Leigh Pomlett: Why Walsall had to sell star duo

Chairman Leigh Pomlett claims Walsall had no choice but to sell Zak Jules and Elijah Adebayo on deadline day to protect the financial future of the club.

Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett.
Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett.

Full-back Jules joined MK Dons in a deal worth around £100,000 while Adebayo, the Saddlers top scorer this season, moved to Luton.

Pomlett accepted their departures had disappointed supporters but insisted both decisions were taken with the club’s best interest at heart.

“I did not want to sell either of those players. I wish they were still part of the club,” he said.

“But there are economic realities we have to face and it goes back to sustainability and making sure we have a club in the future.

“It is a really tough decision to make. Those players were offered opportunities in higher leagues and wanted to go.

“It may be an unpopular decision but that does not make it wrong. Those that say we have made the wrong decisions, trust me, we have not.”

Walsall have been losing money on every League Two match while supporters remain shut out of the Banks’s Stadium, with the club being forced to make redundancies and introduce several other cost-cutting measures.

Pomlett described the latest cashflow outlook as “not good” and added: “Something had to give, frankly, to make sure we remain sustainable.

“In the case of our players only two attracted any interest. That was Zak and Elijah. We played it pretty tough in that we waited until the end of the window before concluding the deals for both players.

“My primary concern this year is to ride out the storm of the pandemic and make sure we are still here.

“That has been a very difficult thing to do and a lot of people have paid the price. There have been redundancies. There have been cost-saving measures in the club.

“We have had to do those things to make sure we have a sustainable club going forward.”

The Saddlers, who are five points adrift of the League Two play-off places, completed the loan signings of Max Melbourne and striker Derick Osei from Lincoln and Oxford respectively.

Pomlett added: “We did the right things for the club and we brought in players who will still sustain our push (for promotion) this year. I believe that to be the case, otherwise I would not have done it.”

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