STATEMENT - Banks's Stadium Freehold
As many supporters’ of Walsall Football Club will be aware, the freehold of the Banks’s Stadium was placed onto the market a few years ago through a company named DTZ, a company who specialized in Commercial Real Estate and Property Management, and although the freehold was subsequently taken back off the open market, it remained up for sale should a suitable purchaser come forward.
The Board of Walsall Football Supporters’ Trust were deeply concerned by this desire to sell the land on which our football club stands and immediately set up a sub-committee to look into ways in which we could put together a financial package that could potentially see the Trust purchase the freehold and ensure that whatever happened in the future, Walsall Football Club would always have a ground to play on.
It has been widely reported that the Chairman of Walsall Football Club would not just sell to anyone who did not have the best interests of the club at heart and this is something that the Trust Board believe to be honest and true.
The initial idea was to sell the freehold to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, but given the financial restrictions of the council, this never came into fruition and we now find ourselves asking, ‘would this have been the right move?’ taking into account cuts in budgets and the asset stripping of local authorities in the current economic climate.
We set out to canvass the opinions of many groups and individuals and spent an undocumented number of hours making contact with and meeting up with the business community, Legal Advisors, Banks, other Financial Institutions and potential individual investors (all of whom will remain anonymous at their own request and in line with the Data Protection Act) at the expense of the Sub-Committee Members themselves, expenses which have now been paid back in full by the Trust.
In recent months, we have been working closely with a company who thought they may have been able to put together a financial package that in conjunction with a pledge made by another investor, could have seen us achieve our aims and although we had managed to put together a package that would have raised a considerable sum, we have sadly come to the conclusion that our plans were not financially viable, meaning we have reluctantly decided to step back and scale down our efforts at this time as this project is currently beyond our capabilities.
This however does not mean we have given up altogether and also doesn’t mean that the Trust would not be willing to meet up with other interested parties in the future, should their interest and intentions be inline with those of the Trusts’ in relation to the future of Walsall Football Club.
In the meantime, we would like to place on record our respect for the job that the Chairman is doing in ensuring the continued stability of Walsall Football Club.