Minutes From August's Working Party Meeting Minutes From August's Working Party Meeting
Posted by: Bescot Banter         

Minutes From August's Working Party Meeting

Here are the minutes from the latest supporters working party meeting between club officials and supporters, which was held at Banks's Stadium on Monday, 6th August 2018.
The meeting saw several subjects discussed including, amongst others, the Supporters' Trust, Disabled Supporters' Association, Dean Keates' newly established scouting system, the facilities at Banks's Stadium, and much more.

In Attendance
Daniel Mole (DM) - Walsall Football Club
Stefan Gamble (SG) – Walsall Football Club
Trevor Reece (TR) – Walsall Football Supporters' Trust
Kevin Paddock (KP) - Walsall Football Supporters' Trust

Neil Ravenscroft (NR) - Walsall Football Supporters' Trust

Apologies - Walsall Football Supporters' Club (The Saddlers Club)
Apologies - Walsall Football Club DSA

Note-taker - Nick Adshead (NA) - Walsall Football Club

1: Points still to action from last meeting
DM and SG confirmed that the request has been made to the landlord Suffolk Life and are waiting for the official response and hope to have this by the next meeting in September.

DM confirmed that one of the funding applications has been approved and the work to improve one of the bars will start in the near future. TR advised that the feedback from supporters on the work done around the stadium in the summer is positive, in particular the hot water in the lower tier toilets.

2: Update from Walsall FC Supporters Club
No representative of Walsall Football Supporters Club was in attendance.

3: Update from Walsall Supporters' Trust
NR advised that he has stood down as Chairman of the Supporters Trust but will remain as a member of the Board.

KP confirmed a membership drive took place at the first home game and the second will take place at the second home game on 18th August. Membership numbers will be confirmed and advised to the meeting.

TR enquired whether baby changing facilities could be looked at in the Lower Tier toilets. DM advised the Club will look into it. Note – this has been actioned. The Changing Facility have been installed in the Lower Tier toilets between the Homeserve Stand and St Francis Stand.

TR asked the question why it is difficult for the Club to sign players. SG responded saying the process to sign a player includes negotiating with Clubs, Players and Agents and it takes time to conclude any deal.

SG confirmed there were no delays due to the Club being unable to compete in the market. SG admitted that some Clubs in League One clearly have bigger budgets that Walsall FC (Sunderland for example) but recruitment is still ongoing.

KP asked about the Scouting Network and whether that is paid out of the Managers Budget. SG confirmed that this is part of the overall ‘Football’ budget. An amount is allocated specifically to Player Wages (the ‘Player’ budget) and an amount is allocated to other ‘Football’ expenditure such as staff salaries, medical, analysis, etc… including scouting. The Team Manager has the say on how the budgets are allocated.

TR referred to the Programme Shop which is closed and offered the help of the Trust to run. DM responded that we now currently have a 3rd Party looking after programmes sales and that the Club have not decided what to do with the space moving forward.

TR then referred to the Saddlers Club. SG answered advising that the Saddlers Club are still going through a process of winding down and the Club made the decision to open the Stadium Suite to fans to have a drink before the game on Saturday and will continue to do so.

It was discussed whether signage could be put on the doors of the Saddlers Club to advise fans that it’s closed.  DM agreed and would ask Dan Clarke to arrange this.

KP then offered feedback on the Stadium Suite from Saturday, the prices of drinks were praised. A couple of negatives were the 15 to 20-minute queues to get a drink and the microphone not working. SG advised there is a meeting scheduled for w/c 13th August to discuss all of positives and negatives. DM then asked KP if he could get feedback from supporters as to what they would like to see in the Stadium Suite pre-match and at half time to allow the Club to continue to improve the fan experience on matchdays.

KP then referred to stock levels in the kiosks in the lower tier which he experienced at half time when there were very few cold drinks available. SG advised that the issue will be raised with the new Kiosk Manager.

KP also asked about the Stadium Advertising and praised how the Main Stand, Homeserve Stand and St Francis Stand look with uniformed advertising looks and asked whether the same will be done in the University of Wolverhampton Stand. SG agreed it did look good and advised that the sponsors currently pay for those positions and discussions would need to take place with them should the stand sponsor wish to advertise there.

4: Disabled Supporters' Association

There was no update available. However, DM did advise that following an EGM of the DSA on 1st August a new Committee has been appointed and they will be represented at future meetings.

Chairman – Ian Buckingham
Vice Chairman – Tony Richards
Secretary – Stef Tomes
Treasurer – Lesley Buckingham
Procurement and Fundraising – Dave Beckett

5: Club Update
SG advised the Club were happy with the business done at the end of last week and the Manager is still trying to add to the Squad further before the deadline on Thursday for permanent transfers. The Loan window closes on 31st August.

SG also confirmed that an offer has been made and accepted for a new Commercial Manager who will be starting on 3rd September.

6. Trust and Club Joint Activities
DM referred to previous correspondence from SD regarding Walsall FC Foundation in Sierra Leone and a potential visit to our Academy from one of their coaches and a possible trial for one of their players. This is still ongoing.

7. Other Business
No other business was discussed.

The meeting closed at 16:05. The next meeting will take place on Monday, 3rd September 2018, at 3.00pm.
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