Often Partisan

To buy or not to buy: that is the question

Yesterday I took the plunge and renewed my season ticket for the 2011/12 season. Blues have reported online that season ticket sales are good, and that the figures for renewals are above what they were at this point last season. It’s a contentious issue on the messageboards though, and I thought it was one that is worthy of discussion.

As you can see from the above image, the queue at 10:30 on Saturday morning for renewals was quite healthy. On talking to the counter staff, they said it had been a similar story for the last three days, and indeed when I left and when I passed the ground an hour later on the bus there was a similar length of queue. It would appear that relegation hasn’t dimmed some Blues fans’ enthusiasm.

However, it’s not always a happy story. Often I read on the forums that people aren’t renewing because “the football is too boring, and too defensive”, or that they won’t renew whilst McLeish is still in charge. It’s not a new excuse either, I remember people moaning about Bruce being in charge, about TF being in charge, about Sully and the Golds ripping people off… there have always been reasons not to get a season ticket at Blues.

Don’t get me wrong; one thing I’m not going to say is that season ticket holders are better fans than non-season ticket holders. That’s not true at all; STH are more valuable monetarily to the club in that they’ve stumped up their money for next season – and in the Championship ticket sales are going to be more important than ever. But more valuable doesn’t mean that season ticket holders are better supporters.

However, it does annoy me that people make excuses for not going. To me, it comes down to if you want to go or not in the main; if you want to go you’ll find ways to afford it, if you don’t you’ll find reasons not to go. I accept that for some people it’s not possible because of distance or because finances are truly that tight – it’s a situation I’ve been in before myself – but I do believe that some fans need to be more honest in their reasoning as to why they don’t want to go to games. It’s not a shameful thing to say that you don’t want to go despite what others might think; there are no rules that say fans have to go to games. If you don’t want to go, just say that – be honest, be bold.

I’m hopeful though that days out like Wembley has opened people up more to how much they enjoy being Blues fans; yes, it was painful at times to watch last season but I also remember that at times it was exciting to watch. Wembley proved that Blues do joys as well as sorrows, and that the years of dross have been worth it. Next year is not going to be the Premiership, and you’re not going to see the dazzling stars of Manchester United, or Chelsea – but we should win more next season, and with a bit of luck next year’s team will be a bit younger, a bit more dynamic and bit more exciting. Football isn’t all about attacking the other team for ninety minutes and scoring a bagful of goals – you can take enjoyment from watching thundering tackles, great shotstopping and virtuouso passing displays; the gallows humour of the terraces, the tribal feeling of being part of a mass consciousness singing as one and the sheer joy of being there for that one magical moment. It’s not purely about winning, despite what Sky might tell you.

No one ever said supporting Blues was going to be easy, but there is no reason why it shouldn’t be fun. I hope more fans will be able to take the plunge and join the Blue revolution.

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15 Responses to “To buy or not to buy: that is the question”

  • Alan Richards says:

    A well-written & thoughtful article. I hope not too many players leave (I’m very glad Carr is staying),that we will be able to make more key signings from the Championship & maybe some good loan signings from Sir Alex. Surely he owes AM something as well as Brucie, who did have something from him last year. Or maybe Arsene Whinger will come up trumps for us!

  • McTabish says:

    Lets hope we get some firepower. Looks like Jerome may be off to Stoke for about £4m so that leaves us with McFadden and Jervis as the only forwards. I hear Forssell is available on a free…..

  • A very very good written article. I am a season ticket holder, live in Oslo and try my best to come to my second home Birmingham as often I can. We live an die with Blues and to be together with Bluenoses at the Tilton is worth every penny! KRO

  • almajir says:

    Jervis? He’s gone. I think you mean Asante.

  • chris says:

    i know it’s all rumour but if blues sell dann (lescott went for 22mill at age 27 , cahill rumour to be around 20 mill, upson went for 7.5 mill at age 27) for less than 12 mill plus add ons to about 18 mill .
    then sell johno for less than 10 mill plus add ons
    or sell foster for less than 10 mill
    i won’t be going all season FACT
    i want to see my club stand up for itself instead of getting screwed , it happened on the last two relegations.
    i can see these dummies selling our best assets on the cheap as they appear penniless fools.
    i expect some to go but make ’em pay the going rate
    and no sales to the vile either

  • mez says:

    nice blog. Reasons you mentioned are pretty much true. After years of going down quite regularly I dropped off in recent years. Mainly due to having 4 lads & finances I became a couple of times a season fan.

    . The thing is it’s easy to then get in a rut, watching games on the net for free & using whatever excuse first stopped you going down. Reaching the cc final & not being able to get a ticket bought it home to me that I had lapsed.

    I’d been to Wembley & Cardiff for all big games in past but I got what I deserved. So I made more of an effort went to all home games this calendar year, Sunderland apart (work) and guess what…refound my mojo for getting arsed to get down Stans. Finances was a consideration but was used as an excuse…I now take the lads down on a rota system if I can’t afford 5 tickets a game.

    The ease of seeing games on tv & internet definitely serve to let fans fall back on excuses that may no longer be valid.

  • Bluenoseol says:

    I managed to go to other grounds last season and enjoy their customer experience sitting amongst the home fans. I am becoming quite depressed by the “neanderthal” behaviour of our fans at away matches (constant stench of cannabis and loud foul language) and the overall customer experience at home games leaves much to be desired. On the pitch, we should be able to pull in over £30 million. If we retain 50% of the core of the squad, then in all honesty the majority of Championship sides shouldnt be able to live with us. My biggest fear is that the board will use the money to offset their debt.

  • Tony D says:

    Hi Trond!
    Good to hear from you. Regards to Martin and all our loyal Blues fans in Norway. I still look back on that pre season in Norway with a smile.
    Good article!
    Tony D

  • Jo says:

    Great article, more sorrows than joys over the years but that just serves to make the joys even more memorable, no? As for a ST I’ve never had one but really want one this season, and definitely spent more than a ST on individual match tickets this season just gone (including 70 quid on a wembley ticket). My problem is that I have nobody to get one with – most friends are v**a fans and family can’t commit to every week. My usual blues match buddy doesn’t want to spend the money on a championship ST – in short I’m stuck unless I want go on my own every week!

    • almajir says:

      Jo, I used to be in that position, as none of my family were into football. This is where football messageboards saved me, because I met people who were also wanting to go but who didn’t have many others to go with, and as such we banded together and sat together. Maybe the same could work for you?

      • Jo says:

        Thanks, I am thinking I might just get one and then no doubt I’d make friends with the people sitting by me week in week out – bit scary though!

  • Kizza says:

    Jo why don’t u just go to the villa with the rest of ur mates ? U know u want to !!

  • Carl Smith says:

    Great article.

    For many, going down the football is a habitual thing.

    I know plenty who no longer go because they now fill their weekends with different things. There are many different reasons why they’ve stopped going but money is a significant part. So the club can boast of it’s cheap odd games but an average lower cost to go is what is really needed if they want better overall attendances – so people can afford to go and do so by habit.

    Whether you enjoy yourself when you’re there depends on what you’re after. Two years ago we won plenty of games with promotion but many still moaned we weren’t winning by greater margins – and just about everything else. I was happy though, it was just great to see us winning – for a change!

    I’ll be buying my season ticket again but I really, really wish it was cheaper.

  • Alan says:

    Nice job again. It always amazes me why the no shows are the ones who do the most moaning. They always know whats wrong with the club and who is playing well without ever seeing a game. Why do the fans of other clubs read our site? Never done that myself what reason could you have.

    Good to hear the tickets are going well. Some fans don’t believe all the media tell them.

    My only fear is that Eck will go down the same road to promotion as he did last time. Good championship players a few loans and grind out results. What I would like to see is a team who does what qpr have done (without cheating) and have a group of players ready to play in the premiership.


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