Friday, 27 January 2017
Imps in the community.
After the reality check that was Barrow, City must now put themselves to the test once again in the FA Cup and this certainly will be a test. I want to mention firstly though a gesture from the club that wasn’t greatly publicised and that was the subsidy the club made towards travel to Barrow meaning that fans wishing to travel on the official coaches paid just £5. More of that please.
The FA Cup has caused some angst amongst the fans or at least the sale and allocation of tickets has. The club got some grief last time when they allowed ten tickets per person once they went on general release. This time they were more modest although a voucher system rather complicated things. I wouldn’t criticise the club for a moment for maximising the potential of league games by offering a voucher for a popular forthcoming match along with a match ticket. I did think they slightly shot themselves in the foot in the sale of Dover tickets by announcing at about 4.30pm on the Friday that cash sales would not be allowed for the Software Europe and COOP stands giving the impression that these were virtually sold out. In the event there was plenty of room, certainly in the COOP stand.
I would imagine the problem was there had been a certain number of Bob’s Bakers Dozen and Six-Pack tickets sold, even more so when these tickets were deemed to give priority for a Brighton ticket and the club, not knowing how many holders of these tickets would turn up on Friday, had to make allowance for all the holders to arrive at once. The sensible course would have been to announce that those multiple tickets must be handed over for an actual match ticket in advance and then the club would have known exactly how many tickets they had sold but of course that would have added to the burden of an already beleaguered ticket office.
It has been said elsewhere that communication and clarity would have helped greatly and I can only endorse that. For example, when selling a large number of tickets surely the ticket office should be open each and every day of sales for set hours and those hours should be observed. I looked on the club website yesterday and the opening hours for that day were not set out, even with fans having sat outside all night hoping to buy a ticket.
The sale of tickets ended in something of a PR triumph though with a very dapper looking chap, resplendent in a sheepskin coat being featured on the clubs twitter output purchasing the last ticket which was being served to him by none other than Clive Nates, himself resplendent in a City scarf. Publicity gold.
Years of writing with an editor has taught me to keep things brief but I just want to say that now is the time for the club to seriously consider where it goes now in its relationship with the fans, particularly in the way it communicates with them. This will not be the last big game City will play this season, we hope not certainly and with big games come bigger problems. I’m backing the club to find a way around them.