel that his time was up. Some of his recent decisions were the acts of a desperate man who had totally run out of ideas. He couldn't decide one week to the next what formation we should be playing, he was merely rolling the dice each week hoping for a break of somekind.

I fully admit that Taylor had not provided him with sufficient quality for the job. However even considering this I strongly believe that Ray was not getting anywhere near enough out of the squad.

At the moment it is still unclear if Taylor as fully left or not. If he does in the end stay at the club I strongly urge everyone to make sure we show our unhappiness at his continued employment. Until this leech is finally despatched from the club we cannot move forward. Just look at his statement on the official site for God's sake.

Finally, all the best Ray. I hope you soon find a suitable appointment where you will be backed fully and you can approach your new role with a fresh mind.

By Addie ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 11:50 pm:

Absolutely spot on Daveroe, you just about summed up the way i feel about the situation to a tee.
We cannot allow, once the dust has settled for Paul Taylor to continue at the club. Reading different reports today leads me to the conclusion Taylor's going nowhere, I smell a rat.

Cheers Ray,
Thanks for the ride.

By Bonser Out ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 11:53 pm:

Yes lets get behind sir ray in thanx for all the good times on Saturday

One Ray Graydon There's only Ray Graydon......

By Sheffield Saddler ( - on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 11:55 pm:

ex saddler and Raysflatcap - I just look at reality, I havent got my head in the dirt with my arse showing like you to have.
And as I have already stated and as i quote once again you ignorant idiots, my previous message read - "You must live in a dreamland if you can honestly say we have got promotion twice to the first division inspite of Garydon.
For gods sake man when he took over we didnt have a squad to send on a pre-season tour to Scotland. Do you think we got promoted that season out of sheer luck? Or like any Saddlers fan with a brain and because RG created the team and team spirit that got us promoted?
He may have had his faults in division one but in division two he was a miracle worker."

By Shifnalsaddler ( - on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:29 am:

Cowardly, disgusting, disgraceful.
Thanks Ray, and good luck, you deserved better.
I shall write to him and wish him all the best. As I do not trust the club to forward his mail, does anyone know his address?

And why, whenever I hear Roy Whalley speaking, does the phrase "Liar, liar, pants on fire" simply leap into my head.

A sad day in the history of WFC.

By Stafffs Saddler ( - on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:43 am:

Ray Garydon gave me the best two moments of my 23 years supporting Walsall to sack him after what he has done is a diabolical! Thanks for the good times Ray and all the best for the future.

By popperpancake ( - on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:47 am:

Altho Graydon presumably had the last word on which players we signed he still cannot be held responsible for the trash we have in the squad now. It depends what was put b4 him to have the last word on. If u get 20 shite players put in front of u and told u can have 7 of them..what do u do? He had to bring some players in, so u take the 7 best our of the ••••...or sign no-one. I've tried to stay positive about us this season, but in reality ( a place i like to steer clear of) i agree we would have gone down with RG, and we will almost certainly go down anyway. The fact is he should have been given the opportunity to bring in players in the summer and given the chance he deserved. I still maintain he acted correctly in his attitude to the ridiculous task put b4 him...moaning in the press would have got him nowhere anyway. I agree with SS (this is getting worrying) that the RIP stuff is over the top....WFC will go on....i just feel it is a terrible terrible shame that RG wasn't given the backing he so richly deserved. If Bonser gives the new man money to spend i will obviously be delighted but RG should have had that money if it is forthcoming now. Lost the plot? I don't think he had. Desperate? Quite possibly ..but who wouldn't be given the situation he found himself in. I haven't got a clue what Andre's role in life is but surely it ain't playing centre midfield for a 1st (or for that matter 2nd) divison side......maybe, just maybe the new man will get us out of trouble ( i doubt it) then all will soon be forgotten. Even if this happens i will still believe RG had it in him to keep us in div 1 and i will still believe that bonser has acted in a despicable manner to not give RG the money to do it and to discard him in the manner he has done. THe David Instone comment on the back of E&S was spot on.

Return to You Said That Then

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests