Archive for May, 2007

Manchester Great Run 2007

New PB – 54 minutes 42 seconds, which is 31 seconds faster than I ran it in last year (and exactly double the time of the guy who won it, lest we lose our perspective). I think I should have done it faster, but the weather was way warmer than last year, and the course seemed so much more crowded.

So Long, Old Trafford

Today was the last day of the season, the last day of my Manchester United season ticket, and the end, at least in terms of a regular event, of all this:

I hope I’m not going to sound like I’m whingeing. I expect I will sound like I am; after all, the team are champions, playing the best football in the country, and fielding at least one, arguably two of the most exciting players in the world. Most football fans in the country would love to have all this at their club, wouldn’t they? Why would anyone walk away from that?

I’m done with being screwed over tickets. My season ticket in 2007/8 would cost £760. This is a 14% rise over 2006/7, which would be shocking in itself. But over and above that:

  • My season ticket went up by 10% last season, and by 10% the season before. This is a 40% rise over the last three seasons, and you just know they’re going to keep on making similar increases. The only thing that will stop them is supporters refusing to pay it. This is the only option available for the disgruntled.
  • Last year’s 10% rise was explained to us by the club. They told us that the increase was necessary to offset the fact that United hadn’t actually done well enough on the pitch in 2006/7 (they didn’t get out of the group stages of the Champions League), and that revenues were therefore down and the money had to be recouped. OK, so firstly: you’re playing badly, and so we have to pay more for the privilege of watching you? Oh, thanks. And secondly: does that mean that if you exceed expectations (say, by winning the Premiership, reaching the FA Cup final and getting to the CL semis), should we then expect the prices to come back down again? Apparently not, for some reason.
  • Season ticket holders will, in 2006/7, be forced to join the cup ticket scheme. This demands a commitment by the ST holder to buy their seat for any cup matches played at Old Trafford. According to cup draws and successful progress, or not, in the cups, this could mean any where between 3 and 14 extra matches over the season, including the Carling Cup in which United would be certain to field a reserve team. (Although United have promised a price reduction for Carling Cup matches, when you take into account the 14% increase, this reduction brings the CC ticket down to just under the full price ticket for 2006/7. Oh, and there is no word on potential increases in ticket prices for high-profile games – as an example, the club unilaterally increased prices for the Champions League semifinal at OT this season. My seat would have cost £45 if I’d gone, compared to the usual price of £35.)

How desperate is the club to get cash in? They were the Premiership’s lowest (net) spenders last summer, and next season they will get around £20M more than they did this season from the new TV deal.

Did I whinge too much? Sorry.