Walsall FC - A Broken Club

Not sure where to post this or whether it’s even worth starting a new thread, so if anyone wants to move it feel free.

Since yesterday I’ve been thinking a lot about Walsall FC, my relationship with it, and generally about how things have changed in the 24 years I’ve supported them, which compared to some on here is nothing, and just how rapidly we are declining.

I first started following in 1998/99 which of course was an amazing season beyond everyone’s wildest imagination, we got promoted, finished above some teams that are massive in comparison to us, and just behind the money-bags team of that division in Fulham.

Since I’ve followed them, there’s been ups, downs and in-betweens, and I’ve been used to having a chairman that doesn’t communicate with the fans on any level, no matter what. I’ve seen promotions, relegations, I’ve seen us play at Wembley (although we didn’t play much), and I’m one of the lucky people to have seen us lift an actual league title, one of only two we’ve ever won.

In terms of winning, it’s always been clear to me that we are small-fry in the grand scheme of things and it’s never been the case that I expect us to win every game, but growing up through the years I’ve been used to having a team out on the pitch that respected each other and played for each other and to make the fans proud. If we lost, it wasn’t usually without working our bollocks off.

Matchdays were always something I looked forward to, no matter what division we were in, or however easy or hard the opponent supposedly was. I was proud to be a Walsall Football Club supporter and looked forward to visiting the ground. In the younger years, food and drink was decent and always available from the kiosks, and there was much more going on for fans, whether it was junior teams having a game on the pitch before the main event, or even half time entertainment of some sort.

Bar a couple of poor seasons, we had been pretty consistent on the pitch, and off the pitch things were pretty much similar, Bonser would generally always make sure we were never in too much trouble and provide assistance when needed to drag us out of trouble or to aid promotion (most of the time anyway).

The age old elephant in the room has always been the rent of the ground, where we end up paying JB £400-£500k per annum to play at our ‘home’ stadium.

2015/16 - we nearly made it back to The Championship, we were all proud of the team and the management. Since then things have gone backwards massively.

Poor managerial appointments
Poor player recruitment
Poor supporter interaction from the club
Stadium repairs / looking dated
Food and Drink - many occasions ran out in the kiosks or over/under cooked
Poor performance in the leagues we’ve been in.
General match-day experience

Of course, 19/20 saw something nobody ever thought would happen, Jeff Bonser handed over the Chairmanship of the club to Leigh Pomlett.

Leigh Pomlett started to engage with fans, speaking to us, it was amazing, the chairman of our club telling us his plans and what he was going to do for us. These now-labelled PomCasts are seemingly becoming more and more defensive as fans start to criticise the way the team are performing, and perhaps more importantly the way the board are operating.

I remember once at one of the WPM I attended (back when i was allowed) LP effectively said that he would just stop communicating if the abuse / criticism carried on, which reminded me of the JB days. Maybe they’re not too dissimilar. (For anyone reading from the club let me be clear, that isn’t word for word what LP said, but words to that effect).

Fast forwarding to today and we find ourselves struggling in League Two for the second consecutive season, this season even more perilous than the last, yet the board, at least certain members, have gone back into batte mode, ‘Us vs Them’, and are seemingly burying their heads in the sand at what is actually happening.

The earlier points I raised about what I loved about matchday, they are all gone. The atmosphere is dead. From the run out songs, through to the food, through to the half time entertainment, through to fan engagement, it’s all terrible.

On a smaller level, the performance on the pitch isn’t helping. Of course this is down to, in the main, the manager and his coaching staff and the players out on the pitch. If they aren’t performing, then the fans will let them know, and that’s happening now. It doesn’t help when the players or manager come out with some crap in the press such as ‘We aren’t in a relegation battle’ or ‘We need to keep together’. A bit of honesty about the situation might actually buy a bit of favour for them. Instead they come out with bullshit and it makes it even worse to the fans.
If we change manager, it might work In the short term and appease some fans, but for those that think that is THE answer, it isn’t. It’s a small part of a much larger problem. That problem being our board, including JB too.

Leigh Pomlett
Dan Mole
Stefan Gamble
Peter Gilman
Roy Whalley
Graham Whittaker
Richard Tisdale
Nigel Bond
Jamie Fullarton

All bar two of those (GW and JF) are part of the Bonser era, the ‘Bonser Babes’ if you wish. They have all been presiding over the club and it’s deterioration over recent times, and they are all to blame for the way this club is heading. Over recent weeks it’s clear that the boardroom isn’t going to be shaken up. I mean how lucky we are because one of them stuck some dots onto seats, or because one of their Mrs’ helps out on a match day. That’s gonna drive us forward………

GW has been appointed as the SLO and given a directorship, but he is just another blockade in the way of reaching the actual problem. Added to that, he’s pals with some of them already. Another body to the Old Boys Club. He doesn’t represent the fans in any way, shape or form, and doesn’t possess the skills to be able to do the job effectively as it should be.

What we need is a big board room shake up (I know, it’s not gonna happen), where we employ people with demonstrable success in previous roles, and those that have the necessary skills and attributes to drive a business forward.
As an example, Dan Mole was the media guy at the club, and is the Club Secretary, whilst also being listed as the clubs Chief Operating Officer. How does he have the relevant experience, or how does he show demonstrable success in any other role, to be able to do that job at a professional football club?

Personally, I am falling out of love with the club, and it hurts. I am no longer proud to support Walsall Football Club, even though I’ll never stop. I am very quickly losing the will to attend any games at home (even with a paid up ST this season), and I can’t see any way this club is anything but finished as an English Football League club, if not this season, then within the next one or two after it.

It’s a sad state of affairs. I know I won’t be the only one that feels this way, and I’m sure that there’s plenty I’ve missed off that others might add, but nobody with any ‘relevance’ at the club gives a monkeys, it’s obvious and it stinks. All they care about is their little cushty boardroom club and that they can ensure we come out with a small profit every year so they can have their arses kissed by those with no real knowledge of what’s really happening, whilst still paying our precious Chairman a shit-ton of money per year.
I cannot justify spending money helping this shithousery continue, so once my ST expires it won’t be renewed and if I do watch us, it will be away.

WALSALL FC - a once proud English Football League team, slowly (and ever-increasingly) dying out of it with little more than a whimper.


Agree with most of this. They dont care about any of us at all. You can see in the way that LP reacts now, its very much bonsoresque in the its MY club and I will do what I want. But, they dont realise, they are stewards, not owners.

Im so shocked we get the away support that we do, the club dont deserve it.

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Well you are entitled to your view a lot of which is well put but I am not going abandon Walsall after 60+years of supporting the club and the team. We differ on this as I suspect the fan base does however I have to say I don’t like a lot of the personal abuse given to employees of the Club. Criticism is fine but when people get abused you can count me out.
As far as current predicament is concerned the coach and the players must take most of the blame. The 4 big signings in terms of wages we made in the Summer have simply not performed.Taylor has gone, Labadie and Wilkinson have disappointed and Monthe has a 7 match ban imposed which came as a shock to him and the club.
I hope we can survive this year and if we do I expect a different season next year as lessons will have been learned.


Nor has anyone asked you to. I respect everyone’s views. i will still support the team, just from afar when we are at home, and live when we are away (work permitting)

You mention the fanbase and that’s another thing. I suspect our fanbase is more on the older side, so if the club continue to alienate the younger fans, or keep doing nothing to a bare minimum to attract new fans, there’s going to be a problem somewhere down the line.


Every year we make the same mistakes! Lack of ‘real’ ambition has always blighted us

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You literally say this every single season.


Respect your opinion WalsallOne and I do admire your optimism but …

…how many seasons can we keep saying that?

It’s the last 3 or 4 seasons now and yet the only lessons being learned by anyone connected with WFC appear to be by some some fans who are simply not going to fall for that one yet again.


You beat me to it :joy::joy:


And me :joy::joy:


What a post that is Rob. You have basically described my life and experiences as a Saddler and then how I feel now.

I know exactly how you feel mate and it’s grim.


A large part of the problem is the club never seems to learn.

We just do the same thing over and over.
It’s stale and well past it’s sell by date but no one at the club appears to be bothered about changing anything.


Isn’t it a shame that those in charge of the club have done just that?

How many years do you keep giving them the benefit of the doubt? How long before it sinks in nobody at the club cares as long as the business is kept on life support and can provide that rent cheque?


Pomletts greatest attribute was the fact that he wasn’t Jeff Bonser. I suspect he would have been ‘found out’ much earlier in his reign if it hadn’t been for Covid and the unpredictability of it all. The good intentions were there at the start where he said everything that we wanted to hear and on paper recruited a manager that had all of the attributes we were looking for. Since then its all gone down hill

The whole transparency thing is still an issue and there are far more smoke and mirror instances and lip service being given than Pomlett would admit to. Just look at this season alone

The Rodney injury
The Khan debacle
Ash Taylor’s ‘COVID’ and transfer
The Covid first team/reserve bubbles
The role of Fullarton
Hiring a non appointed SLO and giving him a place on the board
Monthe and his ban

The answers given to questions around these points are, in my book, either lies or absolutely ridiculous decisions. Look at Monthe, you mean to tell me that they didn’t know of an impending case against him? Even if they are telling the truth, the fact that I even question the legitimacy of it all speaks volumes of what’s happening at the moment


I was going to post similar to other posters. Sort of wakey wakey post, open your eyes and see what is in front of you. And in all honesty I do agree with them. In my mind there is nothing to suggest next season will be any different, no lessons will be learned. The same old rubbish will come from the club.

However, I was sitting thinking tonight (yes it hurt a little) All Walsall fans are hurting or most fans are. I think when it stops hurting it becomes a bigger problem. Anyway I was thinking about my Dad and how he used to support Walsall. He wouldn’t have had any interest in stopping going to games it wouldn’t even have been a consideration to him. He would follow blindly and remain optimistic. He would have his opinions about things going on in the background but he really just loved to talk about Walsall F.C and what happened on the pitch or fun times he had while following Walsall. He wasn’t stupid or thick, far from it, a very clever man. I am absolutely certain if he was still with us his only concern right now would be how we were getting to Scunthorpe, what pubs we were going to and who we would be meeting.

You wouldn’t have found him on the internet, if you wanted to talk Walsall F.C it was face to face and he could and would talk all night if you wished and sometimes if you didn’t! Our Saturday nights weren’t spent writing posts on the internet. They were in the pub where we could get it all off our chests then as a few more drinks went down end up singing Walsall songs and being proud of where we are from and the club we support. I miss those days so much.

I actually wish I was more like that and hadn’t become so cynical. I feel ashamed sometimes actually but once you can see what is happening it is hard to ignore. I try to teach my Son to follow Walsall in the same way, to enjoy it for what it is and for the people you spend the time with. In my mind, it is difficult because I’m not sure Walsall F.C has a long term future.

I think I have lost track of the point I was trying to make a little. I respect all Walsall fans and their decisions. I completely understand anyone who thinks enough is enough but I do believe we also need fans like yourself who will stick with it regardless.

All the best.

Walsall F.C


Rob I would’ve liked your OP 30 times if I could. Nail.on.the.head and if you’re not going to next fans forum (if they even dare to have another this season) someone else should have permission to print it off and read it out to the “Bonser Babes”.

Think this one is also interesting…the club is so tired what is of interest to attract younger generations like your good self getting invested in the late 90s?

Little enjoyment from the actual matchday (when you go to other similar sized clubs they have decent fan zones around perimeter of ground) and no exciting cup run like Kiddy have just enjoyed which will probably attract 200-300 younger fans to stick with them for future seasons.

Club just seems broken now and non league certainly closer than 12 months ago which I honestly wouldn’t have thought possible in August given the excitement.


Graham pretend SLO, if your dial up modem is working, please take a copy of the opening post and add it to the famous dossier.

If one page needs paying attention to its that one.


I was thinking back to the 90s yesterday. I compared a couple of things from back then to the dismal matchday experience now. One was the half time entertainment, which was good fun when they did the American-style shootouts. What half time entertainment do we get now? All the experience and hard work at the club and they can’t think of anything that we might enjoy and that would also entertain the youngsters and add to the fun for them.
The second, was to think of the old scoreboard on top of the away end, and the score flashes that used to get put on there, so there would be a cheer if Wolves went behind, and a bit of grumbling if they or Villa were winning. I can’t remember when they stopped doing it, and I know there are phones with all the scores on now but it was a bit of fun and a talking point if the game was a bit dull. Anyway, what brought it to mind was it being F A Cup day and I was thinking of when Hednesford played Middlesbrough and the scores were getting put up and it was exciting.
It’s just pathetic now and if the football is poor there is nothing else.
I feel sorry for the kids now. I’ve never understood why people don’t support a local team, to me it’s what football is all about, but…for the first time I’m starting to get it. If I was ten years old now would I support Walsall? Or just watch Chelsea, Arse, Spurs or whoever on the box and “support” them.

It is so sad. I’ve always known what Walsall are, our place in the football food chain, I don’t expect much, I think I speak for every Saddler in saying that, but I do expect more than this crap, this uncaring, uninteresting excuse for a football club. Is this how it ends, not with a bang but a whimper?


Great read Rob :clap:t2:



It’s just shocking how bad we have become across all aspects of the football club. There is literally nothing to appeal to new fans, especially the young ones.

Our fan base is losing more fans than it gains and nobody does anything about it.