Thursday, 5 March 2015

The ticket price issue

I have had some difficulty in following the complexities of the season ticket price issue for next year, but it seems that what it boils down is that, despite the fact that the club announced that prices will be frozen, most people will end up paying more. This is seen as another example of the club misleading fans in a way that is counter productive.

All this will play into the narrative of the 'Napoleonist' group of former Valley Party activists and VIP directors who are engaged in all out hostilities with the Belgians. They consider that the club is displaying amateurism in handling a number of matters, despite staffing levels being higher than when we were in League 1.

Much of their ire is directed at Katrien Meire whom they consider lacks sufficient relevant experience to run a football club. As I don't work for her, I have no means of judging this one way or the other. However, it does seem to me that football is a very conservative sector of the economy, note the considerable resistance to the use of video technology to assist referees (there have been some awful examples of poor decision-making this season). Another dimension of this conservatism is the relative lack of women in senior positions. It does seem to me that Roland is at least prepared to shake things up a bit and challenge some of the prevalent conventional wisdom, e.g., about the necessity of agents (although Charlton have still made use of them).

There are certainly one or two oddities about the season ticket purchase process. When I clicked on 'buy season tickets' I got a 404 error, so I have printed out the relevant form. I notice that there is a £5 charge for using a credit card which I don't recall in previous seasons and it is not made clear whether this applies to debit cards, so it looks as if I will be writing out a cheque and putting it in the post. The April 10th deadline to retain an existing seat seems early to me.

It's not the Belgian ownership or the flaws in the network model that would put me off renewing, but the pessimism and negativity of many fans. Of course, all fans tend to complain about their own club, but sometimes I think that it is worse than usual at Charlton. On top of that one now has to do battle with people with whom one was previously on amicable terms over the current regime.

18 comments:

jonathan acworth said...

I will never buy a season ticket again at cafc until we have owners who care about the club and willing to spend money on the team.
I will instead buy a matchday ticket once a month from next season

alburyaddick said...

Wynn
I am a big fan of your blog , but I think you are generally too dismissive of the ' Napoleonist'
group as you call them ( not sure why?) I am sure that they are just keen to have the club managed professionally , communicate well and make progress on the pitch, which presumably is the same objective for all of us

The Cat said...

Why doesn't Jonathon Acworth do the club a favour and only buy a matchday ticket once a season, true supporters go to most games and support the team, the only thing that matters. The last 3 home games have been brilliant.

Wyn Grant said...

I call them the 'Napoleonist' group based a book that was published many years ago that was concerned about English supporters of Napoleon during our war with France, but generalised this to talk about people who were in permanent opposition. My belief is that some of these individuals would oppose any regime at The Valley, except possibly one involving Peter Varney. The objectives you list are fine, but it seems to me that some of them go beyond that in either demanding that Roland sells up or conducting a highly personalised campaign against Katrien Meire. She may or may not be efficient and effective, but one fan commented to me that the video of the 5 year ticket holders meeting was unpleasant with, as he put it, 'old men accusing her of lying'. I'm not dismissive of these people, I think they are a major influence, and providing they act with some restraint, an influence for the good of the club. But they risk losing the support of some of us if they go too far in their criticisms, at least at this stage. If the club refuses to have any kind of dialogue with CAS Trust, the situation changes.

Brian G said...

I find this debate a very complicated and depressing one. I don't like to think of serious dissent amongst the fan base but I can see why it exists.The club is not communicating clearly with fans on various matters and the commercial/marketing department recently made serious errors of judgement in thinking up, applying, denying and then admitting to the 'Score on the Pitch' marketing campaign. These marketing messes should be sorted out and a public statement made. However, unlike the very worthy VOTV members, I've never felt that I owned the club in the way that they understandably do. As I lived away from SE London at the time, I couldn't even vote for them, although I was tremendously proud to tell my friends in the Midlands of their achievements. However, except when I was very young and innocent, I've always viewed the club as a business, sometimes a very weak, poorly run business, and I have concerned myself much more about the playing squad and our results. Recent results and performances should have taught RD and the fans a lot in those respects. RD should have learnt that network imports need to be of a suitable standard and we should have learnt that not all such imports are poor players. The club 'paid' for Watt but may only have got him because of the network's existence and Bulot is not the useless addition that many thought. In addition, there have been some useful recent squad acquisitions from beyond the network, not forgetting that Igor and Gud came from elsewhere earlier. Like many fans, as a result I'm much happier about players and performances than I was this time last year. Charlton is not the quaint, old fashioned club that I grew up with and loved but, emotionally, Charlton is still and will always be my team, the team that I follow, but not the club that I own.

Wyn Grant said...

Thanks for your comment. I do agree that one of the most depressing aspects of this is disagreement among the fan base, leading me to fall out with people whom I have been on good terms with some time. However, I have never been under the illusion that I own the club.

WattO said...

I agree you with you Wyn, from the outside there appears to be a lot of angry, negative criticism of the Club's executive, which is not conducive to improving club/supporter relations. The owner of the club is under no obligation to listen to supporters or their various factions, in fact he might just wash his hands of them if the persistent whinging continues. And by the way, I don't know of any other CEO's that travel by train to away games with the supporters, you can not get any closer to the fans than that. She has only been in the job 14 months, and as far as I can see she is doing a pretty good job.

Brian G said...

I never thought that you did, Wyn, but I've met a lot of fans who seem to think that they do.

Anonymous said...

The "old men" in question are obviously of an age whereby they can remember when the club was second to none in terms of communication with the fans, and, admittedly because of the efforts of the fans in restoring the club to the Valley, we were priveleged to support a club with such an open attitude. Unfortunately those days and that regime are now long gone and people need to realise that they are not coming back.

Anonymous said...

At the moment the quality of the football being played is fantastic - including network players Bulot and Watt. Ticket prices are more than reasonable.
But then some people like being miserable even in the good times. I thought you meant Napoleon as in:
Snowball, Squealer and Boxer.

jonathan acworth said...

The reason i can only go once a month cat is because i have 3 little ones and have to baby sit most weekends,i do make it when i eventually get a weekend free i have taken 2 with me a couple of times this season and only got in for a tenner which is really good they loved it but because they under 6 got a bit scared when the crowd made a lot of noise lol!.
Let me add before i was a season ticket for 15 years at the club so ive done my time as they say,but i have responsibilities now to my boys so when i have cover i will come down by all means,but im not happy with jaminez in charge last time hense why i stopped the ticket and this new owner,i will only buy a season ticket again when i see money being spent on the team and a new owner come in.I must admit i have enjoyed comming this month the football is class luzon has made so much difference what pleases me is how the team are working for one another,what i would like to see is now dialogue from rd what his plans are to the club and will he spend in the summer because if he adds to this team in players like van damme,the beast and mpoko plus bulot again next year then i seriously think we have a very good chance of going up but the manager needs to dump players like wilson,harriott and church who in my opinion are not fit to wear the charlton shirt,so lets get them off our wage bill during the summer.

Sciurus Carolinensis Nemesis said...

Despite repeated categorical denials from a couple of noted ex-employee/Napoleonists that resentment and sour grapes are not the major drivers for their relentess bile towards Roly and his immediate predecessors, it all smells too strongly of precisely that. If their appeals/criticisms have appeared to fall on deaf ears what purpose is served by banging on at ever greater volume and in ever snarkier tones?
Do they see themselves and the club defamed and misused as did the founders of FC United and AFC Wimbledon? And if so do they see themselves garnering those levels of spectating and financial support? Three or four hundred others showed some level of interest at the most generous interpretation that's barely 4% of the minimum regular support at the Valley. With the change at the head of the trust it remains to be seen what momentum is lost. The noisier elements are rapidly taking on the role of the beardy mad bloke who rants at the passing traffic.

a2c said...

I will go again cos I ave faith in the new owner n all n really like the was e's gawn abahrt bringin in new players like Watt, JBG, Bulot n there playin excitin football n all. I agree with wot your sayin Sciurus, I reckon iss the negative boo boy types who are the real enemy of our gaff, thass why there lahd cos the rest of us are appy so every time theirn appear on message boards the rest of us muss come on ere to support the club, board, CEO, gaffer n players in wot there doin n ow well there playin n all. I would be appy to elp ahrt with an ST recruitment drive if anyone from our gaff is readin on ere.

Anonymous said...

How's that going to look like then?
"Woch footy dahn agh gaff for abahrt a monkey, giv or take, innit?"

Ken Jennings said...

Mr. Acworth. Who really gives a flying fornication whether you purchase another season ticket or not. You are pathetically playing to the (wrong) crowd. We have an owner (and CEO) who cares about the club and both have been instrumental in spending over the budget to keep us in this division.
I am frankly astounded at how important you believe yourself to be.
Anyone would think you were part of the former "In crowd". You know - the ones that are now complaining about 'communication' from the club because it is not exclusive to them like it used to be. That's right. Our current CEO does not find them 'Special' and will willingly communicate with any of us.
The worst thing about our club right now is you bunch of saddos.

jonathan acworth said...

the owner wants to sell at 35m i think someone will offer that over the summer

Anonymous said...

you need to seek urgent medical attention

a2c said...

I agree with all wot your sayin Ken. I can't understand why there so against a new owner who's investin dahn our gaff in the pitch n trainin grahnd, makin sure the young players are played, gettin good players in like Watt n who as appointed a new gaffer who is gettin results n turnin things rahnd. Some of them so called fans need to take a long ard look at theirselves cos if we do wot theirn want, CAFC will go into admin dahn the divisions into the conference. Thass not wot most fans want n there aint any millonaires ahrt there who are doin as well as the current owner so less be appy with wot we've got juss like I am n support the team n players.