Walsall Football Supporters' Trust is an independent, non-profit-making and fully democratic supporter organisation which is run by and owned by its members, each of whom own one equal share in the trust itself and therefore a stake in Walsall Football Club.
We are registered in England and Wales as Co-Operative and Community Benefit Society which means we exist to represent both the local community as well as our own members.
According to Walsall Football Clubs Confirmation Statement which was filed with Companies House on 1st November 2016 (and at the time of writing), Walsall Football Supporters' Trust is the twelfth largest shareholder in Walsall Football Club Limited.
Originally formed in 2001 by a group of like minded supporters, supporters who saw a real need for change at the club, in particular a change to the ways in which the club interacted with and exchanged dialogue with its supporters and the local community, the trusts main aim was to strengthen bonds with the club, its owners and the Board of Directors in order to give them a voice and a say in how the club was run.
Although progress in meeting that aim was slow and labouring to begin with, the Trust have since managed to build up a good working relationship with the club and now attend regular Working Party Meetings at the Banks's Stadium with both the club and the Walsall Supporters Club (Saddlers Club) where ideas, concerns and complaints can be raised, discussed and dealt with accordingly and in an open and constructive manner.
The day-to-day running of and financial stability of the Trust is overseen by a democratically elected Board (which may also contain a number of co-opted members in accordance to the rules) who carry out their duties on a purely voluntary basis and who ensure that the Trust operates legally, financially stable, fairly and in the best interests of its members at all times.
Our membership is open to any individual aged 16 years or over, or to any business, firm or organization providing they share the same aims and objectives of the Trust and are in compliance with our Rules and their accompanying policies.
For further information on Walsall Football Supporters' Trust and/or the work we do, please use the menus above to navigate your way around our website or feel free to contact us if your have any further questions.
Aims and objectives
The main aims and objectives of the Trust are to:-
Strengthen bonds between Walsall Football Club, its supporters and the local community for which it serves.
Work towards obtaining a democratically elected 'representative voice' on the Board of Directors at Walsall Football Club.
Work towards safeguarding the future of Walsall Football Club (and its assets) and competitive football within Walsall.
To promote the game of football as a recreational facility, sporting activity and a focus for supporter and community involvement.
Walsall Football Supporters' Trust is looking to change the culture of the club by promoting openness and constructive dialogue.
We will seek to enter into a partnership with local politicians from all parties, with the players, staff and Directors of Walsall Football Club and with any other official or independent supporter group or association in order to gain full, accountable, democratic and constructive involvement of supporters and the local community in the running of and direction of the club.
The long-term objective of the Trust is to have a democratically-elected supporters' representative elected to the Board of Directors at Walsall Football Club with an equal voting right to other Board Members; something which has already taken place at a number of other clubs. It is vital that this representative is elected by the members of a Trust such as this, i.e. the supporters of Walsall Football Club and that he or she should be accountable to them.
With this in mind, it is important that the Trust works with ALL supporters of the club, as well as those with a stake in the future of the club in order to gain as large a body of support as possible.
The Trust will seek to gain an interest in any individual, company, society or otherwise whose aims are consistent with those noted within our aims and objectives. In particular, we will look to acquire an interest in Walsall Football Club Limited and/or its assets, or any successor company.
The only way the Trusts interests will be served is through an effective and democratic body which works to gain a shareholding for all of its members and a seat on the Board of Directors which carries an equal voting right. It must also guarantee the right to constructively question the actions of the Board of Directors and their short, medium and long-term plans for Walsall Football Club.
Without this guarantee, nothing from investment made on the playing side to ticketing issues and the clubs involvement within the local community will be fully addressed with the Trust.
For a better insight into the reasons we have chosen to adopt these aims and objectives, please take the time to read our rationale.
As football fans, we are forever told about our responsibilities; buy the shirt, buy the season ticket, help the club, we are treated as consumers, as customers, but it isn't as simple as that.
We can't take our support elsewhere, or beyond the games which we can afford to attend and we can't shop around for the best bargains. For richer or poorer, our club is ours for life and its past, present and future are what really matter.
More importantly, if we have responsibilities, then we also have rights. We have the right to be told why season ticket prices are going up, why there needs to be an administration charge on ticket bookings, why facilities are not up to scratch and where exactly 'our' money is spent.
In his book 'Football Against the Enemy', Journalist and award winning author Simon Kuper wrote 'what players and directors think is beside the point, because a club is what it means to its fans. A football club should not exist to make money for the few; its sole reason for existence is to be of value to a particular community.
The owners of football clubs are custodians of institutions which belong to their fans and because of this they should not be able to do as they please'.
Individually, fans make enormous financial and emotional investments in their club and as such they are the only reliable owners of the clubs they support. The fans are the only people who are avowedly committed to their clubs survival and prosperity, so why are they not involved in how their clubs are run? Why is there so little dialogue between those who claim to own football clubs and we who are expected to pay our way without complaint?
Football supporters need to become more vocal on the issue of ownership. Just as has happened at Northampton Town Football Club, Crystal Palace Football Club, Luton Town Football Club and Lincoln City Football Club, supporting can become a more active part of our lives; never forget that Barcelona members run one of the biggest clubs in the world. The number of people in the stands at Walsall week in week out would give an established, democratic, politically active body of supporters an incredible energy and vision for moving the club forward.
The formation of such a body would allow us to show that we can be constructive and work with the club that we are proud to support. We can work to gain a say in how the club is run, to promote issues and get answers to questions that are important to us. More importantly we can safeguard the future of our club. The diversity of people in the stands gives us a huge range of abilities and skills that are never called upon. There is no reason why this should not change.
In January 2000, the Government set up an umbrella organisation called Supporters Direct to help fans buy into their clubs through the formation of Trusts. Walsall Football Club Limited has over 900 shareholders with whom a prospective Walsall Football Supporters' Trust would work to buy shares. We would then need to negotiate with the existing Directors to persuade them to vote a Supporters' Representative onto the Board and to give that person an equal voting right to other Board members.
This will undoubtedly take time to achieve; however many of us have already committed, or will commit to years of support to Walsall Football Club. It is time that we had a real say in how the club is run, and through the Walsall Football Supporters' Trust, we have a real chance to make a difference.