Sunday, 19 July 2020

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Dan Mole on Walsall's New Kits, Club Communication, & Fans Returning to Stadiums

Following the release of the Saddlers' 2020/21 home and away kits earlier this month, Walsall secretary, director, and chief operating officer Dan Mole has spoken to BBC Radio WM and praised the Saddlers faithful for their positive reaction to their team's new strips.
Produced by Italian sportswear company and sponsored by local multinational home emergency repairs and improvements business, HomeServe, this season's kits come in red (home) and white (away), with the home kit also featuring green highlights, a throwback to the Saddlers' kits in the late 70s and early 80s.

As coronavirus continues to have a major impact upon club finances, Dan was keen to thank fans for their support as they have already bought the new kits in great numbers, giving the club a much-needed boost following months of inactivity.

Speaking to presenter Richard Wilford, Dan was first asked about the fans' positive reaction to the kits, to which he replied; "Yeah. We're really pleased with the reaction so far. We put them on sale on Monday and have been inundated ever since, both in person at the shop and online. Across the two platforms, we've had a superb week. Long may it continue."

Richard then went on to discuss the home shirt, pointing out the green trim before admitting the introduction of the classic trim had got tongues wagging amongst supporters.

Dan responded; "Yeah. It's a nod back to our history. We spoke with the supporters, we canvassed their thoughts via our working parties and it was a nod back to the tradition we had in the late seventies, early eighties where we had that green trim.

"Supporters have bought into that again, and we're really looking forward to seeing more and more of those shirts as and when we can re-open the stadium, we obviously had some reasonable news earlier on that from the government as well. So things are looking really good at the moment."

Wilford then went on to expand upon the club's Working Party Meetings where he praised club owner Leigh Pomlett and chief executive Stefan Gamble, who are big supporters of the meetings, for not only listening to fans' concerns but acting upon their suggestions.

Dan replied. "Absolutely. Stefan and myself sit down with the supporters' working party each and every month. Leigh, our chairman, and owner, it was sort of a remit that he brought in when he came into the football club to say our communication has got to be better.

"It was something that Stefan and I agreed with and we've gone about improving the communication with supporters and one fruit which we have bared from that has been the kit and the reaction to it. The red and green for the home and the white /red white for the away.

"Which is an away kit but its a nod to a home kit that a lot of supporters, sixties and seventies, will be familiar with as the colours for Walsall home kits. So, I think we've got it right across both kits and sales, in the opening week, suggest we have."

The presenter then went back to the recent news that the government are set to allow supporters back into stadiums as soon as October with clubs such as Walsall welcoming the prospect of getting back to some semblance of normality. Richard asked where the club is on its plans to welcome the faithful back home.

Dan said; "Absolutely. That information (the return of fans in October) was welcomed today. We're waiting on the EFL for a start date for the new campaign, once we've got that we can obviously work with the local authority in terms of securing the stadium for socially distanced spectators.

"So, as you say, the 1st of October is the date in the diary at the moment. Hopefully, that well get brought forward and hopefully, it will coincide with the start of the new campaign. If it doesn't then it may be that it's behind closed door start with a view to then opening up the stadium socially distanced.

"So positive news today, we're hoping for more and more positive news and more news from the EFL when we can start the new campaign. So its been a really good week both with the launch of the shirt, with the sales of the shirt, and then, obviously, knowing that football is on its way back in the lower leagues."

Richard then went on to talk to Dan about the recent behind closed doors games in the Premier League and Championship, admitting that football is just not the same without fans in attendance.

To which Dan replied; "No. Football is for the fans. It is the fans. And if anybody had any doubts about that they just have to switch the television on and watch any game. It's like watching training games at times, there isn't that atmosphere.

"There isn't what we all know as football fans. Football is a passion and a love of mine and I'm fortunate enough to work in the industry. Without supporters football just isn't the same at all.

"We all want the fans back, from the Premier League all the way down into non-league. We're doing everything we can to ensure that when supporters do get to return to the Banks's Stadium they'll get to do so in a safe environment."

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