Walsall Football Club Supporters Working Party Meeting, held in the Priory Lounge at the Banks’s Stadium, Monday 7th October 2019 at 3pm.
Present: Stefan Gamble (SG) and Daniel Mole (DM) – Walsall Football Club Neil Ravenscroft (NR) - Walsall Football Club Supporters Trust Dave Joesbury (DJ) – Independent Saddlers Supporters Association Dave Beckett (DB) – Walsall Football Club Disabled Supporters Association
Apologies: Walsall Supporters for Change Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)
Minutes: Nick Adshead (NA)
DM starting the meeting by thanking everyone for attending and advised that apologies had been received from Walsall Supporters for Change (“WSFC”).
Matters arising from last meeting
DM explained that following an issue raised by WSFC the last meeting the doors in the toilets in the Lower Tier have been changed so that they open out instead of in to create more space.
DM and SG shared proposals and plans for how Safe Standing/Rail Seating would look if introduced into the Lower Tier of the Homeserve Stand. The supporter groups were asked to speak to their members and report back regarding the planned proposals. DM advised that Walsall Supporters for Change have an online survey already and will report back once a suitable number of replies has been received.
SG said that he would speak to Laura Greenhouse, Ticket Office Manager and Disability Supporter Liaison Officer to ensure the parking plan and protocol for Disabled Supporters is available with the next set of minutes and that they are on the Club Website.
DJ raised the issue of queues at the bars in the Stadium Suite. DB raised the issue of the Bars in the Stadium Suite and advised that the round of drinks he had purchased were undrinkable.
DB also advised that certain Bar Staff did not know what a “shandy” is and that at one point they staff were unable to serve because they did not have the keys for the tills.
DM responded to say that the Club are at Interview Stage in recruiting a new Bars Manager and that the new Head of Conference & Events is now in situ and is working on improving the experience in the interim period and beyond.
Update from Walsall Football Supporters Club (The Saddlers Club)
In the absence of any representative of the Saddlers Club, no update was available.
Update from Walsall Supporters Trust
NR asked about the Long Service Trophy for Dougie Swain. DM asked for NA to locate the trophy in the Office and make arrangements for the Trophy to be presented to Dougie Swain.
NR then advised that the Trust are going to help Bob Sadler organise the Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season vote. DM advised that the Trophy is currently in the Boardroom at the Club and asked if it needs to be returned to the Trust.
NR asked whether the Club would donate two tickets for a match for the raffle at the Fans v Legends game at the end of the month to which DM and SG agreed.
NR asked whether consideration had been given for a game for Former Players Day.
DM advised that either the Swindon Town game on 28th March or Plymouth Argyle game on 10th April would be classed as the Former Players Day and asked for the Trust to confirm which one would be more suitable.
NR asked whether more notice could be put-out on Social Media for the Development Squad and Youth Team fixtures.
DM agreed and said he would ask the Communications Team to update the Website and Social Media with the relevant information for each game.
Update from Walsall FC Disabled Supporters Association
DB advised that there has been some recent issue with a member who has paid for his parking space only to turn up to find somebody parked in the space allocated.
SG asked DB to liaise with Laura Greenhouse to resolve so that the Car Park Stewards can be informed.
DB advised that membership numbers remain the same as the previous meeting.
DB queried why EFL Trophy matches kick off at 7pm. DM advised that the kick offs had been moved to try and attract a younger audience to come and watch the younger players.
DB asked about the Community Programme and whether they incur costs and what provision do they have for Disabled Supporters. DM said that this was a conversation to be had with the Walsall Football Club Community Programme.
DB advised that the family of Royston Randle have donated his Poncho back to the DSA to allow it to be re-used by another supporter. DM asked for the DSA to manage the situation as they see fit.
Update from Independent Saddlers Supporters Association (ISSA)
DJ advised that current membership of the ISSA has increased by 27 since the last meeting.
DJ advised that the “Chris Nicholl” Evening at the Railway Club on 22nd November is attracting good support. The Club have agreed to donate a signed shirt to be auctioned off at the event.
DB then asked whether the Club had considered discussing ticket offers with other Local Clubs when they are Away to see if that would increase attendances and generate extra revenue.
SG advised that these matters had been discussed before but for various reasons it had not been possible to get such an initiative off the ground. However, the Club would keep this in mind for future reference.
Update from Walsall Supporters for Change (WSFC)
No update available at this meeting.
DM referred to the number of changes operationally that have taken place recently which included Tom Bradley retiring from his role as Kit Man last week. Tom has been replaced by Marc Roe.
DM updated the meeting regarding the Academy and advised that it is currently performing well as a department headed up by Miguel Llera.
DM confirmed that the younger players are spending more time at the training ground with Darrell Clarke.
DM confirmed that the Club are working on re-structuring departments within the Club which included the recent appointment of a new Head of Conference and Events.
DM advised that the Chairman is currently working on a date for another Fans Focus before Christmas, further information will be announced in due course.
All Representatives wish Trevor Reece, Chairman of the Walsall Supporters Trust a speedy recovery from his recent heart-attack.
DATE FOR NEXT MEETING MONDAY 4th NOVEMBER 2019 AT 15:00.
The meeting closed at 16.15