L 3-1 vs Stevenage (A) - League Two - Sat 8th Jan, 3pm

SLA, or Suffolk Life Annuities, is where Bonser has his Self Invested Personal Pension. Subject to the laws on SIPPs the pension is 100% owned and controlled by the Bonser brothers. The holders of SIPPs can use the value of the assets in their pension fund in order to borrow money to invest in assets which they believe will increase the long term value of their fund.

The advertising board is on land belonging to the SIPP so it belongs to the SIPP, but presumably the lease that the club has entitles it as the tenant to all the advertising income from any boards.

You are talking about JWB and his side kick RW here dont forget. We may not be entitled to all the advertising income, however, you never know he may have put his WFC Chairman and majority shareholder hat on and agreed with himself with his Suffolk Life hat on a split. The way his other sidekick SG produces the club’s accounts with no breakdown other than split between “Match Receipts” and the rest is lumped as “Football and Commercial Income” He could well have done the deal with himself along the lines of putting the rent up £ 30K pa, and guaranteeing the club the first £ 50K of income from the sign pa and the rest slips quietly to the underground lair. It was JB’s board and Directors and remains so even today. Till that changes it is a closed book for whatever he did


You’d be surprised to know that’s my plan :smiley:

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Don’t forget JWB (or more correctly, perhaps, his pension) also own the stadium.

When people say our rent is low compared to other clubs ie what Coventry were paying for the Ricoh, surely we are not comparing like for like as we payed for and built our own stadium although not the land its built on where as other clubs are paying for rent of the stadium and the land?


It’s painful to see what’s happening down our club, it’s simply an existence at this time, we’re not flourishing, no ambition being shown by our board yet we still turn up in our numbers and back the club.
Only when the Bonser’s are gone fully will we thrive and let’s be honest that isn’t gonna happen anytime soon, 450k a year needed before any playing budget is given consideration is what is slowly squeezing the life out of the club.
As Olly posted above let’s hope an new owner is found who can build us a ground to accommodate us when the agreement in the rent contract allows us too, because without that I can’t see a way out, and let’s be honest that’s highly unlikely at this point.
Where’s it all gonna end lads ? Will we plummet to non league and not be able to fund the rent so become homeless and have to groundshare ? Will we attract a new owner who rebuild us ? Will we cease to become a football club ?
Who knows but what I do know is this club is closer to non league football than it is to league 1 football and the current set up with the bonser stranglehold have given me no hope at all of the tide turning, yet we still follow them home and away as it’s all we know, I wish someone could convince me the future isn’t as bleak as I’ve painted.

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Good news.

I’m hearing that Sue Gray is going to investigate whether this game actually took place at all. And if it did whether it was in fact a game of football or a game of lacrosse which we handsomely won.

We shouldn’t really comment any further until her findings are published.


Walsall FC do not own the stadium, or the land. The club’s money was certainly used to build the stadium, but it does not own it.

Sounds sooo dodgy doesn’t it? A bit like the developers of high rise flats covered in flammable materials, who have ridden off into the sunset with their millions (why does that sound familiar?) saying that is nothing to do with them when replacement is necessary, let the leaseholders pay for it (why does that sound familiar?).
I am no legal-eagle but surely Exile’s above statement, whilst being true, can it be legal?

So it’s different to when you buy a leasehold house where you own it up until the lease of the land expires?

Walsall FC have never owned the stadium.

Quick recap: Walsall FC owner Terry Ramsden sold the club to two entities, Davenmanor (the club) and Denglen (ground developer) in May 1988.

After development, where incidentally no accounts were filed by either entity, the club and the stadium were purchased, separately, by uncle Jeff and his pension fund in 1991.

Jeff’s pension fund bought the land a few years later.

So no, the club never owned the stadium.

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The land and the stadium are different things?

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Yes, they were.

You cannot own the freehold of a stadium if you do not own the land on which it is built.

After paying the full cost of the building of the stadium WFC was granted in return a lease on the stadium entitling it to use it as if it owned it for up to 99 years in return for an ever-increasing rent. Initially the rent was relatively small.

I had assumed that the club owned the lease ever since the new stadium opened, but perhaps Exile has information to say that originally Bonser (or some entity owned by Bonser other than WFC) was the tenant.

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Leaseholders do not own their houses or flats. They own a lease which entitles them to act as if they own the property, subject to the conditions of the lease, as long as they continue to pay ground rent, until such time as the lease expires.

If a leaseholder stops paying ground rent, or breaks the conditions of the lease, they can lose the right to live in the property and be evicted from their homes without compensation The whole leasehold system is a scandal and should be abolished.

Bernie, there’s a rather anodyne piece on the official site under club history that discusses the matter. Sort of.