Meeting with the Club


#1

A response was received today regarding the meeting with the club, proposed by Stefan Gamble.

The response confirms the following:

  • The club have no issue with me attending with TWO other people, providing I notify them in advance of who they are.

  • They will require a proposed agenda for the meeting from me, in advance of the meeting taking place.

  • Dates and Times available are either 15/02/19 at 14:00; or 27/02/19 at 15:00.

I’m quite happy with the content in the response personally and the date will be dictated in part by my working hours and whether I can get a few hours off on the 15th or not.

I have one person who is happy to attend with me so far (who has a lot of experience in some of the areas to be discussed), so I am looking for one other person who wishes to attend and help with the discussions. I’m waiting on one answer from somebody at the moment so I will let you know if this completes the 2 people or not.

Whilst waiting on that, could we all post topics for the agenda below, with any sub points or questions you would like answering. If you would prefer to DM me with your topics / questions, feel free as I know some people may be wary of prying eyes.

Thanks!
Rob


#2

Brilliant - well done Rob. A few questions from me:

Dean Keates has said he wants to create a football team the town can be proud of. Is this a philosophy shared by the board and chairman? If so, how is such a philosophy currently being implemented, and where do the club see areas for improvement?

What effort is the club making to increase match day attendance and experience?

Will the club consider implementing a ‘young adult’ ticket price as seen at most clubs of comparable size to ourselves? If not - why not?

Do the school initiatives work? Is there follow up work such as writing to all parents of children who have attended offering them a reduced ticket for another match in an attempt to secure permanent new fans?

Many fans have highlighted the difficulty for a ‘floating fan’ to purchase a ticket on the day. Will the club consider looking into the match day ticketing policy?

How do the club react to the fact that some young Walsall fans are instead attending Birmingham City matches because tickets for youngster are cheaper at St Andrews?


#3

Well done Rob appreciate EVERYTHING you are doing, and i really mean that, but it just seems that they are just pampering to our whims tbh :expressionless: I think what every fan wants to know is when will jeff sell up everything he owns in the club, and just stand down, sell up to someone or a consortium with the money to invest? not just to make money but to get back to what Walsall fc used to be about!!! giant killing in the FA cup, other cup runs that astounded the whole of the borough.
Lets face it jeff has made enough now to be able to walk away with doing the right thing and maybe salvage some credibility ?


#4

We can all dance around on the head of a pin,but basically,as Chunkster said,the killer question is about Bonser’s role in the club…ask them that as a first question,and I think you’ll find the meeting won’t last very long.


#5

Linking the Pressing Questions and Objectives Draft threads with this one gives enough sensible views for you without adding anymore I think.
As mentioned before they may ask for a general figure on many fans we represent at WSC at this time. This needs to have an answer ready for them.
As many have already said whilst there are many short term changes (not costly) required (young adult price concessions for example) where we can push them, the ideal is to get some Regime Change in discussion and in process. This will scare them of course and they might say it is not their remit. We need an answer to that that pushes them to recognise the absolute requirement for this to start to take place before even more fans walk away from the Club.
Ask him if he is prepared to act as an honest broker between the Shareholders and potential interested Investors who may be interested in acquiring the Club and the Stadium lock stock and barrel. If so we will seek to identify such potential Investors.
If not ask him if he really is a CEO or not!


#6

Well done Rob, efforts are more than appreciated. Interesting that the club insist on knowing in advance the names of who else will be attending though… sounds more like a high stakes diplomatic meeting between two warring nations than a discussion between supporters/club!

I’ll put forward my questions when I’ve got a bit more time, but as a general term with regards to them, I’d try and steer away from ‘yes or no’, easy to answer or deflect ones (the ones that seem to dominate the Fans Forum that can be brushed off with platitudes and vagueness) and instead go for more demonstrable evidence.

Rather than “Is the club doing x/Does the club know y” I’d suggest go more for “Please demonstrate to us how…” It might seem like a small nit-picky point but I feel we need to separate this from just being a more condensed Fans Forum where the exact same vague we’ll look into it" answers to the same non-issues from are trotted out year after year.


#7

Rob

Plenty of great input / questions. I would suggest that you ask “open” questions which will prevent yes/no answers which quickly close down the discussion.

How,why,what,which, for example.


#8

"I have six good and serving men, they taught me all I knew,
Their names were what, and why, and when, and which, and how, and who".

(Rudyard Kipling)


#9

While the issues about JB selling up etc. are indeed what most people are interested in, I wouldn’t have thought there’s much chance of getting an answer. In terms of more short term issues I’d be keen for you to ask them (and I know many others have raised these many times and you may well already have them on your list):

Why they think it makes sense to charge as much, if not more, for third tier football than our local first and second tier rivals do? It gives us zero chance of attracting any floating fans and is likely be leading to us losing fans to other clubs. How can it make any business sense whatsoever?

Are they concerned about the disgracefully poor match day experience? Flooded bogs, closed bars, flaking paintwork, crumbling concrete - and poor customer service in many instances - why were people barred from entering the stadium on Boxing day with no explanation for instance?

Does the flat match day atmosphere not concern them? Why won’t they look at safe standing? Look at how successful its been at our neighbours Shrewsbury? It would make such a massive difference.

In summary can’t they see that the product they’re offering, in the current consumer-orientated world, is so poor their customer base is dying?

If the ownership issue is too intractable to address at the moment why can’t they at least do the simple things like train their staff properly, communicate properly with paying customers on match day, repair the ground and give it a lick of paint, and above all stop charging admission fees above the market rate?


#10

Rob

I’ve copied what I posted in the other thread about pressing questions

  1. We have to accept the reality of being the smallest club (not in heart) locally and the obvious pressures that brings in respect of attendances, facilities, resource etc - how is it then that the club have no idea how to do what’s required to ensure we retain (at worst) but seek to grow (at best) our limited fan-base?
  2. Ticketing is pivotal for us all (incl of course STH) but in the case of casual ‘fans’ (dare I call them customers :roll_eyes:) which we are supposedly targeting with our uselessly managed ‘offers’ every now and then, are better informed, keen to get value for money and expect facilities that are at least up to acceptable standards - why then do we have no clear and simple to understand strategy for match-day pricing? By the way the argument of ensuring STH are not disadvantaged is old hat and just an excuse for doing nowt!
  3. I reiterate Rugbysaddlers point:

Who, or what decides the ‘market value’ of the stadium and rent?
Coventry only pay £100,000 per annum to play at the Ricoh.
We pay 4x that for far inferior facilities.

  1. Can the club produce it’s legal documentation in respects of ground safety and risk assessment - I ask because if someone slipped on the urine soaked floors in the toilets and got injured, the club would be taken to the cleaners (no pun intended) because the state of the facilities is well documented and H&S would have a field day (watch the colour drain from SG’s face as you ‘dead-pan’ deliver that one.
  2. JB says he’s received bids in the past that don’t reach his valuation of the club - can he be absolutely specific about what is his valuation and explain how he’s reached that figure

Apologies for the repeat but I wasn’t sure if you collating from both topics etc (or if any of my questions are what you’re looking for etc!)

Just wanted to add my thanks to the others for your efforts and good luck when you do get to sit down with the CEO :wink:


#11

Ask the board of they are concerned about what the future holds when Jeff dies. His grip of the club does need to loosen before it’s too late.
If they aren’t concerned, why not?


#12

Yep that’s the crux of it.

I’d try and play on the human element a little, try to tug the heart strings.

Gamble and Mole have been working at this club for ages. They may/may not be lifelong fans but they both obviously have an affinity to the place as they could’ve left by now easily for new challenge in football or outside the sport.

Change the angle a bit. Ask them both if they were in the fans shoes turning up faithfully every Saturday if they’d be happy with the situation? Would they not be asking question of Bonser and what the state of the club would be in 10 years time, still plodding on in league 1 or even lower which I suspect is more likely.

These guys are human like us, not monsters so I imagine deep down they have concern for the club’s future although will take a bit to coax it out of them.

If we can change the mindset a bit then those two obviously have a direct hotline daily to Bonser. Having two of your loyal and long suffering employees asking you about the future and legacy and he may make some announcements/change his mindset.

It’s worth a shot.


#13

https://goo.gl/images/b6TXMo

Ha Ha Ha Ha.


#14

I’ve requested a meeting with the club on Wednesday 27th February at 3pm. There is myself and 2 others attending on the supporters behalf, and an agenda will be drawn up in due course to send to the club.


#15

Who are the 2 others Rob?


#16

Rinder and Judy :rofl:


#17

Sure Simon has been mentioned by quite a few posters. Good luck - lets hope it has the intended impact :+1:t2:


#18

Well done Rob. Thanks for pushing this forward.


#19

There’s one on here - up to him if he wants to be known beforehand, and one that I’m not sure is on here but is on Twitter and has some very relevant experience on certain aspects of the problems going on in terms of attracting fans and helping them enjoy a matchday.

Everything is going to be put on an agenda from the quick wins the club could make, through to Mr JWB himself.


#20

Well if that’s the way you’re going to do it,fine.I genuinely hope it goes well Rob.The only thing that bothers me is that it seems like something the other side would say…“sorry we can’t tell you that…but just trust us”.