UpTheSaddlers Forum

Here we go again. Why do we make it so hard?


We need to make it fort bescot. At the moment it’s like an exhibition game for visiting teams. More bums on seats mean a better atmosphere and a better environment for our players to play in. It’s that simple. Surely it will breed more success over the long run too?!


We know its an awful matchday experience, we know its too hard to get in and its too expensive. We know the ticketing structure is ridiculous and we know the club do very little to attract new fans that actually works and there is no monitoring of these initiatives.

We know all the above and I think the club probably do also. They just don’t give a toss!


Think that died when the new stand was built. The old Gilbert Alsop terrace used to bring all the singers together and amplify the noise. Visiting teams used to hate playing at Bescot.


They have to act next season .If they don’t attendances could be even more shocking surely they must know that :see_no_evil::grimacing: will come to the point of no return!!! We could end up no offence to their supporters a Macclesfield or an Accrington :angry:


Two things on Albion’s parachute payments.

This means they have more resources and yet we seem to have spent more resource on our pricing structure (if a maze can be considered a structure).

We get more television money than Kidderminster but they seem to be cognisant with the logic that the lower down the pyramid you go the more affordable the football should be.


Those payments would mean that Albion are actually better placed to tell potential fans,“take it or leave it.” They don’t, by the look of it.


If anything they’re making hay (or keeping friends) while the sun shines.


Not going to lie, I misread the OP.

My comment was born from comments I saw on twitter about prices.


Ordinarily i would agree, but knowing that it would make bonzo even richer and even harder for him to ■■■■ off i draw the line :wink:


I’d go without chips in the lower for another 10 years if it meant he disappeared!


Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with @P.T in his original post, I think the problems at the club run deeper than the prices we charge.

Whilst I agree the cost is too much (especially for parents bringing kids), and the category system is pointless and over-complex - I don’t think that switching to a basic system a la Albion would make much, if any, difference.

We’ve been in League 1 since 2007, we’ve had 3 promotions in 20 years and 2 appearances in play offs - 2 of those promotions and one play off appearance now 18 and 17 years ago. Let that sink in. You can count our top 10 finishes on one hand.

The most recent history for WFC is that of non-ambition, stagnation and supporter-owner dislike. That’s the narrative, it’s inescapable. The complex pricing system just helps to cement that underlying narrative, we don’t want success, we don’t want fans, we can’t be bothered. We exist purely to fund one mans lifestyle - that’s it.

I’m not naive enough to think that remove JB and everything will improve immediately - years of stagnation, during a time when armchair support has taken off, will have done long-lasting damage to our ambitions. Ending his tenure will help, but I’m afraid that his legacy will be that we stood still. At a time when TV money is exploding, not spending any time in a higher division in the last 10 years has left us in the lower economic reaches of football, unable to compete with clubs formerly our equals. Totally unable, not even close - we are now in a totally different footballing galaxy to the likes of Brentford and Bournemouth. We’ve been left behind by modern football in many ways, and JB hasn’t the resources or the inclination to redress that balance.

A lot of that isn’t directly the fault of JB, but at a time when football is changing so much, we can barely afford to be standing still and failing to change the way we operate.

The people of Walsall still want to watch football - but WFC are now by far the worst option. We’re not the cheapest, we’re not the friendliest, we’re no longer plucky cup giant killers and we are known for lack of ambition. Compare and conrast to our 4 neighbours - Wolves think they’re the next PSG, WBA, Villa and Blues all pushing for promotion.

Before you worry about the prices and the practicality of watching Walsall - first you need to answer the most critical question - the “why?”. Why would you go watch Walsall? What is the motivation to do so? Granted, part of that is cost, but I’d say there’s far greater reasons not to watch Walsall if you’re a floating fan who’s not too fussed about a quid here or there.


Accessibility, affinity with your local area, family friendly would be the reasons. But the truth is the club don’t take advantage of any of that.

Those are the normal reasons to watch Walsall, apart from generational ties which the club can’t really do a lot about to be fair.

I don’t really think success comes into it. Obviously there isn’t a football team in the land that doesn’t wish for success but 92 teams can’t all win the league every year. Frankly if you are supporting Walsall for the successes then we could have anybody short of a billionaire in charge and you are going to be disappointed.

I think Atmosphere, Price and Customer Experience all far outweigh a lack of success for our lack of growth in fanbase.


So Wolves selling out every week isn’t because they’re relatively “successful”?

By your logic they’d be selling out if they were still in League 1?

Of course success, or at the very least, the pretense of trying to achieve success is a massive factor - especially over a sustained period of time. If you show none of that, over a sustained period of time, then the generational, local tie and family reasons to watch Walsall wain.

I really think you’re a bit deluded. If you’re a floating fan on a Saturday morning, and you fancy going to watch a football match - you really think “accessibility” is anywhere near the top of the list in their mental reasoning? Even if it was, which it isn’t, how is Walsall any more accessible than any of our neighbours? They’re all used to large crowds, whereas WFC try to put off crowds and moan when they have to pay police extra to come and police the game (because the stadium is now so antiquated that segregation is poor, amongst the reasons). Is it any easier to get to? No. Is it any easier to park at? No. Is getting a ticket easy? No.

Then you mention affinity with your local area - not quite sure what you mean, we’re talking about attracting floating fans. By their nature they have no affinity to the club. People new to the area, or new to football looking for a team to support would need a good reason to pick WFC over our neighbours. Are we going for promotion? No. Are we an attractive team to watch? No. Is there an atmosphere? No. Is the ground nice? No. Are the facilities at the ground good? Generally, no.

A football club’s product isn’t the football, it’s hope. If you don’t sell hope, and you’re not in the greed league, you won’t succeed.


Of course not. What are you talking about Wolves for? Their situation isn’t even comparable to ours. In fact I even said …

They have got a billionaire business in charge!!! :joy: You’ve literally proven my point.

Yes, I do. I’m delusional? I’m not the one expecting to turn up and watch Manchester City. If I drag a mate along I’m embarrassed to tell them we are probably going to have to get there for two o’clock to get into the ground at a reasonable time because there is only one ticket window, there’s a nice bar but they only serve ■■■■ lager and oh yeah, by the way, it will cost the best part of 25 quid.

Never once have they come out and gone, “well I’m fine with all that but why weren’t Walsall Dominating with Tiki Taka football and pushing for a title?”

I don’t disagree that we do need to do something special to attract new people. In fact I’ve listed virtually everything you did myself. I just think, if you are a Walsall fan for “the successes” then you actually are delusional.


All of that is nonsense.

You’re polarising the arguments.

Regarding getting in to the ground - I regularly turn up at 2:55pm and get in no problem. Even if I have to go to the ticket office, 2:45 would suffice, I’ve done the same at all four neighbours’ grounds. I really don’t think that the accessibility side of things plays on peoples interest in the club. Imagine a conversation in the pub between a group of lads… “Who do you support?” “Walsall”… “Why?” … “Accessibility mate”.


No you just tell them you are there for the success…


So our highest average attendance of the last 30 years (7,500 if memory serves) in 2003 coinciding with our most successful period on the pitch is pure coincidence? Laughable.


Some mixed messages here.

Big success will, of course, attract thousands of fans. I’m sure if we got into the premiership we could fill out the ground even if the facilities were rubbish. But we aren’t going to so the real question is - how can we get attendances back up above 5000 every week?

I believe the answers (most of which have been mentioned) are:

  1. Attractive pre-match options (bars/food)
  2. Well stocked and well run food and drink stalls
  3. Simple and attractive pricing
  4. Good atmosphere and welcoming stadium.
  5. Community club

Some solutions to these have been mentioned:

  1. Saddlers club just sitting there, a complete refurb with modern facilities - imagine how much of an asset that could be?
  2. Employ a professional manager to get this sorted, they will pay for themselves within a season.
  3. Pretty easy to sort that out.
  4. Rail seating in the lower, simple stadium upgrades (just adding photos of previous players/murals etc can help so much), ambition to remove stanchions from all stands.
  5. I believe we are trying in this direction, but a stall in the centre of town before every home game - with competitions for free tickets could help draw in a few extra faces.


No, obviously not. Because as you said there was a signal of ambition there from the owners. “sucess”? We were relegated about that time weren’t we? How much “success” were we really having?

But at least the club looked like it was bothered, rather than taking for granted things like customer experience, like you literally just have.

It’s actually hilarious that I virtually had that conversation with a Wolves fan last week. Because he’s not a season ticket holder he can barely get to games. He hates that because he can’t just buy a ticket for all the season because of work he’s got no chance of getting in because of all the new fans that have turned up despite him going for years. Saturday he loved that he could rock up to the ground an hour before and get in, and to be fair the cues weren’t bad. But hey, obviously that’s all ■■■■■■■■. He should have been disappointed because he wasn’t watching total football as we ripped Cov to shreds.


Genuine question - outside of the 3,500 - 4,000 hardcore we get for most of our home league games. What is a ball park figure of people with some sort of affinity towards the club, but don’t attend games? That’s who the club should be targeting imo…