Away The Lads
June 19, 2015
I am beginning to sense that we are all beginning to put our one season in the fifth tier and non League football behind us. The draw for the League Cup having been made and The Football League fixtures now released, the intense hurt is at last starting to heal.
Couple these events with a pre-season list that includes West Bromwich Albion, Reading and an exciting Arsenal Under 21 squad at the Mem and we are on our way.
It won’t be easy and we will need to maintain the hard work and togetherness that we showed last season; but with continuing belief we can do this.
I have noted an article in the Daily Mirror newspaper under the heading “Football Tops Hobby Table”. The article claims that watching football, cycling, cooking, followed by the gym and playing football are middle aged men’s top hobbies according to a survey.
Earlier this month at The Football League Conference and AGM, “How to Increase Attendances at Our Matches” was the subject of a very well attended panel session.
One club explained to us how they used the social media and celebrity supporters whilst another told us how they targeted families and students.
The Conference agreed that mid week games were a problem and that we should target families and the 18-35 age group, also visiting supporters to our games. So a focus on midweek fixtures and visiting supporters was the cry from those attending.
I always make sure we warmly welcome visiting supporters in our programme notes and wish them a safe journey home after games at the Mem. I also try to shake hands with as many of them as I can.
Of course, the issue of fixtures was raised and the ease and distance to travel to away fixtures on a Tuesday nights; two of the agreed targets were mid week games and increasing away support after all.
So with eager anticipation of our long trip to Hartlepool what do we find? Hartlepool away, Tuesday 29th September and Hartlepool at home on Tuesday 1st March! I guess the panel session came too late to influence the new seasons fixtures.
I will take every opportunity to remind those in influence and power about this issue and the feelings of the majority of conference delegates and football supporters.
I found the FL Chairman to be very welcoming at conference, aware of current issues, open to ideas and passionate about our game. Altogether a really decent guy. He replied kindly to me when I invited him to the Mem for one of our League 2 fixtures at the Mem this coming season and I fully expect to greet him at one of our games.
Perhaps Tuesday 1st March would be a good one.
Away the lads!
BR Supporters Club Director