Grigg – where there’s a Will, there’s a way…

Exile @ 6:41 am Friday 23 August 2013

Brentford’s fan site, the whimsically named ‘Beesotted’ has decided that they are the voice of reason regarding transfer fees for young strikers. Their leader plaintively written here, is by someone who obviously has little grasp of the world outside Brentford, and sounds a clarion call from the poorly financed underdogs who are perennial relegation favourites.

They write:

I cannot recall the last time two League One teams exchanged a player for a seven figure sum, let alone one who’s [sic] contract had lapsed for £1m plus – they’ll be lucky to get half that in my opinion – with £350,000 being more likely according to those ‘in the know’

So apparently Will Grigg is worth a maximum of £350,000 according to the Bees man ‘in the know’.

Where’s the logic? Here it is(n’t):

We believe that Brentford and Doncaster Rovers settled the Harry Forrester ‘conflict of valuations’ by being realistic and with a shared desire not to drag things out by taking the issue to a tribunal. If Walsall insists on going that route and not bartering to establish a realistic figure, then what does Smith expect?

How dare we expect our striker, proven as developed and improved over five years, to be worth as much as £350,000 when Harry Forrester was flicked on without a tribunal? How dare we not accept their pitiful offer gratefully. That’ll be the Harry they signed aged 20, not 15, beating off Ajax, then expected a lottery win when he left to step up a league after two seasons, not five+ years, because they weren’t actually that good. Sorry, but that’s no comparison.

Here’s a hint – the tribunal is used when clubs can’t agree. If Brentford’s derisory valuation (believed to have been as low as £150,000) doesn’t match up to Walsall’s expectation, then of course there’s no agreement, which is why there’s a tribunal for youngsters (at the moment, the EPPP may change everything to the detriment of us all).

The Bees bleating about Walsall’s comments from Dean Smith being a “very dull sound bite” is a bit sad. If they’d played ball this could have been sorted. Walsall are not the club dragging the chain on this issue, and Brentford are the club playing a striker they’ve not paid for. If their Beesotted editorial is a reflection of the club’s thinking, here’s our independent response: buzz off!

Pay before you play. Pay up, Brentford. We’d not be waiting on the tribunal if you hadn’t tried to take the mickey.


VAT brings small change to club

Exile @ 10:08 pm Wednesday 29 December 2010

The club have imposed a ticket price increase of 50p across the board as VAT changes come into effect on January 4th. Unsurprisingly to those familiar with the way the club works, this increase is over and above the increase in VAT for every category of ticket. Every. Single. Ticket.

Worst hit are extra kids on family tickets and unaccompanied kids, who’ll be giving the club between 2% and 4.9% extra, on top of the 2.5% to the taxman. Obviously this is because their tickets are cheaper, so a 50p increase makes more difference.

What’s concerning is the increase covers almost everyone going into the ground except the season ticketholders who were lucky enough to secure their pass for this season’s scintillating entertainment at the old price, but we’ll no doubt hear more on that subject at the end of the season when the early bird offers come out.

What do you think of the "VAT" increaes?
  • What a ripoff! (35%, 55 Votes)
  • Could have been thought through a bit more (33%, 51 Votes)
  • What's the problem? (32%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 155

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So just why is the price of a ticket going up over the rate of VAT for absolutely everyone? Would the club care to explain just how arbitrary their 50p increase is? Probably not, as it’s no doubt due to bumbling ineptitude rather than any cynical manipulation of the long-suffering fans. Perhaps there’s a better alternative that could be looked at though, if it’s not too late.

First off, don’t increase the prices for the new year’s day fixture against Notts County. The VAT rise doesn’t take effect till January 4th.

Secondly, look at each tier of tickets separately and apply an increase that matches. Perhaps the best result would be to take your 50p of your adult customers, by far the majority of the crowd, and hold prices for the kids and also pensioners if possible. If not, put them up by a little, not a lot, say 20p. That’d give Mr. Taxman his fair take, and treat the club’s supporters with the respect they deserve.

Thirdly, apologise for making such a ham-fisted adjustment when you could have handled it better.

PR isn’t hard, so why doesn’t anyone at Walsall FC think of these things before charging ahead?

Torquay 1-0 Walsall: More bad luck

Exile @ 7:54 pm Sunday 28 November 2010

There’s a saying, often attributed to Samuel Goldwyn: “The harder you work, the luckier you get”. If that’s the case Chris Hutchings must be one of life’s biggest layabouts, a workshy bludger, as his Walsall teams are inevitably unlucky. The latest side to give Walsall the bum’s rush were Torquay, dumping us out of the FA Cup unceremoniously as Walsall slipped to yet another defeat.

Out of the cup at Torquay - what next?
  • Sack Hutchings now for goodness sake (54%, 261 Votes)
  • I don't care, I've given up (40%, 195 Votes)
  • Let's concentrate on the league! (6%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 484

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Torbay Saddler was at the game and had this to say:
“I only had to travel 3 miles and spend £12 to watch that load of tripe. My heart went out to the 200 or so brave souls who travelled down here and had to suffer that.
Nothing changes then.

Someone asked how Grigg played, to me he seemed the only one with any idea what to do with the football, felt sorry for the lad he got no service and eventually faded out of the game like the rest of them.

As for Dickensen, I’ve seen some No.9′s playing for Walsall over the years…. eg Tony Richards, George Kirby , but I wouldn’t pick Dickensen to play for Walsall Phoenix.
Torquay weren’t much better than us but without Jimmy Walker, I’m afraid it would have been 4 or 5….. and it definitely wasn’t a penalty. I think the referee was bored and thought the game might liven up if someone scored.

No passion, no idea and no motivation….. but wait a minute isn’t that the responsability of the manager.

Exeter and Plymouth next year ….. do I really need to waste time and money ( I may become a stayaway)”

That’s that for cup interest this season, so we can now concentrate on the league, and boy does that need concentrating on. Relegation in front of ever-dwindling crowds would appear to be a certainty, as long as Chris “Jonah” Hutchings remains manager.

Walsall vs Carlisle preview: Play well and lose?

Exile @ 1:56 am Saturday 20 November 2010

With regular Neil being missing more than Byfield, it’s another Metfanwy preview this weekend. Thanks, Bangor!

Tuesday nights performance against non-league outfit Fleetwood Town left a lot to be desired, with many Walsall supporters still unhappy with the way the team is playing. An unconvincing 2-0 win was played out in front of a small crowd, with two moments of class from Reuben Reid the difference.

So we head into tomorrow’s Coca Cola League One game against a confident Carlisle United side, who are currently on a 5 game unbeaten run in all competitions. Last weekend saw the Cumbrians run out 3-2 winners over early season promotion favourites Southampton: no mean feat.

Carlisle come into the game with a close to full strength outfit. Highly rated striker Gary Madine went off in the victory over Southampton with a slight knock, but makes the squad for Saturday’s game. The only real selection issue for Carlisle will be whether James Chester will continue in the left back role.

The impressive part about Carlisle’s recent form is that the extremely experienced midfield duo of Graham Kavanagh (our old friend) and Paul Thriwell have been missing due to injury. Quality left-back Sean McDaid (former Doncaster Rovers) is out, as well as striker Richard Offiong. Players to look out for include deadly striker Francois Zoko and creative midfielder Matty Robson, who will cause problems.

What about us? Darren Byfield has been set back in his comeback from injury, and will be out for a further month. Clayton MacDonald, Jon Macken and Martin Devaney have been struggling with injuries, and may make the game. One player absent from the midweek win over Fleetwood was Ryan McGivern due to first team duty for North Ireland and he will still be unavailable due to suspension. William Grigg also returns from International duty, but he never plays. Andy Butler should make his Bescot bow, after missing the FA cup tie due to his ineligibility.

Carlisle should therefore line up: Collin, Simek, Murphy, Michalik, Chester, Taiwo, Berrett, Marshall, Zoko, Madine, Grella. It’s a bit trickier to predict how we might play, it is very much dependent who is available after injury. The return of Martin Devaney may push us back into a 442 formation, after the midweek 433.

Hutching’s bemusing quote of the week comes from the E and S. According to Oliver Lancashire: ‘The manager has been saying that we had been playing well and losing’. We haven’t been playing well..and we have been losing. Also, Oliver may have been tired after training for he also came out with this intriguing quote: ‘Carlisle are a similar team to us, with a similar budget I expect, and it’s good to see a team like that doing well. Similar budget? Really?

The money spent on Kevan Hurst and the signing of very good league one players such as Sean McDaid, Paul Thirlwell, Graham Kavanagh and Franky Simek show the Carlisle board have invested in their side with good results. Carlisle are currently 2 points from the automatic promotion places and the their owners should be congratulated. Let’s hope our owner and board of directors can show similar investment and deliver decent football to a public that has been humiliated by performances this season.

Prediction? We have the lowest scoring record in the division – just 15 goals – against the 3rd best defence in the league. The stats suggest we should lose again, but I am going for a draw. My reasons? It surely can’t get any worse.

FA Cup – Fleetwood replay ticket info

Exile @ 8:24 pm Tuesday 09 November 2010

Tickets on sale for next Tuesday’s replay at the Banks’s stadium. No cash turnstile for home fans.

Adults £12
Kids and concessions £6
Hospitality £35 to go the whole hog
booking / admin fees may apply

Upper & middle F2G stand closed, away fans in G H & I of the Bite Size stand.

Season ticket holders affected by stand changes can relocate where they so desire (within reason!) as long as they tell the club before gameday.

Fleetwood replay - are you going?
  • I'm not going (67%, 171 Votes)
  • I was going to go anyway (22%, 57 Votes)
  • The cheap tickets have tempted me! (11%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 256

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Youth Team Success
On another cup-related note – huge congratulations to the Youth Team, who are now in the semi-finals of the Midland Youth Cup after beating Port Vale away, 3-2. A hat-trick from Connor Deards sealed the win. Well done Dean Smith and his young charges.

Walsall 0-1 Yeovil: Utter Rubbish

Exile @ 9:17 pm Sunday 03 October 2010

Walsall went down to Yeovil on Saturday.

The Yeovil result. We were:
  • rubbish (93%, 274 Votes)
  • unlucky, punished by a slight mistake (7%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 296

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UTS regular sadders was at the game, with less then 3000 other fans. He had the following to say about our memorable performance:

Worst performance i’ve ever seen as a Walsall fan. Not one positive. Clueless, pathetic, dismal, dreadful, awful, passionless. DIRE! I blame the players as much as i do Hutchings and i blame Bonser more than any of them. Richards, Brain and Macken were decent. Smith is a poor mans Ian Roper on this seasons displays and Nicholls either needs to be played upfront or given a confidence injection, terrible. Reid was anonymous and my gosh, anyone that moaned at Rhys Weston for his constant hoofing, take a look at the defensive displays of Lescott, cant defend never mind hoof!

Pathetic. Abject.

We’re going down

A Glovers fan had this to say: pity

Hutchings must face up to some hard facts. He’s not achieving anything like respectability, he’s not winning any fans over, and he’s not getting the results on the pitch.

Bonser must face up to some hard facts. Crowds are going backwards, the policy of hiring cheap isn’t working, and the PR is all coming from the fans, who are giving up in droves.

It’s difficult to think of anything to add to that, other than to say that the slow death of a beautiful friend is a terrible thing to experience first hand, and observing Walsall’s progress this season is close to that. Emotive? Yes. Over the top? No. This is something of concern to all Walsall fans, whether they spend every game watching the Saddlers or turn up once every few years.

Bottom of the league after what many considered a fixture we had every chance of winning. Bottom of the table after winning only once at home in the league. Propping up the rest after taking just one point from the last 24. This is beyond relegation form, it’s become an embarrassment. Where’s the incentive for a fan to tell his or her mates to come along when they know what’s in store? Where’s the relish in telling a stayaway they missed a treat when the treat is a turd with a smear of rancid icing on top?

What’s worst for me is that the club appear not to see this. Take this quote from Hutchings:

To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. Things are not going our way at the moment and we are being punished for every slight mistake

Chris, you’re right – frustrating is an understatement. I’d say horrifying, terrifying, infuriating, abject and utterly inept before even thinking of saying ‘frustrating’. Chris, you’re right – things aren’t going our way at the moment, and we’re being punished for every slight mistake, but to use a hackneyed old phrase; Chris, you make your own luck. Looks to me like the ‘slight mistake’ that’s resulting in us losing five games for every one we’ve won so far this season is the one Bonser makes every Monday by not sacking you.

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