As a long standing Walsall fan, I along with every other Saddler have become very accustomed to intense disappointment, and frustration.
This season whilst seeming so promising at the start, has again bought the negative feelings that every Walsall fan lives through on a regular basis, to the forefront once again.
This got me to thinking, what if anything can change the predictable lack of success that plagues the Bescot season after season?
The predictable explanation of our main issues is of course, 'the root of all evil' money!
More to the point Walsall's lack thereof, which based on the vicious financial cycle which surrounds not only Walsall but a lot of teams outside of the promised land of the Premier League is always going to be nigh on impossible to break.
Starting at the top of the club, with the elusive Jeff Bonser's apparent blatant refusal to push any funds into the transfer kitty which begins the downward spiral. No transfer funds, inevitably means Walsall are only ever going to attract a certain level of player to the club, which in a lot of opinions, is not much more than good league two quality, and not the driven league one challengers that we so desperately need.
The lack of star quality in the side, leads to some dire performances at times, which inevitably leads to a lot of disheartened Saddlers fans becoming understandably unwilling to part with their hard earned money for match tickets and merchandise. Gone are the days of blind footballing loyalty, where thousands turn up week in, week out to watch their working class heroes perform, especially in these post-recession times.
Now obviously, match tickets and merchandise are a club's bread and butter in terms of income. The Bescot/Banks's (whatever it is actually called these days), has a capacity of around 11500, yet home games this season are averaging at a gate of around 3600 including away fans, that leaves a LOT of unpaid empty seats!
Also Sky's unwillingness to show many non-Premier League fixtures, means a much lower licensing income than the higher teams.
I refuse to make observations about the much publicised stadium ownership/rent issues as I along with most fans am a long way from knowing all the facts, but a high rent payment is sure to be another drain on funds which Walsall could do without.
The statutory position of something of a feeder club to the bigger sides, which basically comes with the territory of being a lower league club, is now a well known footballing fact of life.
In my mind though, some of the players we have sold in the last few years EG: Anthony Gerrard, Scott Dann and Matty Fryatt, surely some of the funds should have then been re-invested into the transfer coffers.
I for one cannot recall anything to suggest the transfer fee's were well invested in the teams best interests.
Also where is the money from constant stand and shirt sponsorship deal changes?
Barring a much romanticised, and highly unlikely oil tycoon take-over, crowds taking an unexplainable growth in size at home games or some unexplainable footballing miracle, I honestly fail to see how Walsall, and similar sides are ever going to reverse the disappointing domino effect and improve their situations.
Now I'm a realist (us Saddlers fans have to be) I am not expecting sell-out crowds every week and promotion parties, but a respectable home atmosphere, and a team to be proud of week in week out, is that really too much to ask for our loyalty?
We can Keep going through managers for lack of performances, and whilst I am not about to defend every manager and some disastrous decisions, could anyone really be expected to play blinding football with little and no resources?
Mr Bonser please open those pockets (and please don't ban me from the Stadium for having an opinion!).
I'm aware that virtually every Saddlers fan that reads this will be totally aware, and may or may not agree, I just felt the need to rant!
By: Lee Hale