UpTheSaddlers Forum

Walsall FC - My View - The Response to the letter


I don’t think that at matches we should focus on anything but Bonser really, but day to day, when emails are going out, on here, social media etc, Gamble and Mole should get it full force.

If I were to act badly to clients due to me covering for my boss, while understandable with to me wanting to protect my job, i’d be asking for flak from them. Make it as uncomfortable as possible I say.


So, possibly the only way to get out of the Bonser family’s clutches is to start up AFC Walsall and let the fans own the new club. Leave Bonser with his precious stadium and turn it into a full-time concert and banqueting venue. If there’s no sign of any progress from Bonser then I think we should seriously consider starting a new club.


It’s interesting to see clubs like Shrewsbury are paying more wages than us…at least we beat Wimbledon…:wink::flushed:


I think that’s partly why Jeff would never get rid of the club. Isn’t there a covenant on the site which means it has to be used for sporting purposes?
Which means the football club needs to be there alongside the other business.


I got called a ‘■■■■■■■’ for making a comment on that WFHTS group when said person suggested Paul Hurst could replace Keates or keats as they put.
I simply questioned whether he would have the same resources available as he did at Shrews.
Poster wouldn’t have it that we had a worse budget than them.


Or Kents?:smile:


We need this.


Well I think the response is fair enough under the circumstances and its either right or wrong. Gamble is either correct with his comments and if he is not he is either hiding the facts or unaware of the facts.

I have read the resonses and apart from a couple of posters obviously aware of pension rules I can’t really see any real points which change anything.

Therefore I believe that the best response if people believe that the letter is wrong is to start a thread on each point and let people provide a factual response to the points. Rob can then reply to any points for which there is a strong response. For example rather than keep moaning about the ticket prices fans can list the prices for all other local clubs and Rob can list them in comparison against Walsall and show the difference. The Kids prices are a perfect example for one and the response would say you are incorrect and here are the facts.

With regards to the rent then there are strict rules and as said before it is not a pension contribution but must be charged by the trustees and must be market rent. Maybe there are options but they need to be factual regarding pension legislation and not a knock at Bonser.

If there is no strong evidence for a point then drop the argument. For instance I suspect that the idea of Catagory A games is mainly to get extra revenue from a large away following hence Bristol Rovers on Boxing day but with their league position it failed, but Gamble is not going to put that in print. They have to charge the same for Home & Away so they take a chance, standard business practice.

Just my opinions and I am just trying to help, before I get the normal flack. If you don;t agree with me then so be it, I won’t lose any sleep.


The club was being at best deliberately misleading, or a worst simply lying, when it said it had talked to “the landlord, Suffolk Life”. The landlord of the ground and stadium is the Bonser SIPP, which is held by Suffolk Life, but totally controlled by the trustees, namely the Bonser brothers.

There is a pretty clear article from a few years ago which explains the benefit of putting commercial property into a SIPP. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-3090780/Can-buy-company-premises-pension.html

The question of the rent having to be at market rate is like something from Alice Through the Looking Glass. Because of the tax advantages for money paid into a SIPP it would be in the best interests of the business owner who had put his premises into his SIPP to exaggerate the rent, so that more money which would be taxed as profit, is instead paid into a 100% tax shelter. The higher the rent, the less tax the business pays, and the better for the pensioner. That is why there is a requirement for the rent to be seen to be at market rates. If companies could pay excessively high rent into SIPPs it would be like the owner taking money from the business tax free.

However there is no tax advantage at all for the business to pay a lower than market rent into the SIPP, from a financial adviser’s perspective that would be simply stupid. Why would the taxman object if WFC paid a peppercorn rent to the Bonser Pension Fund? It would just mean Bonser was missing out on some tax free income, and perhaps WFC could possibly be liable to tax on profits (if as a result of lower rent the club’s profit went over the Corporation Tax levels) so HMRC is hardly likely to complain.


Fair enough but you forgot to mention this sentence from the article:

‘Note the rent must be at a realistic commercial level - and be based on an independent rental valuation’.

That’s why I suggested as many comments as possible and based on pension legislation, so that Rob could form an informed opinion…


The rent must be at a realistic commercial level so that business owners do not benefit by charging their companies rent at an exaggerated rate so as to take money out of the business tax free and put it into a 100% tax shelter SIPP.

I cannot imagine that HMRC would make any objection to a business owner paying a below market rent into his SIPP. That would be like someone deliberately not claiming all the allowances they are entitled to when filling in a self assessment tax return. By law you have to report everything, but HMRC would hardly complain if you decided to leave some of the allowances off, or overstated your income, out of a desire to pay a bit more tax in order to help the country.

Does anyone seriously imagine that the taxman has ever taken anyone to court for not taking all the money they could out of business and as a result paying less than they could have done into their tax free SIPP? What on earth would be the point of such a case? What penalties could the taxman charge, since the effect of the lower rent would be to have less money in your tax free SIPP, and more money potentially liable to business taxes?

This would be the opposite of tax evasion or tax avoidance, but deliberately incurring a potential unnecessary tax liability. We should not be fooled by the nonsense we have been fed by Bonser over the last twenty years.


If you’re right @Bernie the words ‘realistic commercial level’ are pure sophistry…


From the HMRC website:

Commercial Property

A sponsoring employer or member of a scheme could rent a property owned by the pension scheme but would have to pay the commercial rent due on the property. Failure to pay the commercial amount of rent for the property would lead to an unauthorised payment tax charge on an amount equivalent to the shortfall.


from the same website:
Sale or purchase of an asset

If a registered pension scheme sells an asset to a sponsoring employer, member or a connected party, or buys an asset from them, the price paid should be an amount which might be expected to be paid to a person who was at arm’s length.

If a registered pension scheme buys an asset for more than it is worth, or the scheme sells an asset for less than it is worth, the difference between the amount paid and the amount which might be expected to be paid to a person who was at arm’s length is treated as an unauthorised payment.


The point of that rule is to stop business owners using false valuations or rents in order to evade tax.

If a business owner paid a below market price to his business for the freehold of the premises when he put it in his SIPP that would be clearly be an attempt to take money out of the business to evade tax. Clearly there have to be rules about this.

HMRC would not be concerned in the slightest if a SIPP owner did not charge his business a full market rent, because there is no tax evasion if he did. The money saved on the lower rent would remain in the business and therefore be subject to various taxes. This is different from a case where a landlord who owns property and has to pay tax on the income he gets from rent, decides to reduce the rent charged below market rate in order to evade tax - this could be a problem for the landlord. But because paying rent into a SIPP is a tax avoidance measure this is just not a real problem.

We are being conned by Bonser, who must be laughing at the way we take in all his nonsense. I remember that in the early days of UTS the myth was fostered on this site that the pension fund was for the poor hard working employees of Bonser’s toilet handle factory. That story lasted for years.


Thank you for the Bernie’s of this world…for breaking down and explaining things that to be honest go straight over my head…:nerd_face::grinning:


The wording in the HMRC handbook is clear. If the commercial property is rented out to someone who is connected to the pension fund at below market value then the shortfall is subjected to a 40% tax. This is because when the money was paid into the pension fund it was not taxed and is tax deductible for the person making the payment (payments into a pension fund are not taxable, within limits). When this money is paid out of the pension fund indirectly by lowering the value of rent which should be paid into the pension fund that is taxable at a rate of 40%.
HMRC then is reclaiming the tax which should have been paid had the payment not been made into the pension fund.


Much clearer… I think!


You are getting confused Saddla. The rent is not a pension contribution, it is a return on an asset the same as a share dividend is. Therefore no limits apply on how much goes in, only on what come out (normal income tax rules). The exception is the crystallisation events at the outset and again at age 75 set against the lifetime allowance.
As the Bonsers set this arrangement up before “A” day in 2006 I am not sure whst, if any lifetime allowances apply.
The £40k per year annual (maximum) allowance relates to personal contributions up to the time the drawdown commences.


Daniel Clarke (who we are now to send any further correspondence to as he is the ‘fan liaison officer’) was seen wandering around near the toilets and catering huts before the match. Maintaining a presence at least. Didn’t seem to be doing much - had an ear piece in