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Colin Lee sacked (23 April 2004)

Reaction to the biggest events in Walsall FC's recent history. This section also houses the tributes paid to Jolysaddler.
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Colin Lee sacked (23 April 2004)

Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:41 am

By ROSS (213.122.82.198) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:27 pm:

COLIN LEE HAS LEFT WALSALL FC WENT TO GET OUR SEASON TICKETS HE AND HIS SON CAME OUT WITH BLACK BAGS AND LEFT ASKED THE CLUB IF HE HAD LEFT AND THEY SAID YES

By carl harbidge (195.93.34.9) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:36 pm:

lee has parted company with the club just been on wm 12.30 sports news

By Will (194.83.172.126) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:37 pm:

Just confirmed Lee AND Bracewell have left. Merson & Osborn to take over for Saturday. Hmmmmmmmm

By machew (195.224.86.71) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:39 pm:

Official - on the club web-site. Terminated by the club due to the uncertainty created by Plymouth adamant on no decision til Tuesday.

It was inevitable I think...

By LEE's OUT (195.188.152.12) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:46 pm:

PAUL MERSON'S BARMY ARMY

Up The Saddlers
LEE'S OUT

By LarryHaggler (81.134.23.187) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:48 pm:

What a mess, CL states this morning he would never walk out on club, then Bonse sacks him and Bracewell decided he should leave as well !
Colin you tw&t, brought all on your self.


By walters28 (152.71.94.137) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:49 pm:

Not sure if placing those two in charge is such a good idea. Am glad CL has departed but thought Bonser would have had someone lined up. Its not as if this news has come out of the blue!

By Fish (81.132.106.32) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 01:03 pm:

Interesting to see Bonsers tribute to Bracewell as someone who has made a real impression and who's ideas have been well received.

Bonser wished him all the best - not a word for CL, however.

Interesting also, I wonder if CL nad PAFC have outmanouvered Bonser ?

In playing the long game (were they not to have told Bonser the outcome this morning ?) PAFC may well have saved theselves around £100,000 in compensation now that Lee has been sacked and is a free agent. It no doubt it will have cost us a similar amount.

Perhaps Bonser should have sent Lee on gardening leave until they had made their mind up.

Expect Lee to be appointed at Home Park once they have gone through the motions.



By Neil Ravenscroft (62.172.127.2) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 01:34 pm:

Personally, I'll wish him well for the changes he's made to the club, especially the ones behind the scenes, but I think it's quite obvious that word had got out in the team about the Plymouth interest before the last two games, otherwise there seems to be no explanation for the performances compared with Derby, Preston and Millwall. Jeff was in a cleft stick and was left with no choice, really.

By Steve Roy (81.76.68.81) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 12:18 am:

Another amazing day at Bescot. Apologies for the message board being out of action, hopefully it is now back running.

All the best to the team and supporters against Norwich later today

By saddle bags (195.92.168.169) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 01:37 am:

It was an open secret that CL was going at the end of the season and the uncertainty was bad but I feel we have shot ourselves in the foot. CL stood a decent chance of keeping us out of relegation. JB has cut his nose off to spite his face, he probably expected Bracewell to stop as caretaker but he didn't. Now we are managed by Paul Merson, who was a good player and might even by a nice bloke. But he has no experience and obviosuly has deep-seated personality problems which mean he would almost certainly be a disaster for a manager. Its not like he's conquered his problems like we hoped he had when he joined us, he's only been back from America for 5 mins, how long before he falls off the wagon again. Sacking Lee wihout having an immediate replacement was a terrible decision.

We need a new manager in place before the last 3 games, the Norwich match is basically a write-off and if we do get anything it will be a big suprise.

CL sint without blame because he must have known that talking to Plymouth meant his end at Walsall but there again can we really blame the guy after what he's had thrown at him?

1) no money for players.
2) not allowed to play our best player
3) no assistant for half the season
4) two coaches sacked towards the end of the season
5) constant abuse from a significant minority of fans.

The main reason we have been playing appalingly is because morale is at an all-time low, don't you think the same things that got on Lee's whick have annoyed the players. And yes the board haven't helped matters by being ridiculously tight but the main problem, as most people realise is our lack of money. Sure we have managed to buck the trend for a few years and being well-run and well-managed has played a big part in that. But we really need bigger attendances to live at this level and until we get these bigger attendances we will always struggle to stay in the first division.

Anyway, since JB didn't thank Colin I'd like to say thank you for keeping us in the division when we looked like certainties for the drop and giving us another two seasons of first division football. I wasn't happy that he spoke to Plymouth but he probably stuck the job out longer than most would have.

Good luck Colin.

Up The Saddlers!

By wfc_2uk (62.31.216.54) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 04:21 am:

You all know that towards the end of colins reign I wasnt at all happy with the man but hes human and must be wished all the best in the future. When things are bad you tend to look at recent events rather than the whole picture but after 2 1/2 years at bescot I can say although our position doesnt speak for it Colin has improved behind the scenes immensly.
Jeff is either a very clever or a very stupid man. He is too proud and once you disagree with Jeff its all down hill from there. If jeff hadnt have told the press Lee would still be managing us today but I do think Lee and Bonser should both take some of the blame.
Anyway onto today, looks exciting Ritchie back, merse playing in his right position and attack is the best form of defense. Im going to bed got an early start today.
GOOD LUCK PAUL & OZZIE & COME ON YOU REDS.

By Geoff Whiting on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 11:06 am:

saddle bags, very well summarised, I've nothing to add to that.

And wfc_2uk, nice to read your comments, especially the best wishes to CL and the acknowledgement of the improvements to the Bescot scene since he took over, it's nice to know some of CL's strong critics can still recognise the good things that have come out of his term at Bescot.

By MarkW on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 11:33 am:

When we get relegated I will not be distraught.Why --because we throughly deserve to go.
With the Ritchie saga /Samways/The signing of the worst goalkeeper in history etc..it can only be a deliberate ploy by Bonser as he wants Div.2 football.
Just think about it.Much lower wages to pay.This is his only concern.The Bonser suite/market/adverti sing boards will carry on regardless making a tidy little packet thank-you very much.
After supporting the club for over 30years iv'e never felt such lack of passion as now.Until this man goes there's no hope.Unfortunately he's going nowhere.
Rant over.Thanks to Colin Lee for all the good work in what must be one of the hardest jobs in football.Good luck at Plymouth.

By Bristol Saddler on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 11:57 am:

Can't seriously believe that Bonser wants second division football Mark W! You argument is that Bonse gets more cash in Division Two as we have to pay less wages! Well thats gotta be absolute boll*x!

Okay so our wages would be less in Division Two. But so would our attendances, less home fans/less away fans (less cash), probably less merchandise sales (less cash), less advertising revenue from inside the ground hoardings/shirt sponsorhip (less cash), less program sales (less cash), less food and beverage sales (less cash), less less live matches (less cash) and less TV money in general (less cash)!

So personally your argument has less weight than Bonser's wallet! Yes Bonse wants to reduce the costs of the club, but are you seriously suggesting he also wants to reduce the revenue!

You are having a giraffe!

Bonse has his faults, but I fail to believe he would prefer to be a second division owner rather than a first division owner!

I have supported the club for 26 years and I also am frustrated/despondan t about the lack of passion at the club, the doom and gloom! I have also stuck up for Colin Lee all season and would like to thank him for his hard work at the Bescot and wish him well in whatever he does next! I am also critical but realistic with regards to the big bonse!

So lets just stop all this over exaggerated knee jerked reactions with regards to the current state of our club and focus on the job in hand!

By saddle bags on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 12:16 pm:

No Bonser certainly has his faults but I don't think he 'wants' us to be in the second divison. What you can say is that he won't take financial risks in the hope of improving things on the field. This is good in the way that it means we will (hopefully) always have a football team to support and also means we don't have much chance of dropping through the divisons ala Wimbledon, Bradford, Sheff Wed, Barnsley, etc. But it does mean that barring miracles we are unlikely to be anything better than a high second/ low first team.

I think the real frustration is that we could have been established in mid-table with a modest financial outlay at Christmas which was Lee's argument. There again I spose Jeff would say that there are no guarantees that the money would have improved things.

Basically Bonser only has the financial clout of a lower league chairman, sure he may be personally very rich but you have to mega-rich to bankroll a football club, Jack Hayward is far richer than Bonser yet they only just got in the Premeirship after years and millions of pounds worth of trying and don't forget that Wolves have a much bigger income from season tickets, merchandise, etc.

By Junior on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 03:09 pm:

The idea that CL will get the Plymouth job is a joke. After what he's 'achieved' at Walsall no first division club would touch him.
It was obvious, and noted by a few (Mark Davies, Nils etc)at the time, that once he let the man go who kept him a job last season he had sealed his fate.

By Timmy on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 03:22 pm:

Junior's first division goal rate of 0.4 per game suggests that CL' s preference for Birch, Leitao, Burton, Bradbury and Merson was unfortunate for both him and us. See Soccerbase and weep.

By SheffieldSaddler on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 05:20 pm:

Well what a total disgrace.
Bonser has acted like an IDIOT. Yes, a complete and utter STUPID IDIOT.
The quicker this bloke p*sses off the better for Walsall FC. In the mean time we have lost the best manager in Walsalls history.

By Geordiesaddler on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 05:39 pm:

In the last 4 months Walsall Football Club has undone 2 years worth of progress. If by some miracle we get out of this and stay up, thare has to be a radical rethink of how we conduct ourselves. The Lee sacking is a total embarrassment.

By Geoff Whiting on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 06:02 pm:

Oh surely not that stupid CL/Junior mis-representation again - please, do me a favour! The facts and the argument against this ridiculous old chestnut must have been posted a hundred times by various posters - where have you been all this time ? You are absolutely miles wide of the mark.

Just once more, CL did NOT prefer Birch, Leitao, Burton, Bradbury and Merson to Junior. To say he did is a blatant lie. The truth is that CL pursued Junior as hard as he could for weeks on end, but Junior and/or his agent would not return any calls/messages or make any contact. Even faced with this, CL still kept the options open for Junior as long as he possibly could, in fact a lot of CL's critics have said he left the door open for him for TOO long. They are probably right, maybe he should have given up on Junior earlier and gone after other targets instead.

Please get this into your head - Junior went to Derby because his agent took him there. He took him there because they are a much bigger club with massively larger gates and can therefore pay much higher wages. We simply couldn't compete with that.

Anybody who hasn't managed to understand this by now, eight months after he signed for Derby, must have their head buried a foot into the sand.

By Wyrley Saddler on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 09:37 pm:

If all you tossers directed your anger at Bonser instead of each other we may get some where in getting rid of the biggest tosser once and for all. Greedy Bollox Bonser. How can you dipsticks defend this •••••. Bonser deserves all he gets and when we play Hartlepool on a cold December night we should all remind him of where we could have been but for a little investment on the pitch not a poxy hotel. Will you or me ever use it, will we bollox. Bonser saved Walsall? •••••. You reap what you sow and Bonser forgot to plant anything over the last 2 years and is left with a field of weeds. Serves the fast twerp right!

By Sound_out on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 10:02 pm:

I have to agree with what Bonser has done. CL and Bonser had an understanding that if any club made enquires to speak to CL about any vacant job Bonser would pass the information on to CL so he could deal with it. Bonser did not give CL permission to talk to Plymouth and only honored his side of the agreement in telling CL that they wanted to speak to him.

The reason Bonser sacked CL is because he went to speak to Plymouth. Bonser would have expected CL to tell them that he is not interested. Not to go down there and find out the details. We are in a relegation battle and our manager publicly goes and enquires about another job. That’s real commitment to WFC that is.

Well done Bonser on this issue, you were left with no choice. Just get us a good replacement!!!

Wyrley Saddler, I understand your frustration with Bonser being tight with funds but I can’t see your point about the hotel. It’s a good idea and will bring in steady revenue for the club.


By culley on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 10:13 pm:

I totally agree with sound_out on this matter. anybody who is in business will understand Bonser's position. CL failed the principal test of any employee 1 of loyalty 2 his employers.




By Wyrley Saddler on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 10:22 pm:

Yes I am frustrated but how much does it cost to build such a hotel / conference center etc. Yes it will bring money into the club but we never see any of this money spent on the playing side. We go to see the football team and without us there would not be a football club and how long can we suffer this lack of investment on the football field. Everything about Bonser involves business and the making of money of which he is the greatest benefactor. People say there would not be a WFC if it not were for Bonser. I disagree and would say that there would always be some sort of person who would invest in WFC if we were in danger of going out of business. Bonser has threatened to close us down in the past, he thinks he's invincible, but people out there care for WFC and am sure we would find another saviour if the crunch came.

By SheffieldSaddler on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 10:42 pm:

People complain when CL was in charge and now they complain when he has gone. For gods sake havent you anything better to do besides this? CL has now gone, many fans are happy, so why continue sl*gging the bloke off.
Lets just forget he was the most successful manager in our history, just a minor thing to certain fans no doubt.
I have got for job interviews when I am currently employed, so what? Havent we all done it? So when people say "CL failed the principal test of any employee 1 of loyalty 2 his employers.", basically is a load of b*llocks. If you saw a job that paid you £10000 more than what you currently earn for doing the same job, would you want it culley? Well I for one would!
Oh and another thing. If you managed a set of 11 people and one of the best ones had just fallen out of contract and your manager said "sorry but you cant use him anymore cause he aint got a contract". Would you be happy? Of course not.
WAKE UP. WAKE UP. The trouble with this club stems from the w*nker who runs it.

By Sound_out on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 11:28 pm:

I agree Bonser is not putting enough money into the club to match the ambition of the fans. Some say why should he spend his own money but I think that’s a load of bollox excuse – the guy shouldn’t be owner of a football club if he has no intention of taking the club forward and spending a bit of his own money to do it! Thousands of people love the club and want to see it move forward not backwards so ambition must come with the job.

Sheff, I think the fact that CL ‘publicly’ went to talk to Plymouth given our current situation is a disgrace. It is the most unsettling act a manager could do to his team, especially given our current situation. He should have waited until the end of the season or told them he was not interested at all. Doing what he did has showed a total lack of commitment. Bonser was left with no choice. Most of the fans, the team, board and the owner would have lost faith in his long-term commitment so he had to go.


By Geoff Whiting on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 02:32 am:

Wyrley Saddler, sorry if this sounds disrespectful, but there is no easy way to say this. I have to be honest and say your comments towards Bonser are naive and clearly show your problem is you have little or no understanding of the concept of "business" - yet "business" is exactly what Bonser is involved in at Walsall FC - same as any other professional football club - like it or not they are all driven by the need for income and profit. Why else would he get involved in something that can swallow up cash faster than ucow devours food and drink at a Saddlers Night Out ?

"Do you go to work to get paid, or do you do it for nothing?" - this is a simple question to you, and I guess the answer is equally simple, we all do it to get paid, to earn money. That answer applies to you, to me, and to Jeff Bonser. We love Walsall FC and it may well be recreation to us, but to Jeff Bonser it is something else, it is his work, where he earns his living, and in his case (like mine) it is where he has significant money invested so he has to protect it and make it work for him. If this concept cannot be understood and accepted, then there is no understanding of the whole situation surrounding the financing and running of Walsall FC or any other business.

Whether you were around or not at the time I have no way of knowing, but one vital fact you overlook, or maybe weren't around at the time to know, is that this club was going under until Jeff Bonser stepped in and saved it - that is not debatable - it is a simple and straightforward fact that is known and fully understood by many of us on this board.

Several years ago, amid intense and acrimonious criticism, JB stepped down as Chairman and put the club up for sale. To this day I believe that is still the situation.

But where are the buyers offering to purchase? There have been none that we know of, well none that want to retain Bescot as a football stadium, no doubt there are those who would buy it, close it, flatten the land and develop houses or factory units on it. And is that surprising when the maximum potential of the club comes from 6,000 - 6,500 regulars who are willing to pay their money at the gate? If you think "there would always be some sort of person who would invest in WFC if we were in danger of going out of business" then think carefully, and think of this. The only person that fits your description in recent times is - of all people - Jeff Bonser. That's what he did when he saved our club, no-one else was knocking on the door.

You also speak about the hotel and money to spend on the pitch as if the former takes away money from the latter - but clearly it does not. It has been made clear many times that the hotel development will be self-funding from the advertising revenue that it will generate. This means that if the hotel doesn't get built, the income won't arise, so the money won't exist and can't be spent on the team. For some reason this seems to be a difficult concept for some people to grasp, yet it is quite simple.

The hotel/conference centre is a long term project - once built and up and running it should provide a regular and consistent source of income that JB has stated will help to fund the footballing side of the club - I see nothing but good for the club coming from that, but that's for the future, not for today. And yes it will also make money for JB, but what's wrong with that? Would any of us put work into a project like this if there was no pay-back in the future? Your question "Will you or me ever use it" is irrelevant, the point is we want it attract money from outside, not from within. That's how we prosper, not by re-circulating money that we already have, but by attracting more of it from outside into our company.

So the guy first of all kept us from going under. He has since then kept us in business amd moving forward from where we were (at a rotting Fellows Park) when he arrived on the scene, to where we are today, a stable and highly respected club that is widely held up as an example of how a small club should be run.

JB looks like continuing to do that for the foreseeable future. That is something worthy of praise, not of being ripped-into by fans who haven't the first inkling of how a business has to work if it is to survive.

Given that he owns most of the club, "getting rid" of JB, as you put it, would be far more difficult than you seem to contemplate. Even if it was desirable, it would take a lot more than a few strong words, or a dismissal notice. It would involve major financial investment from someone with a pretty sizeable pot of readies. This "someone" hasn't shown in the last 10-12 years, why should we talk about expecting him to surface now?

What you need is to take off those blinkers and look at the much wider picture - only then might you see the situation as it really is.











By JPD on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 03:49 am:

Nice of you to spend the time to right some wrongs Geoff.
Your postings over the years show you are a good honest man.
My mate supports Chesterfield and one thing to look forward to out of this gigantic mess might have been a couple of games against them next season. Unfortunately it looks like they are going down too.
Best of luck to the Merse and Osborne, but something more is needed in this situation not school sportsmaster flirting with tactics in the face of probably the toughest game of the season. Norwich must have thought it was Christmas.
The situation is much worse than the Graydon relegation and I fully expect to spend many years in Div2 and maybe 3.
I fear its back to the dark old days, to the story where we only have 7 players signed up come late July and we employ anyone even overwieght timeshare salesmen to look after our favourite club.
You see, too many mistakes have been made by too many people. We have made progress, but the attitudes at the top aren't right for sustained success at this level.
The attitudes at the bottom (ie the fans) aren't conducive to success either.
Do they treat depression in Merse's American "fix your lifetime problems in 6 weeks" ranch?
Book me in now.

By Exile on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 04:55 am:

We're not yet down, and we don't need to rely on other results, yet, so there's still some hope for first division footie next season.

Thanks Geoff for taking the time to right some wrongs. Think you meant Purple Stand II, not Hotel about half way through, but understood what you meant anyway.

Cheers all,
Exile


By Esso on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 08:01 am:

Geoff,.

Thanks for making yet another effort to explain the reasons and benefits of the hotel and new stand. Its a shame you can't save it somewhere because I think that there are those out there who cannot see beyond the end of their noses and will need it explained to them time and time again.

By Geordiesaddler on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 11:50 am:

Trip to Hartlepool? They got promotion last season, and are looking good for the play ooffs in division 2 this season. I'd be delighted with a trip to Hartlepool next season, in division 1.

By Wyrley Saddler on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 02:28 pm:

Yes Geoff I take all your comments on board and I have been around for a long time, 1st Saddlers match 1965. I was on the protest marches against Wheldon etc etc. I have run a succesful business here and in Canada (When I was Toronto Saddler). There comes a point when you must speculate rather than air on the side of caution if you are to move forward. You can always run a back street garage instead of wanting to move on to a Rolls Royce dealership so to speak. The big issue is that we are a FOOTBALL CLUB and with failure on the field, things off it go tits up too. People like myself who have seen the good and bad times over the past 30 years have had enough and they could not give a dam anymore. After this season Mr Bonser will see very little of my money as I am off to persue more business dealings in the Algarve. I think rather more people will be keeping thier money to themselves next season. Good business practise I think not on Mr Bonsers part.


By Geordiesaddler on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 02:37 pm:

Wyrley Saddler, that will depend om A) whether we stay up, B) The new managerial appointment, and C) The signings we make - Bonser has already said things will be "better next year". The faithfull 5,000 will be there whatever, and the fickle 3,000
will blow with the prevailing mood - that is one proven fact that we have seen this season more than any. Short memories and shallow pockets are not the preserve of JB when it comes to WFC.

By Geoff Whiting on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 05:46 pm:

Exile, yes I know it's a Purple Stand II as well as a hotel project, but I thought Wyrley Saddler only referred to the hotel, so basically I left it at that.

Wyrley Saddler, I understand your comments, but really as you have, as you say, run your own businesses, you must know as well as anyone that no-one can "get rid of" Bonser - he is after all the majority shareholder. So I am now even more puzzled that you came out with those comments, because you obviously know yourself that what you put forward is not achievable. Only a take-over from a wealthy third party can do this, and as I've said, Bonser has been waiting for years for suitable offers from someone with the football club's best interests at heart i.e. NOT a developer who's only interest is getting hold of the land for re-development.

I'd also be interested to know how you can so curtly dismiss the idea that Bonser saved Walsall FC - he clearly did that when no-one else looked like doing so. Can you clarify why you see this differently please ?

I'd just add, as regards your 30 years and having had enough and not giving a damn anymore, I've been going to Walsall for over 45 years and seen far worse than what we're going through now. You have gone through worse times too in those 30 years, but you're still here, that must mean something surely. I've certainly not had enough, I still care very deeply about Walsall FC. I think after your 30 years, when things cool down you'll find that you still care too, and you'll be back next season the same as ever.

I will admit, after the awful Gills result, I had a few hours on Monday evening and Tuesday feeling a bit like you, but I know deep down that whatever happens ( other than maybe death ) I'll be there when the 2004/05 season starts next August, so on Friday I renewed my season tickets. I'll be surprised if you don't do the same.



By machew on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:45 am:

Wyrley Saddler, I think that we need to remember that Walsall FC's attendances mean that we cannot survive (at this level for sure and maybe not at any because of the relationship of attendances to Divisional status) on Football activities revenues alone. Therefore any investments (Hotel, Purple II etc) should be acknowledged as a great opportunity for us to level the playing field shall we say with those clubs who can finance Division 1 running costs from higher attendances.

Bonser's sound running of the club over the years is the reason that if come the worse and we go down we would not plunge into Administration. Can anyone honestly see that as a negative ???

We have had a bumpy ride this season but we should hang onto our hats because if we can come through this and get a decent managerial appointment we might come through it a stronger club.

By SheffieldSaddler on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 06:52 pm:

As long as it costs the club NOTHING at all I have no objections to the idea.
But lets face it, what set of fans are going to fill this away end size?
Out of the current first division, I reckon West Brom and possibly only Sunderland and West Ham would.
So 3 teams out of 23!

By Magic Man Fan on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 08:46 pm:

Not even West Ham judging on this seasons following. I think if we offered a unrestricted view for away fans at a reasonable price more would bring nearer 3000 which we very rarely offer because of the safety aspects.

Sheff, don't forget Cardiff as well, the best away support at Bescot this season bar none. Thats in numbers and vocally.

Now Stoke have got their membership scheme well under way they would probably bring more if it was more of an important game at the right time of the season. And probably Leicester and Wolves.

Pity if won't be ready for next season because the season after might be too late!

By [email protected] on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:09 pm:

They don't have to fill it - the mere fact that they can come into the club, go to the new stand upper and be securely segregated does several things.

1. it reduces our policing bill (the opposition fans don't need to be wandering aimlessly around Pleck looking for something to do)

2. it increases our catering bill (we can have more outlets selling more products - including beer, and we can have other facilities available, such as betting, etc)

3. for the bigger crowds the downstairs would be open meaning that when the big games do come we can sell more tickets than we can at the moment.


Personally, I don't know how anybody who understands anything about Walsall football club can bemoan the commercial activities - its the commercial activities that pay the players wages!

Walsall isn't building a hotel - they will sell/lease some land with outline planning permission in return for some sort of licensing deal. Not only will the club get the rental income, it will also get cross-promotional income from conference bookings, etc. That means money coming into the club. Money means players.

The new stand will only go ahead if a suitable advertising deal can be reached. It will therefore be self financing and in a few years time, once the original investment is paid off, will produce regular income to the club through the advertising revenue. Income is money. Money means players - and as well as the ongoing income from this there is also the increased revenue as stated above.



Walsall FC has a problem. Its problem is its fans who can't stop moaning and shut their mouths up long enough to give their brain a chance to think how good it is to support Walsall. We are not down yet - this division is still ours and survival is in our hands.

We need to get behind the team on Saturday and chear them onto victory. So we lost 5-0 on Saturday. Yes, it was disappointing - but Saturday also saw the best football Walsall have played this season. BBC WM said tonight that we had more shots on goal on Saturday than anybody else has had against Norwich this season. Normally we can count our goal attempts per match this season on the fingers of one hand of a man who has lost his fingers in a gruesome accident ;-)

Be proud - you're a saddler - and we're staying up.

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