Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Football Factory

It's not easy being a football fan these days. Leaving aside the walking dead at Ibrox, your average fan is seen as a cash register for most clubs. At Celtic we at least win the odd trophy, but in the main fans are asked to stump up for very little back.

Take the current situation at Hibs. Once they reached the cup final they could not get their season ticket renewals out quick enough. Hmmm. The catch was of course that to get a cup final ticket you had to either be a season ticket holder or buy one for next season. At the time of writing Hibs don't even know what division they will be in next season. Do you think a refund on their SPL priced season ticket will come if they get relegated?

I bought tickets for our game versus St Johnstone for someone last night, given the timescale I chose the "Print at Home" option, glad to be saving the "Internet Charge" that gets foisted upon us for, er, I'm not sure. Of course I was wrong, I was charged £1.75 for having them send me an email with the tickets in. Seriously?

Football clubs, and especially Celtic and Hibs in Scotland(wonder why it is those two specifically...), just don't get it. Hibs have torn the arse out of their support so much in recent years that Easter Road is like a ghost town for home games. Similarly Celtic fought tooth and nail against The Green Brigade for years but will happily rip off their slogans to sell season tickets and crap merchandise.

Any time I breach these subjects I get stick. Some folk cannot see any bad in the club they support and hate any criticsim of them. Me? I see Celtic as ours, the supporters, not some capitalist gang bang where employees are paid low wages by fats cats to churn out endless crap like some sweatshop factory in Indonesia.

When I saw my season ticket had risen by £30 it gave me a decision to make. Can I keep justifying this in these troubled financial times? I put the question out on Twitter and whilst some people said they were in exactly the same boat others lambasted me for even questioning the raise. That's before we even talk Newco.

Being an auld bugger now when I got taken to football growing up I never paid in anywhere. I was lifted over or squeezed in.Then when I was an adult and on was on the dole in the early 90's, there was an unofficial gate for dole moles like me where you showed your brew card and got in for cheaper. To this day, I've no idea if that was sanctioned or not.

Maybe as I get older I just moan more? That could be it. Sometimes if you get too close to thing you love you can see all its faults. That's certainly true. I would just like to see something given back to the supporters. We have put Celtic on the rich list for football clubs in the world for years now, it's our money in tickets and merchandise that does that, pretty much every other club are there because TV revenue is just handed over to them.

Someone said to me last week, in a friendly manner, "You're too militant to be a football fan"

He may have a point there but I see the alternative to not keeping an eye on things as what is happening at Ibrox right now.

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