UpTheSaddlers Forum

Walsall FC - My View


Football Fan Protests History, worth a read.


Interesting. It seems that campaigns to keep a club in,or get it back to , their home town eventually succeed. Other protests are far less successful.


I’ve stopped going for various reasons but mainly because of the cost and JB.

The only time I do go is when my service user wants to go, even then I try and persuade him that watching A Place in the Sun is much better viewing.


Warmer too!


Especially in Cyprus


Exactly. If Newcastle and Man U fans have failed to change their owner, not sure us Saddlers fans (and the majority are apathetic) have a cat in hells chance.

I’m up for it, but can’t see that many are. Plus demise in attendance will only hurt the playing side not uncle Jeff. We’d need to be smart, have a figurehead, nail social media/PR and somehow engage with our fan base, most of those who are retired don’t seem to think he is that bad.


Yep. Protests in a way would be like the World Cup in Russia. There were good reasons for boycotting it, but it was pretty clear that if England did,they’d be on their own ,look pretty ridiculous and give the Kremlin a propaganda coup. Better to keep your powder dry until you have a feasible plan.


Protests that succeed, engage beyond those directly affected. To stand any real chance we’d need to engage beyond not only the majority of our fan base but also with the community & frankly simply getting rid of our owner currently won’t resonate far.

So I fear for the club I love, we’ll continue to lose fans every year, which reduces our playing budget, which reduces the quality of the product, which means less investment in facilities, poorer atmosphere and experience, until we end up a non league team. The rent will be paid and will be increased either by Jeff or the heirs to his estate.

Something has to give, but that won’t be Jeff.


It might partially be that location campaigns have a far wider base. You can think it disgusting that your town no longer has its football club,even if you don’t particularly like football, and have never been to a match. An owner stifling progress is much more likely to meet with indifference,particularly when there’s no short-/ mid-term chance of the business folding.


The whole ■■■■■■■ lousy family have quite a nerve, when they effectively sold something that belonged to the people of walsall, to build another for less than they got for the first, then rent it back to the people of walsall making millions more in the process???


This really is a great thread. Hopefully there are people at Walsall Football Club having a nose at this. This is how the majority of fans feel. Not that you will do anything differently apart from feed us more empty promises when the going gets a little bit tough for you all.


My last response was actually to your previous post. But it seems like we see things similarly. To work, any campaign would have to defy history. I mentioned SWAG earlier, but this increasingly looks different. SWAG was about us not moving to St Andrews. It had wide support in that. It might well have worked even without Ramsden’s intervention. With hindsight we’d probably be better off without him. We were a viable business thanks mainly ,and ironically, to Wheldon with decent personnel from Buckley down.The reason for me saying all that is that Bonser 's whole justification hangs on the fact that we were in it deep post-Ramsden when he came in.

But hindsight can be deceptive. At the time,I admit I was as behind Terry as anyone.


Thank you Daniel :thinking:


What did they sell? The sale of Fellows Park cannot be laid at Bonser’s door . He wasn’t even on the board when Ramsden got us into the mess which mean’t that the only viable option was a ground move. Also the people of Walsall never owned the ground!!! As I posted earlier my biggest gripe with JB is the mess we are now in regarding the freehold and the future of the Club. That can be laid at his door.
Picking up on some other points I will not stop going to matches however much I hold JB culpable for the freehold mess. All that does is deprive the Manager of much needed funds and besides which I enjoy talking with my friends at games and despite our current troubles have many a laugh. The idea that JB is being hurt by people staying away is ludicrous. What the Trust or others need to do is seek new investors who might be interested in buying Bonser out.Not easy in the current climate but unless he decides he has had enough that is the only possibility.


The more I think about it,the more this all goes back to Ramsden. I can’t be too critical of anyone involved because I was there when he took over,cheering as loudly as anyone.

Even reading recent stuff,his gambling fortune now looks like smoke and mirrors. No professional gambler I have come across makes their fortune as easily as he claimed. And far from being the impulsive jack-the-lad he portrayed, they’re introverted to the point of geekiness.

He only ever got prosecuted and jailed for things post Black October when he was shown to be swimming naked. But I wonder if even then, the geezer got lucky. I wonder if Walsall became a way of cementing the lucky bloke persona to divert attention from shadier doings.

All said with hindsight,but I wonder if SWAG had looked around they might have found someone more reliable to make a good business decision to back WFC,who thanks to Buckley, were a club with a lot of goodwill around the country. Easy to forget now,but our football was revolutionary for a tier 3 team at the time.

The reason for all this is that the post-Ramsden mess was what allows to this day Bonser to justify his current structure.


Sorry, must have got the wrong end of the stick with selling the ground? i’m sure someone posted a while ago that there was some dodgy dealing with him involved?. But as for you wanting to still go and support the team and have a laff with your mates, then that is entirely your choice, i would not dictate that you shouldn’t, but in my minds eye, i would find somewhere to go and have a laff with my mates somewhere it was more appreciated and reciprocated, and somewhere that felt welcoming and a pleasure to be there, and most importantly somewhere that was value for money.


Whilst the people of Walsall never owned the ground, Mr Fellows gave the ground to the football club as a gift to the town. Thereafter the ground formerly known as Hilary Street became known as Fellows Park.

What Fellows got was that the football team baring the name of the town morally belonged to the people of the town and vice versa. The privilege of being the custodian of the town’s football team both an honour and a responsibility.

Which is why the turn of events that saw us lose “our” ground so that “we” could have a new ground which within a couple of years had become part of a SIPP into which “we” now had to pay, whilst perfectly legal is morally bankrupt.

If my valuation of ground and club at £10m is about right and say the Pension Fund has accrued £7m (including investment income), this would possibly represent one of the shrewdest and proportionately most profitable investments ever in a lower league football club. Bravo.


I for my sins was also there when the helicopter landed on the training field over the other side of the railway track. And to be honest it ■■■■■■ me off when they took his name off one of the social housing building by the lights on bescot street, in my minds eye i thought that he had only tried to swindle to tax man, which although against the law i am sure we would all like to get away with not paying more, my mate met him at wolverhampton races a few years ago, and he gave my mate £50 to back his horse, he did and it won, and his words to my mate was “tell everyone Terry is back” well that seems to be going well.


What this thread really needs now is Sadlad,who knows more Walsall history than we’ve collectively forgotten .Wheldon is always portrayed as a villain,but I believe he knew Fellows Park was unsustainable for a club with ambition. Part of the problem was geography,with the ground limited by two rail tracks - don’t forget the one running behind the Cowshed- and two roads. But there was also the attitude of the council ,who just wouldn’t help. I actually still think pretty highly of Wheldon. I think the gound-sharing fiascos were a result of desperation.


Don’t shout at me but I am a stay away! Before I stopped going (you guys know the reasons why) I’d held a season ticket for 13 seasons on the bounce and travelled to most away games.

I love Walsall Football Club, period!

Over the years I have hoped and prayed for Bonser to do the right thing and leave but the simple fact for me is he always puts his own wishes and needs ahead of Walsall Football Club. In my heart I really can not see him selling up till he leaves this earth of natural causes. If I had a football wish it would be for us supporters to create a new club, AFC Walsall and get our Walsall back. I would be so excited to come back. I know this will never happen but sadly out of the 2 options the later is the only viable one I think will solve our problem. I couldn’t careless how low our gates would be, I’d want to shake each and everyone of your hands who would be there.

My thoughts nothing more.

P.s I’m actually bringing my son who is now 21 to the Scunthorpe game on the 12th after all these years.