Whalley promises to ban protestors

Walsall chief executive Roy Whalley has promised to ban the banner-waving protesters after launching an angry attack on chairman Jeff Bonser's critics.

Walsall chief executive Roy Whalley has promised to ban the banner-waving protesters after launching an angry attack on chairman Jeff Bonser's critics.

The Saddlers' supremo accused fans of trying to destroy the club, after raising banners against Bonser and manager Chris Hutchings before Monday's 2-1 home win over Wycombe.

Whalley reckons fans who protested violated Football League ground regulations and will be banned from the Banks's Stadium, starting with Tranmere on Saturday.

He raged: "The people who were involved will not be coming in to the match on Saturday. They will be banned until further notice. It's against ground regulations and we're not prepared to sit back and allow it to happen. We have pictures of those who were involved.

"They want to stop and think about what they are trying to do. They are damaging the club and putting off good supporters.

"When you have people who do not want to listen it's as if they have a hidden agenda. If we let them do what they want they will destroy the club and drive people away."

The Saddlers host Tranmere in League One this weekend and Whalley has also warned anyone who brings banners that they will be denied entry to the stadium.

He said: "They will not be allowed in. That type of behaviour is inciteful and is against ground regulations."

The chief executive also accused the vocal minority of risking people's jobs, because if they forced fans away the Saddlers would need to cut back.

He said: "We have about 200 people who rely on the club for their income. We have about 100 full-time employees and 200 part-time, we are a big employer in the town.

"They are not only putting the future of the football club on the line but they are also risking people's livelihoods."

Whalley has had complaints about the protesters and believes they are in the minority, but is disappointed they affected the atmosphere against Wycombe.

He said: "Against Colchester and Millwall we got some good points and the atmosphere was really good. On Monday we won but the atmosphere was spoiled by a few people.

"There were fans who were supporting the team, but some who continued to be negative. They need to start looking at the wider picture."

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Comments for: "Whalley promises to ban protestors"

Sir Lupi

Typical employer, don't blame us or else syndrome.

Run the club properly and you dont get protesters.

If the club had new and more ambitious owners who were prepared to invest into the squad, you'd win more games, create a better atmosphere, generate more income and employ twice as many as you already do.

Keep protesting boys, Walsall has been held back for too long.

vespa wolf

Im no Walsall fan but we all have a right to free speech and we also have the right to protest under the Human Rights Act 2006.

You cant ban a person from a football club for having different views .... i hope not anyway!


At the end of the day Mr Whalley the fans pay their money and are entitled to their say. Its only beacuse they are passionate about the club they feel they have no other alternative but to raise banners in order to voice their frustrations. If the board provided some clarity to the supporters regarding the playing budget and their long term expectations for the club least the fans would know where they stand. UTS til i die!!!


Protest is already a success Mr Bonser and his puppet are clearly rattled!


This is pretty disgraceful. Everyone has the right to free speech and if these fans feel moved enough to make banners then they should be allowed to protest. We allow the BNP to take out billboard adverts and the EDL to march but Roy Whalley wont allow Walsall supporters vent their frustrations.


Pathetic. The man needs to grow up, How can speaking your mind be wrong?


The last shred of dignity the owners of our once proud club held has now evaporated with this one statement.

How low and desperate can the club get when they use this disgraceful emotional blackmail to try and scare fans into complying with the "Official Walsall FC Viewpoint"?

Is this Walsall in 2010 or 1960's East Germany?




GO, NOW!!!!!


I am one of the 'protestors'. How can you ban someone for having a critical view? Is this back to the bronze age?

This is violating human rights, and it will not be tolerated.


I think Mr Whalley has done the protester's job for them. Most of the crowd on Monday didn't have a clue what was going on, but they do now!! And I think his inflammatory attitude to peaceful protesting is actually going to incite more people to join in the protest. Well done Mr Whalley.


Presumably Whalley refers to Ground Regulation 1.2 which states:

'...any police officer or authorised steward may refuse entry to (or eject from) the Ground any person...whose presence within the ground is, or could (in the club's REASONABLE opinion), consititute a source of danger, nuisance or annoyance to any other person.'

So Whalley and Bonser must be annoyed...

Si Saddler

I think you have to look Roy at the supporters who have stayed away and why they are doing it.

Rather than at the ones who still bother to turn up.

Banning people from the ground there will be no one left soon.


I wonder what the club reaction would be to a banner praising JB and his minions??? Would they get banned?? I doubt it very much. You're makin yourself look even more of a Whalley with every press release

whitti steve

Another PR disaster. Customer service at it's best... does he not realise the people involved have spent thousands of pounds over the years in following Walsall and contributing to the club. Trotting out the "we are a big employer" line again. Instead of ranting, engage with the fans instead of coming out on the defensive again. Really really need a PR expert at Walsall to advise. Shame really... but any WFC fan could have predicted the words that have been spoken!


"They need to start looking at the wider picture".

Mmmmm....this from a Chief Executive who decided the wider picture would be best served, by selling your 2 best Players for a pittance and then watching a Play Off chasing Team lose it s Manager the same Season....with the dreams of an entire fanbase sold down the river.

Then within 18 months, the aforementioned Players are regularly playing Premier League football and are worth 10 times what they were sold for..whilst Walsall FC are suffering a slow and painful death....struggling on tiny attendances...with a mediocre Manager and a less than mediocre dis-enchanted squad.

Perhaps Mr Whalley has a different version of the "wider picture" than every other sane individual on this Planet....??...??


Disgusting response!

Makes me sad to support Walsall.

You have pictures of those involved????? Involved in what exactly?????? They have done no wrong

Get a grip!

Walsall forever.


Disgrace. we need them OUT now. All the fans want is hope and with these clowns in charge of the club there's none. I'll be joining in the protest on saturday and urge everyone to join in


You realise you're just fanning the flames of it, youve actually done the job of the protesters for them!! the stupidity of this man makes me cry

Love Walsall Hate Bonser!!

Phil Burton



I'm a stayaway. I would prefer Bonser and his goons to go, even if it means Walsall being a sunday morning parks team. It would be more entertaining than watching the rubbish on the pitch this season. Struggled to beat a side near relegated, with 4 Walsall rejects.


Much as this is a ridiculous thing to do on Mr. Whalley's behalf before anyone goes running off to the European Court have you not considered the fact that you can be turned away from a nightclub for not wearing shoes or wearing something you shouldn't.

It isn't a violation of human rights, you can stand on the street and protest as long as you do it within the law, but if you turned up in my offices with banners I'd ring the police.

Here are some handy hints...

1. The club will now go and say that they are going to have to pay for policing costs and this will reduce the budget.

2. There is nowhere to hang flags. And no matter how much anyone hates the way the club is run if they are still turning up on Saturday then they will want to watch the game and not some bloke stood up holding a flag in front of them. This is divisive.

3. The flags are too small. 3x5 is a big tea towel. It covers the equivalent of two and a bit seats, 40 flags equals less than 100 seats in a stadium of over 11,000.

4. What is the aim of this anyway? Bonser is not doing what most think he should...well d'urrrh. We've known that for over a decade. Wouldn't we be better trying to get someone in rather than him going out?

5. They do react to protests, look at the end of the season against Mansfield and the signings that followed. However if this one turns nasty, and it strikes me that there isn't any experience or sensible voices in this protest then the club will batter those involved. And any public feeling of support will disappear very quickly.


Thank you all walsall fans who care i will be back for that one

Walsall fans unite

Tim Warner

The paid mouthpiece strikes again!

Lets treat our loyal customers like they are naughty school children....again.

What's the difference between Mondays protestors and yourself all those years ago Roy? Is it because you're part of the regime being protested about?


I was at the match on Monday and saw the protestors behaving very well. When approached by stewards to take down the protest flags they did so straight away. They also were singing away ( particularly in the second half) and not just shouting for Bonser out! They kept up a great atmosphere in the stadium they didn't create a bad one!!!

If Roy Whalley and Jeff Bonser ban the supporters for airing their feelings then they are taking on all Walsall fans not just the protestors!

I always thought we lived in a democracy where free speech was allowed.

Perhaps the powers that be at WFC should start banning everyone who shouts criticism at the ref or applauds and shouts for players who have scored. After all that is expressing a personal feeling!

I suggest all Walsall fans who go on Saturday to the Tranmere game protest by not clapping, shouting or singing at all. A silent crowd will certainly put a protest point across without breaching any of the WFC regulations!

Comments please.


If the top brass JB & CH & RW don't like the heat then get out of the kitchen... and the sooner the better.

What you going to do use strong arm methods you are pathetic..

Phil Burton

Roy you have hit a new low, and I feel for you.

Do you realise you have just released an article in which you have banned fans for having the temerity to question the clubs owner with a light-hearted, peaceful protest.

Mr Roy Whalley, you have hit the nadir of your career, and these will be your defining words.

"The people who were involved will not be coming in to the match on Saturday. They will be banned until further notice."

Well done Roy, well done. You must be very proud of banning the clubs most loyal supporters.


My great grandad died fighting for the freedom we now enjoy, RW if you think for one minute you will take away my right to protest think again! shame on you. This has made me more determined to protest on Saturday and you can ban me because I no longer go to home games anyway!!


This half baked guilt trip is playground stuff, a legitimate protest conducted in peaceful terms is hardly the storming of the bastile is it Roy?

Get grip


Force the fans, paying customers out of your own business. What is this bloke on?

It was a peaceful protest, nothing was going to kick off.

Acting like Nazi's to protect themselves,and their taking money out the club.


Either way, i hope this has just stoked the fire, this hasnt just annoyed Walsall fans, it has annoyed many fans from other teams.

Dont worry Whalley soon you wont have to come out with this twaddle, because we will go out of business.

I wasnt at the protest, but ill send you a picture, id take you to court. Its called Free speech, its what we live in England for.

Get out you leech.

Sad Saddler

Your time is up Bonser, and take 'Walley' with you!

This is a disgusting response! I've almost had enough with this club. I've followed home and away for the last 26 years and have just purchased 3 early bird season tickets for next season. I wasn't going to and it was for sure the hardest purchase so far! After weighing it up I came to the conclusion that me and the family would continue to support the club that is OURS (the fans)!

I'll be there in the TXT stand on Saturday, chanting as loud as I can right next to the press box. Are you going to chuck me out and ban me? Try it. I'll even send in a photo!

chase saddler

There is an old saying in business that Mr Whalley et al would do well to remember. It goes along the lines of "The customer is always right, even if he is a complete idiot"

Customers are the lifeblood of any business without them you are dead. Given the drop in attendances over the past couple of years caused by many differing reasons and not just down to the recession as Mr Whalley and others within the higher echelons of the club would have us believe, I would have thought he would be trying to win over fans not alienate them even further. If he really thinks a handful of fans are going to bring the club down he is sadly deluded. I have been a season ticket holder for a number of years, always taking advantage of the early bird offers, this year I have decided not to renew, not because of any financial situation, thankfully I was not affected by the recession, I am not renewing because there is no joy in watching the team anymore, no quality, no consistency, and with the exception of a few players no commitment. The club appears to have lost it't way. The knockers maintain the board have no ambition, the board says they do have ambition, unfortunatly we the paying supporters see no sign of it. As I see it the club expect us to pay up, pay lip service to any concerns and then wonder why people protest, These protests are more than anything an act of desparation. It was my intention to attend selected matches next year rather than buy a season ticket. With this latest rant from Mr Whalley I don't think I will even bother to do that as clearly the board do not have even the slightest respect for paying customers.

Just as the current government have been in power too long and become too comfortable and complacent in their own bubble, so it is with the board of Walsall Football Club. Time for you to go boys, perhaps then I can return to supporting a club I have supported for 44 years.


You have been found out thats why you are rattled Mr Whalley.

You cant stop a protest, im sure thats not legal.

Freedom of Speech.

I cant believe he is complaining about spoiling the atmosphere. He and Bonser did that long ago.


What a response rant from a professional Company Secretary!!!!!

If Walsall FC and Mr Whalley wanted to swell the growing demonstration numbers then this press release has done so.

On the other hand, if the Club wanted to stop this then wouldnt Mr Whalley want to engage with the fans to share both perspectives.

Own goal here Roy!!!!!!


How low do attendances need to get before Bonsor and Whalley stop blaming everyone else and start looking at themselves. We all noticed the negative, disgruntled mood on Saturday. My mood was nothing to do with the protest - it was merely a natural reaction to being consistenly insulted or, at least undervalued by the club.

Not a match goes by when we don't bemoan the lack of atmosphere at the Banks's. We left at the end discussing how the club needs to build bridges with the fans. So much for that! This club prides itself on being a sound business. How many really successful companies treat their customers like this. Can you imagine the manager at yourlocal Sainsbury's banning you because you object to the amount of salt in the baked beans. Or maybe it's all my fault if I'm not pleased with the quality of their produce.

Show some respect, Whalley. We are not all as stupid as you think we are.


"They want to stop and think about what they are trying to do. They are damaging the club and putting off good supporters." Who's he talking about?

Atmosphere on Mon was best for a while with those protesters singing loud and proud.


"There were fans who were supporting the team, but some who continued to be negative. They need to start looking at the wider picture.”

Does that wider picture include not asking questions about the black hole of where all the money went from the move to Bescot ?

Does that wider picture include not asking as to why the club pays over £1,000 a day in rent .. and to exactly WHO that money goes to ... as Mr Bonser reckons he doesn't own the ground ?

Does that wider picture include not asking the reasons as to why over 2,000 fans have stopped attending games ?

Does that wider picture include being told to go support Luton, Bournemouth or Rotherham if the CUSTOMER


doesn't like the way the club is being run ?

Mr Whalley .. you are the weakest link .. GOODBYE !


HAHAHAHAHAH Mr Whalley you have finally shown the true pathetic colours that both you and Mr Bonser have tried to hide for so many years.

Roy if you keep going like this and there will be 12,000 empty seats for you and Jeff to sit on.

There are people amongst those protesting that have supported for far longer than the pair of you. But to be fair being banned from Bescot isnt such a bad thing at the moment, atleast it would give us a real reason not to go eventhough the rubbish football is enough.

Turn the light off on the way out.

Belgian Saddler

What a pathetic and shambolic response. Great move Roy, ban some of the few remaining supporters we have got, another PR fiasco that shows the club in an appaling light. The lack of professionalism and indeed downright common sense in his response beggers belief.

In one swoop he has given great publicity to the protest, shown the hierarchy are rattled and declared war on the supporters. If he would take his head out of the sand for a second he might realise that many many Walsall fans support the protest as hopefully he will find out in the coming weeks.

The right to protest is a basic and democratic human right, and one which Roy has exercised agaiunst the club in the past. The idea of protesting about the way the club is (and has been) run while still supporting the team is a great one and I hope it gets the support of the majority of fans. Roy has certainly alienated a few more and added a few more to the ranks of the protestors with this latest ill thought out and childish outburst.

A perfect illustration of how far removed from the fans and how stale this tired regime has become. Disgraceful.

Neil Ravenscroft

I wonder if the thought had actually crossed Roy's mind that, he has, if Bonser is looking for a scapegoat to placate the fans' anger, then Roy has managed to put himself first in line?


Hello all.

As one of the chief organisers, again I can only say that I am gutted and insulted by Roy's press release.

Again, I would like to reiterate (as have many on here confirmed) that the protest on monday was peaceful with no malice or violence at all. When the stewards asked the flag to be put down, it was - no questions asked - no one was ejected.

I really hope the E&S read these tons of comments, and respond approriately. There is an open invitation to talk to us, and we will do so respectfully and peacefully.

Thanks to all who love Walsall and are showing your support. See you on saturday.


Ive supported this club since the early 80's and i have never felt so low about how the club is going they have ripped the heart and soul out of the club that i love, it really is time for Bonser to take a hike and he can take mr Whalley with him too

John Fox

Mr.Whalley, you were part of an identical team of protesters against those running the club, many years ago. You said then you were all genuine Walsall supporters, with the sole interests of the Club at heart. So are these people Mr.Whalley, they are no different to you and the crew of years past. Listen to them,give them a voice,you and Mr.Bonsor might learn something, instead of treating them like criminals.

Dudley Saddler

I have followed the saddlers since mid 1980's and it is a sad state of affairs today.

I have renewed early, more from habbit than desire and have taken out 3 tickets for my boys.

I am being a cruel father?? I have boys of 8, 6 and 5 and am I risking the chance of killing their interest in football and Walsall FC?

We are not in a position to force away fans, when our fan base is shrinking week in week out.

I like most fans don't want us to live beyond our means, but the product we are serving up week in week out is sub standard. And unless the team entertain (which Hutchings is incapable of doing)the mood of the fans will not improve.

Comments like this are not helpful Roy. We pay our money and we deserve our say.

All the stay away's come back on the last game to MK Dons on the 8th May to show the love for the club not the management.

To steel an idea from the Baggies, they all wore Tony Mowbray masks at a game last year, what about we all wear Jeff masks? Will they kick us all out??


I too was one of these "inciteful" people on Monday. There was no violence or malice involved. The atmosphere in the second half was getting better and better.

Roy, this is a real, real shame.

You've blown it this time.

Big time.


"Against Colchester and Millwall the atmosphere was really good. On Monday the atmosphere was spoiled by a few people."

Are you living in cloud-cuckoo-land (Copyright Jeff Bonser, January 2008)? Bescot has been like a morgue all season. Monday was the first time I've managed to stay awake for the entire game for months thanks to some good natured chanting! Chanting that was both in the form of a protest AND in encouragement to the team.

Congratulations on fueling the fire further by publicising the protests. See you on Saturday. UTS.

kenny mowers, mower

I really cant belive that the club have shot themselve in the foot again. Not only in the comments of go and support luton, rotherham etc,fans divorced from financial reality comment, ejecting an OAP from the ground, and all he did was shout 2 shots on goal !

What on earth is happening down there. All I can say is please, please, please help all you can with this protest, things cant go on the way they are at the moment. WFC is dying and it needs change. This can only be done with the voice of the customer....YOU.

Stand up and be counted, stay aways..come back for the last match and help vocaly !!


As many have said, the atmosphere on monday was much better than it has been all season.

Shame on you Roy.

Fred Mumford

If we had Mr Whalley's ego in goal we would keep a clean sheet it is that large


I was part of the protest saturday and this outburst from whalley is nothing short of pathetic, by doing this he is only making things worse for himself and proving what a whalley he really is

Why should we as paying customers sit there week after week watching our club that we all love fade away from us? ok we're not in the worst position in the league and many clubs would envy our position at the moment but this is besides the point.

With just a small injection of ambition from the board we could be doing so much better and atleast have the fans back.

JB RW- Time after time you have failed to deliver this ambition, therefore it is time for you both to go!



The atmosphere against Colchester & Millwall was really good?

Were you at the ground Roy? 'cause where I was sitting there was about as much atmosphere as outer space. Thing is you see, you've drained all the hope out of the fans, what's the point of singing when you know the club will pull the rug anytime we get close to being successful?

The atmosphere on Monday was LOADS better than normal. There were PLENTY of positive songs, aimed at encouraging the team in between the ones registering our opposition to the current regime.

But hey, why let the truth get in the way of a good rant?


Even if we take all the other issues out of the equation (JB, CH, budgets etc etc) then Whalley has to be questioned for coming out with a statement like this to alienate yet more fans. What does he think he gains from this? The clubs PR has been awful time and time again but this takes the biscuit.

rich clarke

I sense certain individuals are rattled.And I would have thought an educated individual may have thought this really was the time for dialogue with its most important people, its paying customers, but no, instead we get a childish rant from Jeff's gimp. Pathetic, inane, and a massive PR own goal. Ill be there saturday supporting the team , but peacefully protesting at the running of the club, which i believe is my right.If i get banned, so be it, as these clowns dont deserve mine or the loyal support they get.


Roy, you're beliefs are against my religion. When something is wrong, we protest.


Time to go Whalley!


Oh go forth and multiply ROY!

Terrington Burchett

Your attempts to silence the minority will lead to the mobilisation of the majority Royston Wallet.

A club is nothing without it's fans and the sooner you realise the part we have to play, the better.

Thanks for the free publicity btw Royston, a man who was borne out of a fans movement, throwing a wobbly against a fans movement-nothing like forgetting your roots.


Love Walsall, hate Bonser!

Geoff Whiting

Roy Whalley has now plumbed new depths in his lack of respect for his club's "customers". In my view he has, over the last few years, gone from a man I respected very much to a total muppet who opens his mouth before engaging his brain.

These commemnts, if reported accurately, are extremely inflammatory and will only widen the divisions between the club and the fans, while doing absolutely nothing to find out why the fans are so dis-enchanted and staying away from matches in their hundreds.

Crowds have fallen from 5,500 not so long ago to around 3,000 - 3,250 on average in recent months. Surely in such circumstances the club should be researching why this has happened and taking steps to attract back the missing fans. All this outburst has done is to ensure that even more will feel angry and dis-enchanted with the club, and will turn away from supporting the club.

Short term, however, I feel that there will be greater numbers in attendance, with a higher proportion of protestors determined to ensure they have their say, and that Whalley will not be allowed to dictate to us, the paying customers!

Rob G

All I will say to this is: Get a grip Whalley. Threatening to ban supporters who geninely care about the future of this club is the last thing you should be doing. I am a stayaway, and I won't be back whilst you and Bonser are running the show. You should be ashamed of yourselves.


The atmosphere on Monday was the best it had been all sesaon, first time I'd heard sustained chanting in a very long time!! Am shocked at the reaction of Whalley to a peaceful demonstration that consisted of two flags and a few chants!! Well, us supporters have been told, we'll take your money but we're not interested in your views. Pay up and shut up! Heartbreaking to see the club I love become a such a farce.

Terrington Burchett

Roy-Your outburst against the minority shall only mobilise the majority. The free publicity can only enhance what was after all, only a awareness raising exercise on Monday.

Fancy a man borne out of a fans movement against the owner throwing a wobbly against a fans movement, against the owner: nothing like forgetting your roots!



Well all I can add is look at the number of comments on this topic - 50+ ! I never remember so many on one saddlers issue.

The very best thing we can do is turn up IN NUMBERS on saturday and really sing our hearts out FOR the team and AGAINST this totalitarian attempt at censorship - including all you stayaways- go on just this once- we need you.


Best bit of PR Roy has ever done. I don't know one Walsall fan who isn't talking about the protest on Saturday. Great work Roy!!


I'm no Walsall fan so my opinion counts for little but I can't believe the audacity of this man.

Slagging off the people who pay his wages? How dare he.

You've got little to play for this season - maybe the fans should consider boycotting games or holding demonstrations outside for the first 15 minutes of a game.

The fans will still be there when this fool's left.

People slag Jez Moxey off but I know who I'd rather have in charge.

What a prize tool.

Chase Saddler

Well that was a raging success Roy, 52 posts and not one in support of you. Or perhaps that is the idea, reduce the support so the club closes and ride off into the sunset with a nice pension. Yes that previous sentence may be pure idle speculation with no basis in fact but as neither you or the club talk to us supporters without berating or belittling us then protest and idle speculation is all you are going to get.

BIlston Saddler

Stopped going after 30 years following home and away due to the complete lack of ambition at the club and the way the fans are treated.

You have made four stayaways so angry with this outburst we will be back for the last game. And you can ban us all as we won't be back until Bonsers gone anyway.


So Mr Whalley - you are telling us that if YOU were calling the shots at Manchester United you would be banning everyone who turns up in a yellow and green scarf?

That is exactly what you are telling us! And you know that no football club owner with any sense would employ you - so it is in your own self-interest to keep Bonser at Walsall and to silence all who moan.

You are not interested in the few hundred jobs that Walsall fc provide - you are interested in the one job that Walsall fc provides to you.

You have made yourself a laughing stock - not in the eyes of the fans or the players - in the eyes of your contemporaries at all other football clubs.

geoff whiting

If I could just come to the defence of Roy Whalley for one moment.

There, that's it, enough of that, one very brief moment in time is more than he deserves after this outburst!

I can't think of a single thing to defend him, and it's really heartening to see the mood of every single poster on this thread. All united as one against the clown that seems hell-bent on further alienating us fans againt him and Bonser, which could ultimately destroy our club.

Clearly the message of Monday got through and has rattled Bonser and Whalley. Those who criticised and belittled that demonstration, saying it went un-noticed and will make no difference, will realise tonight that their comments were a little premature.

Mike Egan

You know, I have always had some sympathy with Mr Whalley as deep down he is a true supporter and after all he is an employee of the club and it is only human to protect your own job. But this really does take the biscuit. I think the protests are pretty futile as it is clear Mr Bonser does already wish to escape but he will not do it at any price, and after all what harm does the protest do? So this time I think Mr Whalley should have put up some resistance to what pretty certainly is Mr Bonser's response.


I'd have thought Whalley and his employers would be thankful for any kind of support, given Walsall's poor attendances. I've attended very infrequently in recent years, having found it a progressively more depressing experience on each succesive occasion. Poor standard of entertainment, excessive ticket prices for 'walk-up' spectators, grim surroundings and an atmosphere of disillusionment are thoroughly discouraging 'incentives'.

Actions such as this on the Club's part will only lead to supporters feeling further disenfranchised and ultimately disinterested. That's how a club dies...


Great job Roy. I'm not a supporter of the protests, but you've just made this a hundred times bigger than it was.

I'm a Marketing Communications guy with a bit of PR exeperience - I'd be happy to help you out by vetting everything you say before you say it - god, you need someone.


I have never seen this number of replies about walsall and all negative just like the club, the football they play, the manager.

Whalley has always been a wally and will always be teh puppet for bonser - why hasn't teh chairman made a statement? faceless and clueless

Rob Perks

At a time when attendences are at an all time low, Whalley wants to ban people for holding a flag? He wants to ban people after telling us "if the fans dont turn up, we'll downscale".

We're turning up and your chucking us out! Sounds like your trying to destroy the club to me.


Is that ment to be a proffesional statement? does this man expect walsall fans to agree with him and keep on paying for season tickets, memrobilia etc? No respect for the real fans who care for the club and have the entitlement to give their opinions. Im sure 99% of all Walsall fans would disagree with the man, so its him against the fans (a losing battle eventually). Im annoyed about this and i dont even support the walsall, its just a disgrace to football fans nationwide. keep on protesting lads, up the saddlers.

Malcolm Crossman

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Monday's mini protest, this petulant and unnecessary outburst by Mr Whalley exemplifies the Club's long standing arrogance towards it's own supporters.

The Stewards did there job, the banner was taken down. End; or so it should have been.

Leave it there, man, for goodness sake; why alienate those of us who are extreme moderates and maybe, just maybe, have some measure of understanding as to why the Club is run as it is.

This episode ranks with the other nadir in public relations when, in a similar outburst not so long back, Mr Whalley had the affrontary to blame season ticket holders for protesting about the Club's ill conceived ticket pricing schemes.

All very sad, really.


Yet another PR disaster from Walsall FC.

Time & time again, the powers that be cut off their nose to spite their face. It's sickening.

What makes matters worse is that there are some people within the club (Dan Mole as a clear example) who work tirelessly to improve things....only to have this sort of drivel spouted by those who pay their wages.

The club is in a mess.

Please, Mr. Whalley - do the right thing and resign now while we've still got at least some people coming through those turnstiles.


I am now in my 58th year of supporting Walsall FC. Attending the vast majority of home games as well as some away fixtures. I have just spent £600 on renewing the two season tickets for seats I have had since the opening of the stadium. I have had many reservations about the direction the Club was taking for a number of years now but the comments from Roy Whalley really were the last straw. Although I didn't directly take part in the protest I did have some sympathy for it's message and to read of this attack on what I viewed as a dignified and peaceful demonstration - well, I feel that after all my years of support that I have been personally villified.

History has many examples of regimes which disintegrated once the populace found its voice. This may be the start of the end for Messrs Bonser and Whalley, if they were genuinely concerned about their workforce and the supporters they would go now.


Everyone who has any interest in football, not just Walsall, should turn up to Bescot and protest. The only reason I can come up with for Whalleys comments is to make supporters so angry that they pay to protest.


Lets box smart, lets have an empty stadium that is surrounded by protesting fans, singing for the life of our club and not supporting these idiots.

Every ticket we purchase funds Bonser.

Hate Bonser, love Walsall!!

Patrick Hadley

To think that Roy Whalley made his name by challenging the way the club was being run by Ken Wheldon and Jack Harris in the 1980s. What would he have said if they had banned Whalley from the ground because he was protesting about them?

If Roy Whalley does actually refuse admission to a season ticket holder, or to someone who has already bought a ticket then they should immediately contact Walsall Trading Standards. Roy will find that the terms and conditions he quotes are unfair to supporters, go against the official guidelines for the sale of tickets to sporting events, and cannot be validly enforced. He could be dealt with by the council for this under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Act 1998. The OFT issues guidelines about this which can easily be found with a computer search.

alun fidler

im with craig great idea ill be there Bonser,Wally & co have ruined this club and yet they blame the fans... Dont make me laugh they know whos to blame

God save the Saddlers

saddler d

I am one of the stayaways i havent been to any walsall game for 2 years, and im so upset the way these pair of idiots run my beloved walsall. I really hope the protest attracts hundreds of fans ban them all and see what happens when you are out of a job because you wont get 2,000 next season you idiotic man GO NOW YOU PAIR OF MUPPETS FOR THE SAKE OF MY FOOTBALL CLUB OR ELSE R I P WALSALL FC.


talk about lighting the touch paper roy.

we are your customers we have a right to show our opinions.

Charlie Cooper

Whalley should know better, but he clearly doesn't. He's now turned an embryonic protest into a mass movement. And not one person has come out and backed him. And he's supposed to be the brains behind the outfit.

Well run club ... don't make me laugh.

Darlo Saddler

I was buying a season ticket until Whalleys drivel.

richard evans

Roy that was an ill informed attempt to vindicate the actions of the owner over these years. Rather than come out with this statement it would have been better to try and talk to the fans and answer there concerns. rather than saying Jeff saved the club all thse years ago im sure the fans would rather hear what you intend to do for the future


I can't understand why they don't just leave....I mean there are investors lining up to buy Walsall...massive ground, huge fan base (at least for or five of them under 50) whats not to like.

Dave G

I have followed Walsall for 35 years but this latest tirade against the fans absolutely takes the biscuit. Take part in a peaceful protest and we'll ban you!!!

I haven't been for quite a few weeks purely because of the tripe being served up to me on the pitch. Some games it's all I can do to stay awake but at the end of the day it is MY CLUB, MY WALSALL. As long as protests are peaceful and non-inflammatory where is the problem?

It's about time JB and RW woke up and smelled the coffee - your time is over. JB - you've made your money out of the club now do the decent thing and ship out.


I'm laughing because this sad, sad state of affairs really makes you want to cry. Great idea for stay-aways to attend the last game of the season 8 May. Myself and a few others will be there to support OUR club.


Sarah Sutherland

Is this reverse psychology because now it looks like Saturdays attendance will be the best this season.

Whalley is insulting the fans who will still be there long after he has gone. I have only been to one (away) match this season due to financial reasons, and if this is Whalleys attitude then I am glad I have saved my money.


I'd love to see all the stayaways back for the next game with banners to protest. I'd be interested to see how they would go about chucking out hundreds of people. Now that would get coverage.

Coseley Sadler

An apalling lack of judgement by the Whalley.

Make those protests longer and louder boys.


thanks for all the extra publicty roy now do the right thing and go and take bonser with u how can you be happy with year after year of mid table finishes.

D Peake - stayaway

Well done Roy - another PR disaster. In a programme from last year we Saddlers were told Walsall were a club reborn - into what exactly?!!!

Stuart Lockley

I can't believe the comments made by Roy and if reported accurately, will only serve to further weaken our club.

I don't understand why Man Utd's fans are able to protest whereas a couple of people that staged a peaceful, non malicious protest are threatened and abused. If this worries Roy then god help him when there are a couple of hundread at the final game of the season.

I can't wait to see what happens next... I almost dread to think what depths the club can stoop to. Threatening to ban your supporters for doing what exactly?

Why don't you take this kind of action with people who use racist language or swear frequently or appear too drunk. Are these acceptable at Walsall FC?


When you think the club can not sink any lower with the fans they come out with this. I gave up going to games because of the way we are treated as paying customers. But thanks to Whalley it looks like even the fans who still go to games have snapped. Add another voice to the protest it will be worth giving Bonser £20 to let him know how we feel.

Jeef Boner

I bet Roy's hitting the 'report abuse' button next to every protesting comment above.

Shame on you Roy - you're in charge of growing the customer base, not alienating the little you've got left.


So the dummy's come out the pram again just because wfc board don't like being criticised I am a stayaway and have been for the last 3 years this situation makes me more determined not to return.

Chris W

How sad Walsall FC. I am an Ex Fan, I used to care, now I have a passing interest, so easily does the habit of attendance slip, having previously held a season ticket for 15 years with out fail.

Now banning the loyal fans who still care? Clever move! My money stays in my pocket now, and will do until I am convinced there is passion for success at the club. I don't mean £'s flung at the wall I mean hope, the feeling that the club wants to succeed!

Walsall FC do not listen to fans, they give no transparent information regarding the seemingly bizarre decisions they make.

For me,the last year of Richard Money's stewardship was the final straw. We sold our best players and did not replace them, the money was not reinvested, Richard Money stated his future was at WFC but would need assurances regarding reasonable levels of budget for the coming year.... the next day he resigned, what did that tell us about the clubs lack of ambition? Whether a correct perception or not the club did NOTHING to tell us differently, other than issue bland statements!

To me it appeared I was supporting a club who didn't have it's own interests at heart..... run by people happy to plod until retirement / sale. Whether this is right or not Walsall FC you did NOTHING to inform us differently, and still 2 years later having shed many more fans than the average club you treat your customers so badly!






Carry on like this and your business will die!


The latest pathetic, hysterical overreaction towards anyone who dares to question the 'Gospel According To Bonser'.

As others have noted, the sad irony of Mr. Whalley - who came to prominence as an activist protesting against a previous Owners plans for the club - adopting this ridiculous attitude only adds to the absurdity of the situation.


Shame on you Roy Whalley. Under your own "rules" you would have been banned from attending Walsall matches by Ken Wheldon in the 1980's.

I used to have enormous respect for you now I just feel your an embarrassment.

If you know who these protesters are how about you invite them to a meetng and discuss things like adults not squeel like a toddler having a tantrum.

The fans are not hooligans they are not fowl mouthed yobs they are men and women who love Walsall Football Club just like you do or at least did Roy. They have helped pay your wages for years show them some respect or you will end up with gates of under 2000 is that what you want?


Saturday will be very interesting. Either Roy 'follows through' and bars the admission of those "involved" (we all know who they are), in which case the jungle drums and messageboards will beat and sizzle louder than ever, or they attend as usual (bless 'em), and Roy is shown to be no more than a paper tiger. So, your call Mr Whalley.


Whalley-by the amount of replies on here, dont you see what you have done? You have made the hole situation a hell of alot worse. Some fans on monday didnt have a clue what was goin on. Now, every Saddler, even the stayaways, know whats goin on. You say you had 15 complaints about the flags? Now you have had 102 complaints about what you have said.

You have drove 2500 fans away, your lucky you have sold 1600 season tickets. In my opinion, you dont deserve to have that many faithful fans at Walsall.

Sell up, move on. Save the club. Find a buyer that wants WFC, you two obviously cant move the club forward any more. Yes we thank Bonser for saving the club 20 years ago, but that was 20 years ago, since then neither of you have done anythin!

You tell me how much we have spent on players over the last 20 years (including loans), you tell me how much you have made from seeling our star players (Dann, Fox, Fryatt). I bet we havent spent half of what we made.

Sell up, good bye.


Well done Roy. I was simply not attending because I had better things to do, and the football and atmosphere were tripe. Occasionally I'd still make a match. Now the only reason I have to attend a match is to protest against this ban on protest. I am now, officially, a stayaway until such time as there is regime change, excepting attendance to take part in organised protest. Great way to treat your customers. Go now, before this club dies.


Having read all the replies, I now know why I haven't give up on supporting the Saddlers. Our fans, what's left of them are great, absolutely fantastic. We need to stick together for the sake of our beloved club. I was there on Saturday and saw the banners and also saw no trouble whatsoever. I hope the protest is bigger and better tomorrow and someone on the board will actually see some sense. The only crime we are committing is being passionate for our club. Without us, there wouldn't be a club.


I think Whalley should make a statement (either on here or the official site) to respond to the 100 plus (gotta be a record?) posts on here.

I can't remember one of the posts defending Whalley. If that many fans (customers) have made the effort to show their anger then I think it's Whalley's obligation to respond to those concerns.

Do you still stick by your hard line comments Roy, or was it a case of speaking before you'd completely thought it out?

Love Walsall

This Protest has got alot bigger now at mondays game there was only a couple of banners and not many fans was chanting LOVE Walsall, HATE Bonser, i was one of these fans singing this, i am all for the protest, i will be at the games with my banner, i do highly advise for those partimers and ex walsall fans to attend saturdays game and show bonser and whalley they the protest has just gone to the next level

LOVE Walsall, HATE Bonser


walsall is a football club? i thought it was an ego trip for mr bonser ...were the market lads get together on a saturday and have a kick about

my bad just shows what i know

i thought it was a financially viable club? may be the fans should pop down to Portsmouth before protesting and ask if any of the fans there would swap positions ?

we all seem to want the moon on a stick in the midlands rather than be happy that we are in business



I am a west brom fan, but i am very sad to read this and the ridiculous stance by the people running YOUR club. I think they need to realise it is YOUR club and not their's like they think. Without your support of matches,corporate and market then they have no business.

You have every right for a peaceful vote of no confidence. Although you are likely to achieve little, i hope your support and protest grows, rather than more of you turn away from your local club.

Aa mate of mine, a prominent business man in the area, now 'supports' spurs ( Going to a game a season ) rather than support the Saddlers like he used to and has now resorted to keeping an eye on your results rather than going to every home game.

While i would never turn my back on my club - Bonsor and whalley need to understand the appathy they have created will be what causes job losses!

Up the baggies and up the Walsall /power to the people.



The communists Hitler/Stalin and Mussolini were all over throwed eventually by uprising groups. This is no different.

Bonser and Whalley will evetually be overthrown by us Walsall fans.

Together we make a stand!

Stand tall, stand proud!

I don't think I have ever read an press release from someone so heavily involved with the commercial activity of a football club that in one fall swoop his turned every fan from against the clubs management.

The former school teacher and once fan has made a massive PR blunder. I cant imagine the other half will be happy with this outburst against the fans of our once great club! This is now pressure time for them both!

A former 10 year season ticket holder I am now a very proud stayaway and have been for a couple of seasons.

I orginally had plans for the 8th May which I have now rearranged thanks to the article above!

I will be there for my club because my club needs me and our club needs you!!! I wont be there alone but with a number of fellow stayaways. I urge all stayways to do the same!

Walsall FC forever!!!


I was one of the early people to comment on this blog site.

I am delighted with the response. 110 replies and increasing!

However, I would urge people to demonstrate tomorrow or against Hartlepool.

The 8th May against MK Dons needs to be a day we just enjoy. Protests will mean the team players will not be allowed to do their lap of honour which will be asham for both the fans and the players. After all many of the players bring their kids on to the pitch to wave and salute the fans and regardless of where we finish in the league most of the players have tried hard and deserve some fan recognition.

I hope the press come in force tomorow to see fan power at it's best!

Old School Saddler


Stand tall, stand proud!

Acsolutely agree with WalsallWonder. I would be there before the 8th May be unfortunatly I can't due to prior commitments.

Walsall fans unite and join the movement tomorrow!

Walsall FC forever!!!

Matt Stackhouse aka Wendy Mumford

I find this outburst from Roy Whalley ridiculous. Criticising the remaining fans just for making their feelings known will only make matters worse.

Swampy Saddler




Please , Please can we have our club back !!

I wish so much we could do a wimbledon and start AFC WALSALL !!!

25 years and i gave up something i thought i never would.

A new low has been reached.

mick morris

and now we find true supporters banned from the ground even if they were not involved in Mondays protest. Neil Ravenscroft is a true Saddler who is banned for no other reason than disagreeing with our owner. If we cannot get rid of Bonser, we might deserve to vanish as a club. UTS


Mr Whalley and Mr Bonser, I'm a Gillingham fan, until now I thought we had more idiots running our club than any other, but you have convinced me otherwise. Go now, leave behind the mess you've made.

You are pathetic people.

Stand tall, stand proud!

Thank you so much Gillsfan. We are, asyou say 'in a mess'. Its been a long time coming although most have seen it coming for a long time!

We need change and we need it now. The soul of our club -usthe fans, need our club back.

Thank you!


any police officer or authorised steward may refuse entry to (or eject from) the Ground any person…whose presence within the ground is, or could (in the club’s REASONABLE opinion), consititute a source of danger, nuisance or annoyance to any other person.’

BONSER AND WHALLEY Are a nuisance and and a nnoynace to us..CANT WE GET THEM BANNED???



Stopped going because of Bonser 18 months ago, I don't expect championship or even league one football after following walsall for more than 30 years but what i do need to believe is the club are doing everthing they can to try to get there.

One thing I will thank Roy for is making me realise I still care what they are doing to our club, and the way fans are treated at the club.

Well done Roy you have got me through the gate tomorrow extra £20 for the pension fund, Now were do i get one of these flags.

Love Walsall Hate Bonser

Walsall till i die

Time to go Bonser dont you see you will never get the support back of all of us stayaway fans until you leave!!!!!!

Whalley you have just made us fans just realise how much we care about walsall fc and made us realise we need to take action to get you and Bonser OUT!!!!!!!!!!!



well done mr whalley i have not been to a home game this season but been to a few away games an the reason for this is because of u and bonsor after your rant i wont be entering the ground again till u are out u are a disgrace fans have the right to protest they pay ur wages.love walsall hate bonsor.

Peter Gilman

The only place in the western world where freedom of speech is banned is Walsall Football Club.

It is against ground regulations to point out that the club is over 2 million pounds in debt, it has lost its freehold to Mr Bonser and pays £1000 a day in rent.

Mr Bonser has become divorced from all reality, not just the financial version.

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