Focus Meeting Live Feed


#81

One thing struck me reading the summary. Gamble has been there 17 years! Made me realise a few things. Firstly, JB must be incredibly pleased with the job he’s doing, is there another CEO in football who has been at the same club for that length of time? When you look for “stale”, and for folks in a comfort zone, surely that says everything. Pity someone didn’t ask him what he regards as his biggest achievement in 17 years at the club…replacing Roy Whalley and snuffing out later bouts of fan unrest would be the answer in reality. He’s been on the board since 2007, and CEO since the OAP “banning season” of 2009/10.


#82

Spot on. As a CEO he’s been an abject failure. No obvious goals, no direction, a downward trend in service and facilities, and alienation of the customer base. In any normal business he’d have been fired years ago.


#83

In defence of Stefan, with Jeff as boss, you won’t achieve anything


#84

I can just imagine the conversation that lead to his appointment as CEO ten years ago.
JB…Wallett’s lost the plot, just come in as the shiny new face, put down this rebellion, and any others that occur down the line and you’ve got a job for life. Just don’t get as smarmy as Roy as that always riles the peasants.

Ten years on the pension funds creamed another £5m and counting, Stef goes on his holibobs during the club’s busiest time of the season, comes back in a bit of a bad mood and sails perilously close to breaching the one condition of his continued employment. That’s how bad he is.


#85

No Geordie, he is incredibly pleased with the job he is not doing.


#86

Gamble is the perfect man for Bonser, not for WFC. We knock him (rightfully) but let face it, if he wasn’t a yes man he’d not be in the job.


#87

Wallet was best at working the sponsor tables in the Boner Suite. Not sure what Gamble is best at. Any redeeming features?


#88

You have to exhaust the official channels first and close off the escape routes. Otherwise the club just turn around and say you’re causing division by protesting inappropriately, when there are “proper” ways of raising concerns. This way you have evidence that those routes have been blocked.

Bonser and co. will first do what has been successful in the past. Ignore it till it goes away, perhaps with a few minor concessions. Did anyone really think WSC would have immediate success, on the day of its launch?


#89

Only just found out about this kids go for free scheme, it’s a great offer but not enough people know about it

Why not advertise it at every opportunity when promoting our next fixtures, literally only needs a few words and a link posted so people don’t have to find it themselves, really isn’t that hard - or a social media post once a week, not exactly spam, this is what people want to see the club doing

Shambles that so many people in this thread have mentioned they’ve been taking their kids and been paying this whole time without being told, just glad these people now know about it but there’s probably many others who didn’t attend or follow this meeting that still don’t


#90

Ref last night,s focus meeting

After around an hour of the usual historic question,s and the same worn out answers issued , I got the chance to put the following question,s to Steph gamble

Q. Has our so called saviour sat down with his fellow directors and spoke of his exit plan

A. No he has not

Q. You stated earlier that he was a willing seller , but not actively trying to sell club, and why have six genuine bids been rejected previously

A I’m not aware of any bids,

When pointed out that he was in the meeting last year, where bonser, himself said bids had been made, and I called upon another fan in the room. ( kev paddock ). To confirm what I was saying was true, Which he did. Steph . Stumbled a little and said he believed those bids to be for the freehold only
Very strange I’m thinking

Q. Am I right Jeff and Roberts pension fund can only pass twice, And seeing that the first passing would be upon the death of. Either brother, and given there ages , a second passing of pension fund could take place within a relatively short period of time,
What safeguards are in place. To ensure Walsall football club, could continue in this event, seeing that Walsall football club in it,s entirety was held in said pension fund

A. Yes pension fund can only pass twice, after that it would incur a massive taxation, for future beneficiaries , this would create problems for club, in long term, as it could be sold to anyone, who could come in with no intention of wanting a football club and asset strip it. ( de Ja vue ). So no actual plan in place to his knowledge, regards. Protecting long term future

Q am I right. That the lease is ring fenced, in such a way that, for 95 years, no one could ever evict wfc from bescot, as long as the rent payment is made. Via revenue that footfall through the turnstiles creates , and this is the only protection the lease has

A yes. We have 85 years left on original lease with a further option of extending it by 25 years, we can never be evicted. From stadium. As long as rent payment, that can only increase by rpi, is met

I would take this opportunity to thank Steph for the honest answers provided, and as I publicly stated last night, I fully appreciate that both him and Dan mole , are hung out to dry, by our esteemed owner, who should of been there, himself to answer question,s as it was us the fans who for nigh on thirty years, have also contributed to bonser and his brothers self invested pension fund, , and it’s about time he revealed his plans, and even more so gave us something back

I left said meeting, with even more concerns, that in relation to answers given to me, our club is on borrowed time

Anyone with any sense could read between the lines of those answers given to me and I would say that within a fifteen year timescale our beloved club is in grave danger of becoming. History only

What’s the answer, my opinion only

Put the issues of transfer policies, facilities and not forgetting the all important issue of chips, on the back burner for a while

I have always said it and been shot down that the true ramifications of his ownership are yet to manifest themselves,

I urge. In Fact no I beg every lost fan to get up there and support the team only, don’t buy his pies, don’t drink his, beer. Don’t go to his function,s but pay your money and go through those gates, As that’s the key to our future, and Walsall FC needs you now more than ever, not mr bonser. Just little old Walsall FC

Let me put it another way, and again this is my opinion only,

I firmly believe his exit strategy is already in place, I’e. The club, is worth around ten million lock stock and barrel, in its current guise, , but at today’s prices if the club couldn’t furnish the rent the land as it stands is worth around. 1 .2 million per acre, now it stands on a seventeen acre site, so you do the maths,

If club continues to stagnate and rent could not be met, I’e a legitimate reason for calling time on playing side Ask yourself where does the better sale price offer itself, also bear in mind the pension funds twice only passing rules. And a bigger picture begins to emerge

Like I say encourage as many as possible to get up there to games, but hit his other revenue streams hard, It’s the only possible way to get him to sell, whilst ensuring rent can be met, and may also prove to potential buyers that. The club is in fact a very worthwhile investment, that does indeed have the potential to grow if only allowed to do so

Every fan should pull together on this and stand as one, because make no mistake the clock is ticking , and if things continue as they are the consequences. Are unthinkable


#91

Last night was my first fans focus meeting, and here are my thoughts/observations:

• Stefan seemed extremely nervous and I genuinely struggled to warm to the guy. Dan seemed more human (as he kept reminding everyone) and even before the event I noticed him talking to fans on the floor.
• Without a structured agenda of topics that the fans want to cover then this type of event will never work. On too many occasions, the board were just starting to be challenged by valid questions only for this to be distracted by a group of fans in the middle of the room either interrupting or talking about formations and zonal marking.
• I know the club are going to look at the ticketing feedback, but I still feel they are missing the point here. The swifty squad is great if you have pre-registered as you do get free kids tickets – something I have used. But what about the casual or new fan? Unless they have 2 passport photos available then they can’t take advantage of this offer at short notice. What about if it’s a group of youngster who want to attend with their mates (without parents) and they can’t take advantage of the swifty squad offer? How do we attract the casual fan who may wake up on a Saturday and consider attending a Walsall game? What’s the USP? How are going to market the club and reach out to new people? How do we advertise in the town centre?
• The suggestions that the club and not reacting to the problems and are being proactive is amusing at best. Why is it that action is only now being talked about once it has gone wrong? If the problems boxing day hadn’t happened then no action would be looked at. Where is the plan of action with timelines? Again we have no transparency and just feels like stalling tactics. The work on the outside of the ground – within 60 seconds Dan went from explaining that a contract could be signed within 7-10 days and then quoted 10-14 days. I don’t think they have a plan and are obviously reacting to the feedback. Even the words used we simply replaying some of the feedback they have had – lip service.
• I don’t think Stefan intended to reveal the number of trustees of the pension fund. Whoever it was that quickly picked up on this and pushed Stefan for a specific answer should be applauded as this was one of the few occasions that the board were put under pressure and we got a real answer.
• I left about half way through as I needed to get back and at that point it was obvious nothing was going to be achieved. Its obvious that Stefan and Dan need help – they are carrying out multiple roles that time and skillset does not allow them to carry out effectively. The leadership structure within the club is broken and without the right people doing the right roles any organisation will have problems.
• I genuinely believe that any future fans meeting with the board should be boycotted unless Jeff is in attendance. Without this it’s a wasted exercise. Also, I believe any discussion that may come about from the protests and desire for change should be with a closed audience of people who can articulate the points required and control the agenda appropriately.


#92

You’ve got no right to have a go at people who went,if you couldn’t be bothered to “waste an evening” yourself el_nombre.


#93

Any tactical or coaching questions should have been banned. A) it’s not the point of this meeting, there are much bigger issues. B) Keates isn’t there to answer and C) everybody in the room could have a different opinion on certain tactics. It’s literally pointless and makes the fans asking the question look like pundit wannabes.


#94

True though. If anything I’m having a go at the organisation of it.


#95

:grinning:


#96

This type of Focus Meeting has clearly been designed to be disorganised as possible to provide lip service to meeting fans. A structured agenda would hint a professionalism over the subject, which is clearly not appropriate for the club to entertain here.

It allows them to happy accident / plant (delete as appropriate) stooges to ask inane questions when the going gets tough. Was one of them the same demented twit who phones WM to fulfil their quota by any chance? They can conveniently lump these with the intelligent audience members all together as ‘fans’.

The important thing is that we have gone through the exercise. Board memnbers will be aware of an organised undercurrent and that is clearly having a nominal effect already, so that is good news.

However, there is no justification to slap each others backs just yet. We are now at the next stage of unrest. I’m intrigued to see what is planned next.


#97

"Q. You stated earlier that he was a willing seller , but not actively trying to sell club, and why have six genuine bids been rejected previously

A I’m not aware of any bids,

When pointed out that he was in the meeting last year, where bonser, himself said bids had been made, and I called upon another fan in the room. ( kev paddock ). To confirm what I was saying was true, Which he did. Steph . Stumbled a little and said he believed those bids to be for the freehold only
Very strange I’m thinking"

Nothing strange

The bids made were for the freehold, I know one of the people who made a bid. I thought this was pretty common knowledge.

No bids for the “club” have been made AFAIK.

IMO the “club” is worth nothing. It owes more than it’s tangible, saleable assets and has a history of requiring loans to ensure it can make a meagre profit, so who would pay a penny for it? There’s no value in it.

If this protest/movement is going to make any progress, I think a bit of acumen is needed. Getting in to arguments with Stefan is pointless and a waste of time.


#98

No it’s not.

The club is worth nothing. The land is worth around £6-6.5m. One of the bids for the land came very close to that valuation.

Trouble is, JB has got it sewn up perfectly. I’ve said it for donkeys years, there is no point him selling the land and retaining the club, there’s no way he’d feather someone elses nest with rent. There is no point him selling the club and retaining the land, no one in their right mind would buy an effectively loss making football club that pays rent to the former owner.

The way forward for Jeff that is most attractive is for both to be sold together maintaining the status quo, which is possible, but not likely given the protests and dwindling support.

It’s the status quo that we don’t want to continue. Any protests have got to force Jeff to act in the best interests of the club. Force him to end the status quo and re-unite the land and club. That should be the focus. Forget trying to just get Jeff to sell, forget stupid valuations of £10m cos that’s bullshine. If he has his way, it’ll be to a similar kind of setup. This is all on one man.


#99

Ok I’ll take it. I’m sure Jeff will just give it to me if it’s worth nothing.


#100

Providing you pay the rent and could agree some kind of deal on the debt which is mostly owed to him, then yeh, you’d probably get it.