Archive for March 1st, 2005

Focus Meeting Report

neilr @ 8:59 am Tuesday 01 March 2005

Last night’s Fans’ Forum Meeting at the Saddlers’ Club was poorly attended in comparison with the previous two or three, with only 12 fans in attendance. This was a pity, as Roy Whalley asked along Gary Wilson, the Stadium Security Officer and PC Pete Matthews, the West Midlands Police Liaison Officer.

Several interesting points were made, including:-

PC Matthews said that some of the “Wrexham” culprits had been back to court on Monday. There had been 10 arrests following the trouble and the investigation by the British Transport Police, with another 6 to 8 possibilities.

Intelligence suggests that the trouble around the Wrexham game also involved some Wolves and Villa hooligans reinforcing the so-called Walsall supporters.

There have been several incidents inside the ground that have led to ejections but not prosecutions because of the reluctance of fans to point out culprits and then give evidence. The co-operation of fans is needed. One incident mentioned on the UTS message board recently (the old age pensioner and the racial abuse) had been denied by the person concerned and his family and there had been so supporting evidence.

Roy Whalley said that the club like to have a cash turnstile for away fans, (something they will not consider for home fans), as it means the club gets the money immediately.

Gary Wilson said that there are no safety considerations in having a cash turnstile.

Gary Wilson personally has no objections to terraces and a move to “safe” standing areas (although there is not much chance of it being allowed).

All three representatives said that the evidence showed no increase in trouble following the sale of alcohol in the Stadium Suite pre match. They were asked about he possibility of half time sales of alcohol and said that this would now be a matter for the Local Authority with the change in the licensing laws.

Roy Whalley responded to a question regarding the Oldham game and letting the fans watch the England match in the Stadium Suite by saying there were no plans to do so and that Oldham fans were making their own arrangements to see the England match anyway.

There will be another two for a tenner deal for the Oldham game and, following suggestions from Steve Stuart, some market research done on whether these are new fans or not.

There is also a deal with Wyrley Juniors for that game (and one which will be run again, following a link up with them) that players will get 200 tickets, with another 400 available for parents at five pounds each.

The club was congratulated by all on the new “Mini-Reds” scheme.

There was a complaint regarding Stewards in the Lower Purple “disappearing” when it rains, as they are sheltering from the elements. Gary Wilson said he would take this on board.

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