Battle stations: Fans focus meeting confirmed

Fans focus meeting confirmed for 7pm on Monday (21st)

Let’s have a strong turnout. see the threads on the Luton Bournemouth and Rotherham section of the site for plans and what to do.


Good work sir.

I won’t be there unfortunately.

I’d urge everyone who is to not get into the easy territory of the playing side. Our views on the defence,
, Keates’s ability, the goalie etc are pretty irrelevant and easily deflected.

@simon list and @RobHarv3y letter more or less sets out an agenda.


It was effective last time, so let’s hope a determined session gets the ball rolling.

Haven’t lived in Walsall since I was 18, so can never make these.

I’m sure the subjects will be touched on, but the two questions I’d like to hear answered are:

  1. The club’s stated aim is to achieve promotion to the Championship. In the last 12 seasons this has only been a realistic possibility once. In seven of those seasons the club has finished in the bottom half. The club is failing miserably in its attempts to achieve this aim, but senior management remains unchanged, who is being held accountable for this continued failure?

(We all know the club’s real aim is no such thing, but if they are going to trot that line out time after time let’s call them out on it and make them squirm by suggesting they are failing in their jobs.)

  1. We are often reminded of how challenging it is for Walsall to compete in this division financially. This is despite the club having spent more time at this level than any other. How has the club been allowed to reach a position where it no longer has the resources to compete at the level where it has spent the majority of its existence?

If anyone that is going could ask some questions along those lines it would be much appreciated!


VJust on number two there, the answer will be “on our crowds blah blah”. The supplementary to that is why have we stagnated whilst others have pushed on?

Below are the attendances for the entire football league for the two years preceding JB joining the board. We still get roughly the same crowds whilst nearly everybody else has substantially improved theirs even those who’s playing fortunes have dived.

The real question is why Walsall have evidently failed to keep up with others thereby rendering our previously solid third tier status being seen as us “punching above our weight”?

The trick often pulled is a proud “don’t we (as a board) do well on our crowds?” as opposed to taking any responsibility or accountability for the fact the crowds are so poor. Our “weight” budget wise is as a direct result of boardroom failure and not some weird Walsall uniqueness that renders our population more apathetic than in other parts ( including those with big, in fact in some cases substantially bigger, neighbours).


Now that is an interesting document.

An aside is to note how attendances have generally risen across all leagues as the ramshackle Victorian stadia of the late 1980s were replaced or redeveloped. The most striking increases are at the top, of course.

Given, that we were one of the first to have done this, we might expect that we would have capitalised on it. However, this is not so. I wonder why…

It’s not like we don’t have a similar hardcore following to that famous D4 team nearby :joy:

The new stadium was one of the last to be built prior to the new era. That’s meaningless in itself, but note that almost everything after had access to external grants, funding and preferential loans.

Look at our neighbours Wolves were a special case,but AV 18,000, Blues 7 1/2, Albion 9.

Blimey we really have missed out on the explosion of support for football. If we had just kept up and maintained our relative position we would be on about 8000 gates at the moment.


I’m a big believer that timing was crucial for JB and his motley crew.

The period immediately after the Hillsborough disaster, and prior to the mid-to-late 90’s renaissance in stadium design was a period when almost no new football league stadia got built. Aside from Glanford Park, Huish Park and the Deva Stadium, there wasn’t a lot of new construction going on, until Huddersfield kicked off the renaissance with their McAlpine Stadium in 94 (I believe).

This is when most clubs were waiting for the full impact of the Taylor report, and also waiting to see the impact of the newly introduced Premier League. To a canny fellow, this lull could be exploited - knowing that more finance was coming in to the game than ever and that stadium design was being radically overhauled, meant he could build a stadium on his kind of budget (cheap), to his kind of design (crap)…so long as he got it done quickly.

If the whole Denglen/Bonser/Gilman situation had arisen 5 years later, building Bescot would’ve looked rather stupid, 5 years earlier, and the need for an updated ground wasn’t really as pressing. I certainly think Uncle Jeff benefited from an element of luck in the timing of Bescot etc.


Stuff like this needs printing and shared on each table / group before the meeting begins.

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Remember as well ,we weren’t the only WM team with problems in the early 90s. Blues and Albion both dropped into the third tier,and I don’t think either bounced straight back. So our plight then can’t be used as an excuse.

Any commercial building needs a major refurbishment once a generation and many retail outlets are more frequent than that. We are well overdue, with the exception of the former Alsop stand. I can’t imagine The Venue has missed out either.

If you look at the outside of The Venue compared to the rest of the stands it appears much more bright red than faint faded pink. :wink:


This is something that you could do some extremely interesting and damning analysis on. Even if you only use the clubs who are playing at the same level or lower than they were then it would be interesting to see how many are now getting smaller crowds like we are.

A little analysis on us v our neighbours, 1987 v 2018:

Villa: 18171 > 32097
Albion: 9133 > 24534
Blues: 7426 > 21042
Wolves: 5754 > 28298
Walsall: 5312 > 4760
Total: 45796 > 110731

So we attracted a 12% share of the 45796 locals who attended football matches in 1987, compared to a pathetic 4% of the 110731 in 2018.




I have taken the attendance figures, from post war to last season as per Wiki and created a simple graph for people to have a gander at.


So we were the 5th best supported team in the third tier back then, this season we are the 17th!

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Great problem about the possible action of us not attending, and starving Bonser of his Pension fund, is, that the likes of WalsallOne etc would still be at the Bank’s’s every fortnight, even if Bonser was at the turnstiles robbing everyone of their wallet as they tried to enter! So the 4% will ‘remain’ (now where have we heard that word before?) for ever, until either they die or the club does!

Would be interesting to ‘somehow’ normalise this for our league position.