Working Party Meeting – December 2020

Our Chairman Rob Harvey attended the December Working Party Meeting (via Zoom) on behalf of The Walsall Supporters’ Alliance, posing a range of questions to the club submitted by our members.

Here we share the answers provided by Stefan Gamble and Dan Mole, as published by Walsall FC in the official minutes.

Update from Walsall Supporters Alliance:

RH had a number of questions to put forward to DM and SG and began by asking whether the club are able to release information on iFollow purchases via our social media channels. SG responded and stated that whilst the last few games have tailed off, the general total has been extremely positive, both home and away for purchased match passes (these numbers exclude Season Ticket Holders who have automatic access as part of their donation to the club.) DM agreed and stated his delight of the numbers at present and again thanked supporters for their continued support in this particular format.

DM stated that Media Officer Paul Joannou will touch base with the EFL regarding figures to see if this is something that can go out in the public domain in any capacity.

RH then asked about whether there would be any room for manoeuvre in the January transfer window given the bailout from the EFL and Premier League, something which was touched upon in the previous meeting in November. SG responded to this and stated unless there are players going out, he can’t envisage players coming in and reiterated that the bailout from the EFL and Premier League is solely to cover for the loss of revenue and ensure the Club’s survival, not to be used to bolster the Playing Squad.

RH then asked how supporters can help the club in the scouting of players and if this is possible. DM responded and said from an Academy point of view we have a number of volunteer scouts which is put through and organised by Nick Adshead (NA). In the first instance, DM proposed that fans should contact GW who would then collate those messages and pass over to the club and relevant personnel. DM concluded stating that should any supporters who have a keen interest in volunteering as a scout want to know any more information, they are advised to contact NA via youth@walsallfc.co.uk.

RH then touched upon Chairman Leigh Pomlett’s (LP) aims of promotion this season and with the club currently sitting 14th in the table, he asked what the club think of the season so far. SG responded and stated that Liam Keen (LK) from the Express & Star asked LP this question in a socially distanced interview which took place at the stadium last week and both he and DM advised supporters to keep an eye out for this which is due to be publicised on their channels this week.

RH then enquired about the training ground pitches which he understands have been waterlogged at times and therefore not usable for the first team and asked whether this was something that is being looked at and if the club have any recourse for a rent reduction from the council. DM responded that this was bought to his attention by Darrell Clarke (DC) last Winter and that the club rectified this to an extent previously but are committed to making those changes in their entirety as and when possible. SG added to this and said that any rent reduction at the training ground wouldn’t make any material difference.

RH then touched upon the freehold and asked how long the agreement was in place to purchase this. SG responded to say that there is still a significant amount of time left on the option to purchase but this is not something that will be shared in the public domain as it is commercially sensitive.

RH then touched upon the black goalkeeper top and asked how many of these were sold and if there was a reason as to why they didn’t release the shorts and socks for the kid’s kits. SG stated that we ordered 35 in total and based off the latest figures which SG received last week, 30 had been sold, something which he believes will have most likely sold out now. SG added and stated that based on discussions with the Head of Commercial & Retail, we are looking at potentially having a black goalkeeper kit as the main kit for next season. DM advised RH to email Alex Smith (AS) about this query to see if there is enough appetite for a re-order.

RH then touched upon the recent brick Wall of Fame scheme and asked what the uptake has been on this. DM responded and stated that given the fact that the club had to close from March to July, it’s something that we haven’t been able to gage at present. DM concluded and said that we would have a better idea on this once the festive period is out the way.

RH then asked about the Maz Kouhyar article and asked if there were any updates on this. DM responded and said that the club invited Maz to the stadium and spoke to him and his representatives at great length to gage a better understanding of the situation. DM also said that Maz has been invited to speak to some of our younger players which he will be doing in the new year. SG added that whilst this wasn’t highlighted at the time or known of to any of the senior management staff at the club, Maz has made it public of his enjoyment of being a part of Walsall Football Club and we as a club have a zero tolerance to any form of discrimination and are working with him moving forward.

RH concluded and gave an update on the Crowdfunder which has since been raised to £5,700+ and also mentioned that the Alliance have partnered with Walsall Outreach to raise funds for their Christmas Meal Appeal. The initial target set was £300 but this has since increased to £825.

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