Good day and welcome to the FA Cup weekend. And today we play with Walsall against Leicester. Will we see a giant murder?
Walsall co-chairman Leigh Pomlett certainly hopes so and believes the Saddlers are finally a united club.
A takeover by American investors, the Trivela Group, has helped transform the club, which also bought its property from former owner Jeff Bonser last month.
Walsall’s resurgence on the pitch under boss Michael Flynn has them four points adrift of the top seven in the second tier, with two games in hand after replacing Matt Taylor 11 months ago with the club’s 18th-placed finish.
They have only lost twice in the league since September and taking on the faltering Foxes is a chance to show their revival to a wider audience.
“It was a broken club (when Pomlett came to the board in 2010). Jeff would argue otherwise, but it’s a much happier place than it was then,” Pomlett said.
“Trivela has been very sensitive about the relationship with the fans.
“Since I joined the board there has been a change in the club’s ambition and ability to achieve that ambition, rather than having ambition with no substance to actually achieve it.
“There’s a slim chance against Leicester, but there’s a chance.”
Last summer’s takeover marked a new and promising era for the club after years of stagnation and relegation to the second division against a backdrop of a fragmented and disillusioned fan base.
In December, the club also bought ownership of the stadium to end its rent payments – around £500,000 a year – to former owner Bonser.
“I made it a stipulation that you cannot buy a single share from me unless you were willing or able to buy the stadium,” Pomlett said.
“I wasn’t interested in speaking to anyone, literally not interested in speaking with anyone, who wouldn’t agree to facilitate the purchase of the stadium.
“You spend half a million a year and what for? The stadium would never be yours. Now we have it.
“When I took over from the previous regime, I said I would take us out of the second division, get the stadium back and then I’m done.
“I will have put the club in very safe hands and I think they will be at least in the first division.
“If Ben takes over more and he understands English football then I can sail off into the sunset knowing the club are in good shape.
“We’re sustainable, if you’re losing millions or an owner like me is pumping in millions, that’s not a sustainable business model.
“Sometimes you have to irritate the fans because you can’t do the things they want you to do, but you think as the custodian of the club to make sure you leave it in better shape than when you took it on.
“I just think some of the way football clubs are run is madness. We’re ambitious in a sustainable way, we’re not going to rush and suddenly spend 10 grand a week on a second tier player.
“That’s probably an extreme, but clubs spend £5,000 or £6,000 a week on very average players. It’s just incredibly stupid and completely unnecessary.”