The ‘business’

Unsure if this has been shared on here, but the latest No Nobhead Policy blog deserves a thread of its own.


Rather unfortunate use of words, confirming the board doesn’t know a lot about managing a football club.

The problem is that the term “Football Club” is, in the vast majority of cases, including WFC, a misnomer. The term “Club” implies an entity owned by its members (supporters). But most “clubs” in the football world are owned by individuals or small groups of individuals. So they are businesses. In some cases the individual owners are, or claim to be, supporters of the “club” as Pomlett is, or claims to be (I am genuinely not sure which). But in all instances the actual fans are subject to the whims of the owner, who has all the power. If you are lucky and get a rich or altruistic owner all is well. If you get one who wants to use the “club” either as an extension to their own ego or as a cash cow; or one who is sincere but useless and lacking in financial clout (guess who) you are stuffed.


No it isn’t.

Walsall FC Ltd will have articles of association from when it became a LTD company, and I don’t know, but I would expect, that the directors at the time being honourable people, would have made specific reference to the core activities of “the business”.

Likewise the club’s “customer charter” can be read here…take a look at point number 1.1…and 1.4, 1.5

1.1 To be a successful professional football club:
1.2 To ensure the long term future of the club and its ability to compete
effectively in the professional game, as well as ensuring the financial
stability of the club, by introducing and developing commercial activities
that will provide the club with an ongoing income stream:
1.3 To play an active role within the local community:
1.4 To provide supporters with a safe and comfortable environment within
the Stadium:
1.5 To deliver high quality services to our supporters, and to be a customer
led and orientated organisation:
1.6 To further develop relationships with new and existing supporters,
clients, sponsors, advertisers and other organisations and associations for
the staging of professional football and leisure activities:
1.7 To use prudent financial management accounting and auditing skills:
1.8 To be a good employer offering good working conditions, balanced
Contracts of Employment and Training Opportunities.
1.9 To provide resources and facilities for the successful development of
young players, encompassing the educational opportunities, and a
counselling service to assist personal development.
2.1 We recognise that the customer is a fundamental element of our
business and must be offered excellent service. We endeavour to
understand our customers requirements and provide them with efficient
services of consistent quality.

The full charter is available here.

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No, football is a result based business, so managers with bad results are usually sacked. I fully understand LP probably lost his cool, third appointment in a row failed to deliver, but I would not flog him for that. Despite the fact every football club is a business, selling something you don’t get elsewhere. So in short, I think I get what he wanted to say, but probably some words were lost in translation.

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All good in theory, but @cookyskid has it spot on when it comes to how things work in practice. Just have to look how many owners have fooked up their “clubs”, including the erstwhile JW Bonser.


Respectfully disagree Belphie. Other club’s fook ups shouldn’t even come into our thinking. Just as there are examples of those that have gone Pete Tong there are dozens of examples of very well run football clubs of similar, and many of lesser size than our own that are doing very well in every aspect, and have fan bases that while maybe not happy with say 100% of things 100% of the time are however fully engaged and supportive of their club’s philosophy and direction.
Likewise, the predictions of doom that eminate from the boardroom of Walsall FC regarding clubs that dare to stray from the 1990 Jeff Bonser blueprint for success never materialise. Infact some of them age so badly its laughable - see Luton, Bournemouth and Rotherham.
And as we tumble towards non-league like a runaway lift under these clowns, Swindon (for example) who I would have thought were one of Pomlett’s “nailed on” fook ups with what went on there in the summer - have undergone a real takeover and are having a great season, their “five year plan” seemed to take more like five minutes to start taking effect.

That’s the thing that gets me, we’re supposedly lucky not to be like Swindon, but these ‘badly-run’ clubs tend to have the odd bad year and then quickly overtake us again as we plod along doing our best to stand still.

Bury seem to be very much the exception to the rule. Even Stockport, who had years in the conference North, get nearly two two thousand more home fans than us.

We are just a vehicle to pay the rent and nothing more. We won’t do anything to risk that little annual profit. It makes me cringe when I think back to January 2016 and we were all praising the club for it’s “ambition” in not selling Bradshaw, Sawyers etc. The club was even doing self-congratulatory social media posts about it. Genuine ambition would have been strengthening the squad. Keeping your best players when you have a genuine shot at promotion should go without saying!

If we do drop into the Conference, the best thing would be to throw some cash at getting back into the football league as soon as possible. In reality we will probably just cut the playing budget to account for lower revenue, make sure the rent gets paid, and be stuck there for years.

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