It doesn't really pay to show contempt for your customers. It's a lesson that Ryanair learnt. I refused to use them, but once they changed their attitude, I took a flight with them recently and was very pleased with the whole experience, so I will fly with them again.
From what I understand of Roland's businesses, he has not dealt with individual consumers but with industrial customers. He therefore perhaps does not appreciate the importance of good customer relations. He also evidently regards hard core football fans as a bunch of saddos with inadequate lives.
It is evident from Katrien's recent interview in French, and from some hints in the latest Voice of the Valley, that there is a developing narrative that too many supporters at The Valley are ageing perennial grumblers who are rooted in the past. There is, of course, something in this: think about the Bloke Behind Me or Derek from Dymchurch. As the old Australian joke goes, you can always tell when a British Airways plane has landed because the whine continues after the engines have been switched off.
Nevertheless, little purpose is served by offending your core customer base. Of course, the club needs to attract younger fans to secure the future, but they are not going to be enticed by the current performances on the pitch. I feel sorry for 'Scott Charlton' [sic] who was stated by the programme to be attending his first game at The Valley yesterday.
In his editorial in Voice of the Valley yesterday Rick Everitt has some prescient analysis of the competition we are facing in our hinterland, not just from West Ham United at their new stadium, but also from reviving non-league clubs. Roland needs to focus on the customer and not just through gimmicks like the fan sofa.
An analysis of the club's financial results and threats to their catchment area from their rivals is provided by our sister site: Football economy