web analytics
11 Comments

Fans being told: ‘Get on with it or get lost’

ClaretandHugh’s northern correspondent Terry Robbins explains why he  – as a Manchester city fan for years – has deferred his season ticket for this season and explains why believes clubs are showing their fans the door!

By Terry Robbins

Less than a month ago, fans came together to kick the planned Super League into row Z, momentarily reminding those in charge, the game still belongs to the people.

Fast forward a few weeks, however, and it appears some of England’s biggest clubs are now all but showing us the fans where the door is!
The Irons, along with Arsenal, Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs are, under the flimsy excuse of the Covid pandemic, introducing a technological ultimatum which is sure to lay waste to generations of punters finally deciding they have had enough?
Let me declare as a Manchester City fan of four decades, it was bad enough seeing my club throw their lot in with the very teams who have spent the last decade conniving behind our backs to stop us joining the so-called elite.
I took some form of relief from the fact we were the first club to formally quit the closed-shop nonsense, collapsing it like a pack or cards from within.
But it is now clear 17 months without no fans in stadiums has led to Premier League boardrooms up and down the country deciding to test the loyalty of fanbases once again this summer.
The aforementioned clubs above have deemed it necessary to implement that access into their grounds next term will be via mobile phone only, courtesy of a QR Code.
There has been no shortage of scorn from City fans, many of them older punters contacting supporter services to state they have neither the smart phone or the technological confidence to comply.
All they want to do is use their existing smart cards at the turnstile scanner, without the added stress and understandable fear which now comes for some in a global pandemic world?
Others have complained they share their season ticket with family members and friends when they can’t attend – so how can they pass on a QR code which is non-transferable from a Google or Apple Pay wallet?
Club responses have included, print at home tickets, but only by special request, which means you are  outta luck if you happen to also not have a laptop or printer!!
At this rate, fans will effectively be paying double for their season tickets – just to make sure they have the tech to enable them to get through the door in the first place…
Throw in the government planning to introduce proof of a double jab to gain entry from the start of September, and fans will need to start queueing at 10am on a match day for stewards to complete the necessary checks.
I know of plenty City fans who have chosen to take up the option to defer their season ticket until next summer – granting them another 12 months to see how Covid continues before losing their regular seat for good.
It was good of City to offer that in these  uncertain times, but the way things are going, many won’t bother to return.
Poor TV scheduling, VAR, Covid, attendance ballots and now this. No wonder my old man, going to Maine Road and now the Etihad since 1960, told me he doesn’t have the energy or inclination to get with the programme this summer if this is the way football is going.
Truth is, we all know our clubs want to monetize you as a customer and what better way to do it than have you all scanned in and spending via tech?
Nobody disputes the world is changing fast, but let’s not forget huge swathes of people who have supported our clubs for decades, only to be now told they really  don’t have a choice in the matter.
Get with it, or get lost.
Another not so super idea, eh?

Click Here for Comments >
 

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

11 comments on “Fans being told: ‘Get on with it or get lost’

  1. Can I ask an honest question here? What’s the issue with queueing up to get a ticket on match day if you don’t have a phone that can be used to get you into the ground? My Grandad, years ago, with arthritic knees, used to do exactly that at The Boleyn. Excuse my ignorance if I’m missing something

    • old people in the rain tend to get ill. paid for season ticket and haven’t got one

      • Well said Terry. I queued at Upton Park since the early 60s. ( bunked over the wall a few times!!) Rain, shine, all weather’s. My point is through my own choice no one else’s, I don’t like the new ground and gradually stopped going. The less I go the less inclined I am to want to go. You lose it if you don’t use it. Old’uns will gradually be replaced, but who/what with?
        And before anyone starts banging on about ” part time supporter” I’ll back my attendance history against anyone. Home and away.

      • Excuse me Hugh but not all “old people ” are decrepit and past it.
        I’m 68 cycle 100 miles a week and can work a smart phone

      • Ok, so they paid for something and now aren’t getting what they were told they were getting. That’s obviously not right.

        If this was postponed for a season and then introduced giving the fans a choice whether to renew or not based on this new method of entry, would that make people less upset? Or alternatively people with disabilities, over a certain age or with difficulties using this new system could still use a card and everyone else their smart phones, is that what happens at Liverpool and Utd? That seems fairer

      • Too right, Hugh. Our ticket office doesn’t have the best of records anyway. I know there are more than 1 ticket stations at the ground but they should be allowed direct access like everybody else at least for the coming season. It’ll give enough time to reach a solution and not just for the older gen fans.

  2. Well said Northern Terry, perhaps all fans should unite to kick this discrimatory system into the long grass just like the Super League silliness!

  3. Well said Terry. I queued at Upton Park since the early 60s. ( bunked over the wall a few times!!) Rain, shine, all weather’s. My point is through my own choice no one else’s, I don’t like the new ground and gradually stopped going. The less I go the less inclined I am to want to go. You lose it if you don’t use it. Old’uns will gradually be replaced, but who/what with?
    And before anyone starts banging on about ” part time supporter” I’ll back my attendance history against anyone. Home and away.

    • No-one’s disputing your attendance record John. I loved going to the Boleyn too. Access to LS is time consuming and laborious. But it’s still WH.Eventually us oldies will be replaced -that’s life. Anyone know what the waiting list for season tickets is now. They don’t say on the official site. Used to be about 48,000.

  4. Surely this situation for consumer laws?!

    We have paid for our season tickets and now being told we are not going to be given one.

  5. Sorry Terry. Fings aint what they used to be. We all hanker for the days when life was simple, we were enchanted with life and knew all about the football. Days when we had spare income to support our passion. Now, we also think that we’re entitled to reside in the armchair of venerated senior supporter expecting respect and reduced prices. At the old places, we could climb the walls, knew the bloke on the dodgy turnstile, knew the bloke on the ‘special’ gate, all the dodges. Best thing was, we could just turn up, pay our money and go stand somewhere. If we didn’t like the people around us, we stood somewhere else. Can’t do these things anymore. Soon we won’t be able to get discounted tickets and farm them out to others. Oh and the England game – there’s enough of us – let’s rush the gates – there’s room inside – they won’t be ale to stop us.
    Seriously, would be much better to have photos on a card. Lost your card? Give details and get the OK to enter. Would agree with that. Can’t agree with the old soldier comment that the clubs are being unfair with ‘Get with it or get lost.’ That’s life.
    COYI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *