A response to the 2nd letter


#42

It seems some think a meeting is in some way not progress or useful - I understand why they feel this way but surely this has to part of the increasing momentum of the group (and this should be made clear to them…)

I’m sure the folks attending will make Gamble aware that the groups aims and objectives are clear and that the groundswell of opinion and rejection of the clubs leadership (or lack of) and management is growing and determined and also clarify that they shouldn’t perceive that the inane questions and comments from some at the forum represent our position.

As others have said, I see this is an opportunity (whether a fob off or not is at this stage, irrelevant) and what can’t be underestimated is the importance of stated aims and objectives that are clear and well structured - if they perceive us as a rabble of disenchanted ‘customers’ without a clear direction that will play into their hands (and this is exactly what would happen if the offer of a meeting is rejected.)

Good luck to Rob/Simon whoever goes


#43

I think the best thing to do is go and talk to the guy…and ask for a legally binding backstop…what harm could that possibly do…:grinning:


#44

I think you’re going to have to go. Not going means the club will say we haven’t been willing to work with them etc.

However, it means we’re in danger of the last outcome where they make hollow promises that are hard to argue with… then don’t deliver them.

Personally think the best approach is to agree on actions to meet the points made in the previous letters and for the club to provide tangible evidence (timescale, process, weekly updates etc.) that the changes are being made. I think there has to be continuous communication with them and constant pressure to deliver, else momentum will fade away like last year.

Overall though, I think the club are trying to dampen the protests again and don’t “have a genuine desire to address the various issues raised” as Gamble says. Time will tell I guess.


#45

This is a great shout! Then it is not all on their terms and on their territory…its pedantic but lets play them at their own game for once.

It won’t sound bad either ‘we offered them a meet but they insisted on meeting away from the stadium in a neutral location so we refused’. That would make the club look bad. ■■■■ them, sick of skipping to their beat and then being asked to be thankful.


#46

Where could they meet that is neutral territory? I note Walsall College have seminar rooms to rent at £50 p/h. I don’t think a cafe/ bar is suitable.


#47

How about suggesting the Bescot Bar for the meeting. Oh hang on, they wouldn’t drink there would they…


#48

I think you should meet. Treat it as a business meeting by taking a 2nd person, agreeing an agenda and make sure it is minuted and the minutes published.
I know some feel this is a diversionary tactic by the board but, if carried through correctly with actions agreed and timescales, it can be used to hold the board to account.
This doesn’t necessarily impact on any further protest - it may actually give more impetus to it if the board fail to take the meeting seriously.


#49

Honest opinion refuse to meet, we have been there done that to no avail
And no matter how many times or who ever attends, nothing more than a stalling tactic
As for filming or recording, this won’t be allowed , we asked and where told no, in fact had to put our phones on table after being seen to turn them off
Give your expectations in writing and a fair timescale to see them being acted upon,
This meet is another ham fisted attempt to divide and conquer , and halt the momentum that was building
People say we where fooled at last meeting, I can assure you we where not, we offered an olive branch and benefit of doubt. And we all know how that turned out I’m first to admit they took it then firmly smacked us in the face with it


#50

I think we should take a final list of things that the fans agree on. Then what we should do is sign a petition to say we are on board with the points that have been raised.

That way, you really are speaking on behalf of a number of stakeholders (i.e. the Fans).

(be careful of GDPR lol)


#51

I think the key thing is you need to come out of the meeting with things they should action and by when - this really does make them accountable for their actions.

Also these actions should not be a checkbox exercise but an ongoing list.

I think this is really positive though


#52

TBH, I think the location argument is a bit of a red herring. They’d like nothing better than to say “We offered to meet and they refused.” The where bit would either get lost in the detail or make us look petty. Taking someone to minute would still show you meant business.


#53

I think you should meet.

To refuse this early in proceedings would make you look unreasonable and allow the club to dismiss the complaints more easily, even if we know the meeting is unlikely to deliver any tangible change.


#54

I’m liking this idea, I’ll look into setting an online one up.


#55

From their viewpoint, they are most probably aware that you are the contact point for the undercurrent of unrest amongst fans. Their offer to meet with you is similar to the ‘Cosy chat with Jeff’ scenario we had a few years ago. If they can liaise with the ‘head’ of the protest movement, they can promise all sorts to an individual - certainly enough to calm him down. By doing that, they hope to stop the protest in its tracks.

So, we know the following:

  1. The club is aware of the protest group starting.
  2. The club is concerned by this enough to arrange a meeting.
  3. This strategy has worked for them before and puts the ball back your court.
  4. They know that they can’t handle active protests terribly well.
  5. They are most likely prepared to offer ‘concessions’ to avoid active protest occurring.
  6. If protests go further than before, they will be in unchartered territory and they are very concerned by this thought.

So I would suggest agreeing to meet and asking if SG minds you being accompanied by someone to take notes. Getting him to agree to those minutes as a fair record is essential. I really wouldn’t film it, the club is a business in their eyes and commercial meetings have some degree of confidentiality.

The objective should be to achieve an Action Plan with quantifiable aims to measure against. Therefore, if the club fails to fulfil their side of the bargain, we have the justification for further action. I would suggest that there are some very short term items that the club must deliver on. EIther they will deliver and we are placated in the short term or we are in a position to move things along ourselves. Time is the biggest killer of momentum and the club will try and do the bare minimum to stall unrest until the status quo can be restotred.


#56

I think the meeting should be accepted with the proviso of another person being allowed to attend with you.

Tell them that the pressure/protests will not stop just because they promise to improve things but only when the have acted fully on those promises.

Walk into the meeting with out run out tune playing loudly :smile:


#57

I for one wouldn’t cancel the protests bonser likes to stop any protests and anyone making any valid points regarding his leadership of club. He will always make short term bargain offers when the heat is on but after that reverts to type our club is dying we need change #Times up jeff


#58

I agree with AFKALS who has explained in more detail what I have been getting at.However Dan I am sorry I do not agree with continiuing with protests, maybe planning them is fine but we should give Rob chance to have the meeting and come back with the results first.

I have been involved with similar circustances many times before and the correct plan appears to be coming together now. Put forward valid issues agreed by fans, reach agreement on results acceptable to both sides and agree achievable timescales for completion. Then keeep track as each one is ticked off the list and if the agreed plan is put on UTS for all to see then both sides will see the commitment.

The Directors are then under pressure to meet deadlines which they have agreed and the fans are happy if all goes to plan.

The only way to resolve this is for everyone to be clear about what they want and the Directors to be honest about if it can be achieved or not.

I do not accept that it has not happened in the past. The past is the past.


#59

There’s many good points made on here ref the meeting and I’m certain Rob’s well capable of handling both the undoubted rhetoric that will be spouted but also clarifying the depth of the fans feelings.

One thing I think would be useful is to position the criticism at the board as well as the owner because there are plenty of us that feel that as executives of the club, they have a duty and responsibility to the club of course but also to the fans - they have and continue, to fail in this regard.

Apologies and excuses are no longer valid and we demand better from them and the impending protests will only gather momentum until they deliver the improvements they now know they need to make.


#60

My first thought was meet, good points made not to meet too though. Pretty much the same questions as in the letter which he’d already answered?

I’d be considering just saying actions speak louder than words and until there ARE changes, not just talk of changes, then ‘walsall supporters for change’ will now begin to push for it.


#61

Sadly, there are so many of you about on the Walsall terraces, that is why similar protests have fizzled out in the past. Uncle Jeff is rubbing his hands in glee when he sees supporters complaining that “oooh no, we musn’t protest”. Just look at Bolton, they have had success because they did NOT give up, 4,000 protested outside the ground on Monday, hundreds of tennis balls were flung on to the pitch (can’t understand the relevance, I will ask my work colleagues) similar to the Charlton pigs. Anderton is utterly fed up and has now publicly committed to selling the club.