Evening everyone. So, the ticket prices for next season`s season tickets have been announced, and there is a bit of a rise. As someone who will benefit from the restructure in pricing to allow the U21 pricing level to cover up to U23s, I should be a man happy with the announcement. I`m not.
Let`s look at visiting the Reebok as a product, and as an experience. A visit, or going to a gig or a West End show. You need a quality product that is value for money, which generates memories and makes you coming back for more. I`m not certain that our product is of very high quality. The thing that confuses me is that the club believe that they can raise prices at a time when fans are staying away in their thousands due to the lack of value for money. Yes, before next season the prices had remained frozen for several years, but in that time we have fallen from European contenders to not the best team in the Championship. There may be more games in this level, but we`ve gone from facing Ronaldo to Albert Adomah (who? Exactly) and this certainly should be reflected in what we pay.
An idealised visit to see my football club would be to pay very little to watch my team win, in a packed out stadium that doesn`t stop singing from start to finish. I know that the reality is very different from this Hollywood picture of football, but does it need to be? I believe that the club`s objective when looking at ticket prices should be to try to sell out every game, and I find it hard to believe that this is actually the case. A stadium filled with fans that haven`t had to sacrifice a hefty whack of their disposable income to watch a team like ours would be happy fans indeed. Do you think that people would grumble so much in the ground if they hadn`t had to choose between the game and something else, only to be disappointed? I don`t think so.
Nobody likes to be in a half-full stadium either. There just isn`t the atmosphere at the Reebok that I wish there could be, and what do you expect with all the empty seats? Knock the price down and pack the place out. And just think about all the extra cash made from pies and booze. I`m just thinking out loud here…
In summary, I`ve talked about going to the game as a product, which it isn`t. It is a fortnightly pilgrimage; a religious experience that we cannot do without. The people in charge at the club are using this against us as they know many of us cannot bear to think about not having a season ticket. Swines. Well, that`s how the world works.