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Fans Focus: News From Monday Evening's Meeting
 
Fans Focus: News From Monday Evening's Meeting
Fans Focus: News From Monday Evening's Meeting
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Fans Focus: News From Monday Evening's Meeting

8:10 pm Monday, 9 July 2018
Here is a run down of events from Monday evening's Fans Focus event which took place at Banks's Stadium and saw club Secretary and Director Dan Mole joined by Chief Executive Stefan Gamble as they answered supporters' questions.
The event, which began shortly after 7.00pm, took place in the Stadium Suite at Banks's Stadium and was attended by a fairly small number of supporters as there was little notice given this time around.

Some sections have been reordered for clarity.

Firstly, it was confirmed that the club will be holding a Meet the Manager evening at Banks's Stadium on Tuesday, 24th July with further details to be confirmed in due course.

When asked about the somewhat belated departure of former manager Jon Whitney. Chief Executive Stefan Gamble admitted that the decision was taken when the board had reached the point where they felt relegation was a real possibility. It was emphasised that, due to his long-term commitment to the club, Jon deserved time to get things back on track.

Gamble then went on to confirm that, as evidenced by them allowing him to add several new members to his backroom team, manager Dean Keates has the board's full backing and has funds available to improve the squad.

Stefan, unsurprisingly, insists that all at the club want a better season than the one which recently came to an end.

The budget was then discussed. Gamble confirmed that the budget will not be the lowest in the league but obviously won't compete with some of the better funded sides in the division. Profits from other areas of the club go into the budget. With the bean counters operating on a break-even basis.

The LED boards overlooking the M6 are used as an example of extra funds being created. With budgets clearly being smaller were it not for their existence.

The CEO then went on to admit that he believes that its more important what the manager does with the money rather than how much he has.

"It won't be the biggest budget in the division but it won't be the lowest. What a manager does with his budget is more important than the quantum." - Stefan Gamble

The Saddlers Club is then discussed. It is confirmed that the club is experiencing financial difficulties and ceased trading at the end of April. The Saddlers Club owe creditors, including the football club, money and are currently in a winding down process. Stefan admitted that information is not as forthcoming as he'd like.

Dean Keates' appointment is next. Dean's performance at Wrexham was a big factor in their decision to offer him a deal, not simply his past with the club.

The club are close to equalling last season's Season Ticket total and it is hoped that the number will be surpassed as we edge closer to the start of the season.

Gamble is pleased that Dean Keates has used a portion of his playing budget to employ a Chief Scout and to begin the rebuild of the club's scouting network.

Dan Mole discussed transfers. Insisting that the club are happy to have five over the line, including Joe Edwards, and remains confident they will complete more deals over the next few weeks. Stefan Gamble added that the transfer window closes in a month but loan signings can continue until the end of August.

Back to Dean Keates. Dan Mole thinks that Keates' long-term history with the club is an advantage as he knows what supporters expect. Gamble adds that Dean is a winner and is driven to be successful and will provide supporters with good, solid football.

"Dean is a winner. He wants to play good football but he also wants to be functional. He won’t mind winning 1-0. He wants to be successful. We will see good, solid football that hopefully the fans will appreciate." - Stefan Gamble

Club Chairman Jeff Bonser is next on the agenda. Stefan Gamble insists that JB's passion for the club hasn't waned. The chairman feels the club is heading in the right direction. However, he remains open to offers from parties capable of running the club. It is important that interested parties prove their ability to fund the operation and have the clubs best interests at heart.

The club has worked hard over the summer to fix issues at Banks's Stadium. They have ensured that there is hot water in all toilets, toilet floors and vomitories have been painted and they are also looking to improve the bar areas and implement a fan zone outside of the stadium.

The LED boards are discussed. As mentioned in a previous meeting, the boards are now 100% under the club's control. They are seen as a great advertising and promotional tool. They allow the club to promote games, events and even wish the England team good luck.

Safe standing is discussed. The club would be open to asking supporters if they would like to see it introduced in the stadium but remain tied down by the current regulations as they are unable to simply install it after spending three consecutive years in the Championship. When regulations change it can be explored in more detail.

The Academy is next. The club are hoping to recruit former players into the Academy coaching system. The manager has funds at his disposal to sign another coach, likely to be someone to work with the club's attacking players.

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