It’s that time of year again where the fans love to take a punt on season ticket sales. The club put out a positive statement a few weeks ago stating that season tickets are 50% up, there are also informal noises being made that we have already sold more in total than we did last year and that there are 700-800 new ST holders. On the flip side some people haven’t renewed stating financial problems or not liking Bob’s football as a reason and we’ve got a right old debate going on at the TNS forum on this very subject.
Let’s face it, the acid test always comes just after kick off at the first home game of the season and I think all of those of us who do attend home matches can do is keep our fingers crossed and look around us when we get there.
There was nothing more soul destroying than Bobby’s first home game in charge. The returning hero making his bow after a fine 2-0 away win at Villa and what does he get: a 16,000 crowd including 5,000 Wolves fans with the home ends looking 1,000-1,500 light compared to the previous year.
Now I know we tend to ebb and flow with the Martinez arguments on TNS and indeed this is the case on many of the other Wigan Athletic sites, and to be honest what was served up that night was dreadful and justified the stayaways. But unless they were psychic, or judged their views on pre-season friendlies then how did they know to stayaway, especially given the previous game at Villa?
Again, I don’t want to go down the Bruce v Martinez route but I think a lot of people had made their mind up before Bob came in the preceding 6 months. With a side poised for the top half, we flogged Palacios, Heskey closely followed by Valencia and Cattermole and petered out a season which promised so much. I think people are a lot more informed now about the financial health of the club but there was a lot of anger in January and that summer and a realisation that we will never ‘kick on’ as a club in this horrible greedy league we are in.
Although there are still some people who like to make noise, for example, when we are selling a player I think more and more people have now got to grips with the clubs’ finances and finance in football in general and understand the situation we are in. Personally, I started looking at the club’s finances two or three years ago and it was an eye opener for me at the time I admit that much. It is again, very disheartening when you realise that our revenue means that we can’t even compete with the clubs half way up the table let alone the ones near the top and the likes of United signing and being linked with Young, De Gea, Jones etc and Liverpool splashing out nearly £105m in the space of 6 months or so.
We need to somehow re-engineer ourselves as a small, gutsy, passionate football club capable of matching the big clubs and it’s going to be hard, as springfield says technology has given an even easier opportunity for an already bunch of incredibly lazy bastards to sit on their arses in the pub and become an expert rather than pay through the turnstile. It’s also going to be hard with the way we play, you can out-Stoke Stoke by getting bigger, grizzlier, more physical players but you can’t out-Barca Barca by getting better passers and more skilful footballers.
And of course, as we know, from a spectator perspective, Bob’s style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, if the way we finished the season doesn’t drag people back nothing will. And whereas it’s unfair to expect every game to be like West Ham, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect a much better standard of performance than we witnessed in several home games last season
So how many season tickets have we sold? The truth of the matter is that only a handful of people within the confines of the DW Stadium know the answer. If we are somewhere close to 10,000 then it would be great to hear a story that this number has been breached. No need for year on year comparison, just a new story to that effect. If, as is more than likely we have sold ‘slightly more than last year at this stage/in total’ then I suppose that is again good news in this climate.
After the last couple of years though, the signs are there that there could be a bit of upward momentum which is great news and it would be fantastic to start the season with a bang with 15,000+ Wiganers cheering on the Latics and greeting them like heroes for their late efforts in saving us from relegation last year rather than all the noise coming from 4,500 garish yellow Canaries, Mick Dennis and all. All that those of us who have already got their season tickets can do is keep our fingers crossed that this year sees a bigger uptake, let’s take each proverbial game as it comes and build from there…..
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