Writer: Robyn Richards
Date:Tuesday May 31 2011
In March it was announced that the Banks's stadium was to be put up for sale by Suffolk Life Annuities Limited and it has been a hot topic ever since as the Saddlers future is far from stable.
As the the news broke, the supporters club urged the possession of the stadium be given back to Walsall Football Club. They stated that there are ways to secure the future for the Saddlers whilst protecting those that have already invested in the club through self invested personal pensions.
The end of season action saw the drama die down as Walsall pulled themselves out of relegation dangered and secured their league one future.
After survival was secured, Steve Jenkins ignited the discussion when he urged Walsall Council to purchase the stadium and the land.
Jenkins, a lifelong Saddlers fans, wrote to all 60 councillors and encouraged fans to do the same, imploring that they can take the profit they make on the rent they make and reinvest it in community facilities and projects. This would secure Saddler future and improve the town of Walsall as a whole.
Jeff Bonser backed the idea, saying that he would allow staff from the council to work closely with the club if such exchange occurred. However, Councillor Mike Bird, said that the council could not afford to invest, even with the long term benefits.
Major headway has been made in only the last few days as the Labour Party has come out in support for the council to take ownership of the stadium. Labour councillor Tim Oliver said in an offical press statement on the official Walsall Labour Party website 'The authority does have the skills and expertise to look at other possibilities which would open the door to the team continuing to play at Bescot. We understand that around twenty other local councils around the country have come to such arrangements for the benefit of their communities.'
So, there's been developments and possibilties for the future of the Banks's stadium and nothing is really guaranteed. Whoever takes over at the Banks's, they need to be 100% focussed in the football and walsall FC, so a very rich local entrepeneur loyal fan could be the answers to the walsall faithful's prayers. Anyone? Walsall need much needed direction and stability and this could hinge on the potential buyer.
Let's wait and see how this one goes!
Up The Saddlers!
Sources: Express and Star, UpTheSaddlers, Walsall Labour Party Website.
Date:Tuesday May 31 2011
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