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Leigh Pomlett: I left nothing to chance with Walsall sale

Leigh Pomlett says no stone was left unturned to ensure Trivela Group were the right people to take Walsall forward and ‘nothing was left to chance’.

Walsall co-chairmen Ben Boycott and Leigh Pomlett
Walsall co-chairmen Ben Boycott and Leigh Pomlett

Trivela have taken a controlling stake in the Saddlers after a year of talks, with the American firm’s managing director Ben Boycott serving as the club’s co-chairman alongside Pomlett.

Pomlett has agreed to stay on for four years to help with the transition – Boycott and the Trivela team still being based in the States for now – and says the process of bringing in the new majority owners was the most detailed he has ever been involved in.

“I’ve been involved in mergers and acquisitions for many years all over the world,” said Pomlett. “This was the most intricate, researched process I’ve ever been involved in. There’s been nothing left to chance.

“I’ve been very impressed with Trivela, and they’ve been very impressed with Walsall.

“It was complex and tough, but we got there in the end.

“Trivela’s philosophy is like mine. They care about the community and care about the club. They care about the longevity of it.

“This is not a quick-fix type of situation. This is for the long term, and that was very important.

“I’ve committed to sticking around as co-chair for four years to make sure that stability is kept. I want to make sure those plans Ben and I have are delivered.

“It’s not me chucking the club over and saying ‘Ben, you go and fix it’. This is us working together to get this football club (higher in the pyramid). Why are we not comparable with West Brom or Coventry City? We should be, and that’s where I want to be.”

Pomlett, now the club’s second-biggest shareholder, said it became apparent quickly after taking over as chairman in 2019 that fresh investment was needed to fulfil Walsall’s ambitions.

“When you’ve got ambitions for a football club that matters to you, you have to recognise how those ambitions can be realised,” he said.

“I recognised fairly early on in my tenure that I needed an investor to help me get this club where I wanted it to be. As Ben has said, top of League One and pushing for the Championship is where I wanted us to be. But to get there, in the time scales I wanted, I needed to bring an investor.”

Asked whether the need for fresh investment from overseas reflects the state of the modern game, Pomlett added: “I think so, yes. There is a lot more money in the game.

“Trivela is a company, buying 51 per cent of the club. It’s no longer a one-person or individual game, it’s companies.

“I needed a company to come alongside Walsall in the shape of Trivela, as it brings a lot with it.

“The days of one individual owning a football club, I think, are gone.

“There’ll be some clubs who carry on like that, but I don’t think the future of Walsall is best served being owned solely.”

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