Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester Utd (v Birmingham City), 29 September 2007

Considering that the nice folks at the Guardian have long used this site as inspiration, I took the step a couple of weeks ago of saving them the trouble to search and actually sent them links to my ongoing opposition to Manchester United's "automatic cup ticket scheme" which resulted in the return of my season ticket last week.

I note that Paul Wilson has either seen my piece or found out about this nonsensical scheme from another source and written an excellent article about it here.

This follows a piece in the Times a couple of weeks ago which I had to write to the editor to correct as it stated that "....United season tickets now include admission to Cup games..." (absolutely untrue) to which I received a very polite response from the journalist involved confirming that yes, I was absolutely right (his original piece said as much and his point was rather lost by the sub-editor abridging his article to fit the space they had).

The Hon Beverley Hughes, MP for Stretford has also written to the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport and asked them to get involved also.

I doubt if this will do any good in the long run, and my season ticket has already gone back, but if the negative publicity makes other clubs think twice about treating their fans as a bottomless pit of money and football finally realises that ticket prices are getting to unsustainable levels, it'll be all worthwhile.

Paul Wilson's article is excellent and makes some really good points. Now then. What can we get them to discuss next...?


Mosher said...

Too late - I've already decided should I stay at home for any length of time that I'm not getting a season ticket again. It's simply far too much money when I can go to the pub and watch every single game, or listen on the radio.

In Oz, I can see an Aussie Rules game for about ten quid in the good seats. The grounds are full, and there's no crowd segregation. OK, the game makes no fucking sense but it's fun all the same.

At the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen you can (if you're lucky) nab a ticket for the *terraces* at 11 Euros. Yes. Terraces. At a top-division German club. And nobody's died there. Admittedly, their top end seats can go for 21,000 Euros per game but for those with the money...

Screw it. I'd rather pay a fiver, watch a lower division team on the Saturday afternoon at 3pm, then go and watch Newcastle on the telly somewhere at whatever time the TV scheduling means we're now playing (cos it won't be 3pm on a Saturday).

LB said...

I paid 18 euros for my ticket for Hertha Berlin v Hamburg last season, and even less than that for NEC Nijmegen v AZ in the Eredivisie. Granted, the football was pretty awful at both games, but at least (in Germany in any case) you can have a beer at your seat...

weenie said...

Well done for persistence LB - I did feel sorry for United fans having to endure the recent cup game against Coventry.

I paid £14 to watch Bury vs Accrington Stanley this weekend. For some reason, we were not allowed to take any photos during play, only before the start, at halftime and after the match. I'm not sure what that was all about.

The football wasn't pretty but we saw some goals and the home team badly needed support.

Mosher said...

weenie - TV rights. The same reason that Sky can't show you any "non-live" football once the game has finished until the BBC has shown Match of the Day. You never know, you could actually *make some money* selling your photos on... erm... well. Yes. It's fucking nonsense.

My camera was banned access to Villa Park one year because the game was on Sky. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I'm struck by the thought that with TV money spiralling, and TV being many fans' only option for viewing top flight matches regularly, in the end would it matter if many thousands of seats happened to be empty each week... which I can't imagine happening.

It would be good to see the club have to defend the scheme in a highly public forum. Hopefully the drip drip of persistent resistance will continue and build.

Am glad that such abuses are the domain of only the higher end clubs.

And kind of connected, the shift towards a consensus that opposes foreign ownership will nicely play into the hands of those who want to peddle nationalist political interests through football. Ugly, ugly, ugly.