Saddlers Club future in doubt amid cash crisis
The future of the Saddlers Club – based on the land surrounding the Banks’s Stadium – is in doubt and could close, it can be revealed.
The popular venue, which is used for various events as well as home and away fans before home matches, shut its doors in April.
There is a winding down process going on and a significant amount of money is owed by the business to creditors, according to Walsall FC's chief executive Stefan Gamble.
Mr Gamble, who revealed the news at a fan focus meeting – which was attended by around 40 supporters – said the club will 'know more' when it looks at the venue's accounts.
“Everyone is aware the Saddlers Club is in financial difficulty,” Gamble added.
“There is a winding down process going on. They stopped trading on April 29.
“There is little information flowing our way. They owe a significant amount of money to creditors, particularly to the football club.
“We will know more when we get the chance to look at their accounts.”
Music and entertainment was regularly put on at the Saddlers Club including tribute bands and the annual Rod Stewart Fan Club's Big Weekend.
Before it stopped trading on April 29, a party was organised to bid farewell to the regulars and staff who work at the venue.
A post on the Saddlers Club Facebook page following this said that it is hoped it would be back open soon.
The post read: "On behalf of Vicky and Steve we want to thank you all for coming out and supporting the club last night we gave the club a fantastic send off and hopefully we will be back soon."
Meanwhile, Gamble insisted the long-standing stance of owner Jeff Bonser hasn’t changed with the chairman happy to remain at the helm but also open to offers to sell the club.
“His (Bonser's) passion for the football club has not waned,” Gamble said.
“He feels the direction we are going in is the right direction.
“He has said publicly if someone has the financial means to buy the club and they have its best interests at heart he will listen to those offers.”
Last month, Walsall fans won a bid to protect the Banks’s Stadium after being granted legislation to list the building as a community asset.
The application – made by Walsall Football Supporters Trust – was given the green light by Walsall Council and means the group must be notified if the ground is to be sold.
They will then have six months to put together their own bid for the stadium.
Assets of Community Value (ACV) can be granted on a building or land if they ‘further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community’.