Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The good news first, a great win for Rangers last night, Norwich are no mugs and to actually win the game after going down to 10 men on 25 minutes was a hell of a result. It's far more the mark of a team that actually achieves something to win a game like this 1-0 compared to battering lightweight opposition 4-1 at home as on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the club have stepped right in it with recent price increases. The timing is particularly bad, there were increases during the summer, but these had been taken on board and were overshadowed somewhat, if not completely, by the team's good start on the pitch. If you're not familiar with the story, last week Rangers suddenly announced that they were going back to categorising games as A, B and C, with £5-£10 increases for A games compared to the prices announced pre-season. The first of these "A" games is Derby County (hmm) on Saturday week. County have, quite rightly, dug their heels in about their fans being charged £40 to watch a Championship game and this has brought it all out into the open (it's not quite so bad for home fans because they have cheaper seating options and many, like me, have season tickets anyway).

The best seats in the ground are a ludicrous £50 for this game, and while there are only a handful of them, this allows the press to print half-truths like "the club have announced a hike in matchday tickets which will see pay-on-the-day fans charged £50 for a 'Category A' match. " (The Mail) [1]. In this case, don't blame the dog for biting you - that's what the Mail does, and the club have let it happen. It's a huge PR black eye for the relatively small extra income it will bring in and I hope that the club see sense and reverse this decision ASAP.

[1] To be fair, The Mirror did have the decency to point out that this was for "some seats".

Update 22/9 : One interesting footnote to this : Derby did something similar last year, albeit in the Premiership.

Resolution 23/9 : Derby's complaint was successful. QPR have responded by reducing prices is corresponding home areas (behind the other goal), but the other increases hold. Rather surprisingly, QPR have also announced that they've sold all the £50 tickets. I suspect there only were a few hundred at that price anyway, which really makes me wonder whether it was worth attracting the bad publicity in the first place.


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