Trust Statement - Directors


I’ve been asked to share the following statement on behalf of the Walsall Football Supporters Trust:

Having read the statement issued by the Club Directors following the Club’s relegation from League One, we thought that it was appropriate that the Supporters Trust should make some comments.
The apology for the present situation is welcome, as is the intention to return to League One as soon as possible. However, we feel that it would have been much better if the Board of Directors had acknowledged that the responsibility is entirely theirs.

We accept that when a Manager is employed, that after being given a budget, he should be left to carry out his duties as Manager and Coach without interference. We do feel that we have to point out that the last three managers have fallen well below expectations. We appreciate the difficulty of dismissing a Manager who is not performing, particularly when, as in the case of John Whitney, he has had long successful service with the club as its physio, and with Dean Keates, who served the club so well as a player that he became a Legend. Unfortunately, neither had the experience to take the club forward and, in fact, their lack of management experience, and that of their respective assistants, at this level has eventually led to our current relegation to League Two.

It has been stated that we have one of the smallest budgets in the league. If this is so, why was Dean Keates allowed to make the number of signings that he made in January? This resulted in the club having the largest squad for years. Some of the signings never, or hardly ever, played a game. If the budget was limited why not sign one or two good experienced players instead of the eight or nine signed? In some cases, we have actually paid fees!

We know that hindsight is a wonderful thing but it is the Directors’ job to make a successful appointment in the vital role of Team Manager. There might be some excuse if one appointment were unsuccessful but we now have a situation where the last three appointments have not been what was required to move the club forward.

Added to this, both John Whitney and Dean Keates were allowed to continue as Manager for far too long. In both cases, it was obvious to most supporters that the performance of the team was not acceptable. In the case of the appointment of, and the failure to dismiss, a Manager when all went wrong, the fault lies with the Directors of the Club.

As stated above, no one thinks that these decisions are easy but it is the responsibility of the Board and we feel that if the Directors are to make a statement following our club’s relegation, then your responsibility is the first thing to be stated.

We trust that far more care will be taken with the appointment of a new Manager as we obviously cannot afford to get it wrong again.

Trevor Reece (acting Chair)

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Rather verbose and reads a bit like a catalogue of recent events, with some vague references that it would be nice if the board could do a bit better, thank you please.

Is this what the board has had to contend with over recent years? No wonder they’re so complacent.

We needed a savage pride of angry and indignant lions but we had a pathetic squeak of vaguely disgruntled guinea pigs.

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They would be asking the same if he signed one decent player and he got injured for the rest of the season. Kristian Bielik anyone?

Bottom line is the budget should be enough to cover both depth and quality. Instead of pointing that out they seem to have criticised an ex manager that will now make zero difference going forward.



I think this just highlights how the Supporters Trust is so out of touch with the feelings of the majority of the fanbase. Reading back the recent WSFC statement and subsequent questions, there’s a clear indication as to what the problems are and the key questions that need to be answered by the club.

This from the Trust is more of an overview of the season, with a very weak attempt to hold the Board to account. If this is how they react at our lowest ebb in 15 years, then it’s clear to see the easy ride the Club have been getting from the organisation that is supposed to question their every move…



What a ■■■■ poor statement, rushed through due to pressure from the fans.

Another example of how they’re out of touch with the fans. We needed a statement full of the pride, passion and genuine concern. All we got was a criticism followed by “but we get why you did it”. A place on the board still number one priority, whatever league we’re in. Fact is, you can crawl up their arseholes as much as you want, they still won’t stick you on the board when you can’t even run a trust.

Just throw in the towel lads and lasses, you’re not capable of running a supporters trust.



Designed by committee. Very passive-aggressive with it.

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Yes, so come on Board, please just take a little more care next time will you…

Erm…I refer the honourable gentleman to his answer above



It’s not the squad building decisions of our last three managers or the quality of the decision to appoint them or even the timing of their dismissals that anger me most about this relegation.
Its the failure of strategic thinking to build upon the ‘DNA’ project gifted by Smith (in fact it has been shredded for short term expediency). It’s also the abysmal club fan relations; the culmination of thirty years of poor communication, lack of transparency, contempt, attempts to distract, mislead and avoid.
But most of all it’s the fact that this time we enter the fourth tier not as a third division club that’s had a bad run but as a fourth tier club in all but tradition. The implications of this abject failure far outweigh the temporary ups and downs of footballing fortunes.