Walsall are at the top of the Coca-Cola League Two and back in profit for the first time in five years.

Chairman Jeff Bonser revealed that Walsall made a net profit of #69,000 for the financial year of 2005-06.

Walsall aroused admiration for the way they handled their financial affairs after the collapse of ITV Digital, at a time when it would have been easier to have gone into administration.

"I was determined that we would not adopt this course of action," Bonser said. "Even in our most difficult times we have always paid our creditors and I was determined that this policy would continue."

Bonser said the club has turned a net loss of #679,000 during 2004-05 into a profit.

"I have always emphasised the importance of sound finances to any business organisation if meaningful and lasting progress is to be made," Bonser said. "This club is now back on a sound financial footing as a result of the difficult decisions and hard work that has been undertaken and I am determined that this situation will remain.

"After relegation last season, everybody at this football club is determined to ensure that we make an immediate return to League One at the first time of asking.

"On the field, the budget that Richard Money is working with is amongst the highest in League Two and, as a club, we will continue to develop our infrastructure and improve our operational performance where possible."

Walsall's bid to acquire new training facilities has been given planning permission by the local council.

After getting support from residents at nearby Essington residents, an agreement on a 33-year lease on the Broad Lane Pavilion site is near to completion and the Saddlers are now hoping that their new training ground will be ready for the start of pre-season training next summer.