Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett: I’m damned if this club is going to be finished by coronavirus
Chairman Leigh Pomlett is confident Walsall will emerge stronger from football’s shutdown declaring: “I’m damned if this club is going to be finished by coronavirus”.
The Saddlers’ League Two campaign, which has been suspended since March, is set to be formally curtailed in the next fortnight and there remains no indication as to when next season might begin.
Pomlett revealed Walsall are budgeting for a worst-case scenario of not playing again until October as part of a 12-month financial projection.
He told BBC Radio WM: “I am pretty confident. This club has been around for 130 years and I am damned if I am going to see it go under because of coronavirus.
“We will do whatever it takes to make sure football is there for the future of the town. I am confident it will be.
“We have done a 12-month projection of finance. Obviously we would like football to start again as soon as possible but we have left it as late as October to have football start in some way.
“Our projections have based around that and I am pretty confident based on those projections and the support we have been able to get.”
The financial plight of the lower leagues has been thrown into focus after it was claimed up to 10 clubs could soon find themselves in administration, with the government now being urged to put together a rescue package.
League Two clubs have already indicated their desire to curtail the season and will vote once the EFL framework for concluding the campaign has been approved.
Clubs were each facing an estimated cost of around £500,000 had they been required to complete the remaining fixtures behind closed doors.
Pomlett believes ending it early is in the best interests in terms of health and finance, adding: “In a world where there is no certainty at the moment, you have to try and impose some.”
He also praised the club’s stakeholders, most particularly supporters, for their help during the shutdown.
“The bank have helped, which has been great,” he said. “But the supporters have been outstanding. The players have made a contribution, the staff have made a contribution.
“The thing I really wanted people to do was step up to the mark. The supporters in particular have been really, really good. I have been really pleased with our response to the crisis.”