I started going by myself from Birmingham when I was 13 until we moved away . I didn’t go every week to FP but I never went once with an adult. I doubt whether I could have afforded to do this today. The only walsall game I ever went to with an adult was the league cup game at the Hawthorns as my grandad was a baggies season ticket holder. I echo the sentiments on this thread - there are lots of things the club cannot control but this is an issue that is in its gift to do something positive about.
My parents hate football. I follow Walsall because I was born in Walsall, and as a reaction to school friends who followed the flavour of the month, which I couldn’t understand.
I only ever went with friends, never family. I still follow the club, but how many are we losing now? Seems like our fan base is contracting at above the average death rate…
In this 21st century is the issue the lack of an electronic turnstile system that would make the sale of concessions tickets a lot easier, linked to a customer system. A new system would make the control of concession tickets and enable the abuse of the system to be controlled. The problem for the club is the cost of installing the equipment, turnstiles & back office systems.
The other clubs have already done this which enables tickets to be printed at home or on phones, so reducing the queuing.
Thats Ok FUNK…I wasn’t sure whether I was a target!!! because in one sense you right about all us “early birders”. Until you started this thread I had no idea how the ticketing system worked for one off matches. It is completely wrong that youngsters who want to come to our matches should be charged more than those who can watch higher grade football. You will see that a large number of us support what you are saying and Dan Mole has been contacted. I know others on the board read this site so I hope we see a radical rethink next season. I would be happy for the 'early bird" offers to be less generous if the club are worried about revenue although if kids are not ben attracted to games there is little to lose.
I started going when I was 13 with a couple of mates and we’d always get our tickets from the club shop in town for a tenner and wouldn’t miss a home game. Each of us then took advantage of the free season tickets every year until we turned 18 and paid full price for that seasons ST and would get to most away games during this time.
All of us lads now only pick and choose what games we get to due to price/atmosphere and can say for every person I knew who had the free season tickets around my age, I never see at the games anymore like I used to every week. I’m 22 now and still see a lot of them in the pub every now and then and they still follow the club but just don’t have the motivation to get to games like they used to.
Shows there are fans out there who would get to the games if they had an incentive i.e. better pricing or atmosphere which will only come with getting more people through the gates
It was cheaper last season - for a comparable side view seat - to watch Championship Winners Wolves - than the Saddlers.
Whatever your allegiances, that is a ridiculous situation for the Club to find itself in
This is what I’ve been saying the last few years , the club have completely priced out the match day walk up fan. Yes it’s a decent deal if you take a child but that’s not where the volume of our support will come from.
Now tell me I’m harsh but Mole is not in the position to strategically position this club , he’s out of his depth. The club need to employ someone who can restructure the ticket policy and attract new blood.
This is the problem all over.
The assumption (not unreasonbly) by the club is the new support should come from the local area.
We all understand that and the intent is good, especially with regards to youngsters.
However, there are lots of people - and this thread confirms it - like me.
We have far too much money and sense to live in Walsall anymore.
Rather than try and retain us, they are making it more trouble than its worth to attend.
I’m sure that is not their intention but this is what is happening.
I’m already faced with a 100+ mile round trip before we start.
There’s no food facility at the ground worth speaking of, so we have to factor that in.
I’ve not mentioned parking, as that’s the same for every club, but it is a factor too.
Then there is the chaos of the ticket purchase / collection.
(If I can know far enough in advance, I get them sent to my house, but that’s not always possible)
There doesn’t appear to be any discernable advantage in phoning in advance for tickets to be collected.
I’m paying £24 for me and my lad to attend, as stated above.
We don’t even know if that’s good value for money or which stands that pricing applies to.
Those are my thoughts too. I confess to never having searched too widely for ‘offers’ on the website, simply went to the eticketing site and tried to find two seats - one for an adult and one for junior only to be presented with nothing that represents U12 free or £2 for 13-18.
If all this is true, and the deals ARE easily available then that resolves a few of my gripes. Just not sure they’re advertised or easily available.
This has been an issue for well over a decade and more. I used to try and save 2 quid by buying a ticket at the club shop in town, a round 60 minute walk. It worked out OK as I could do other stuff in town (and issue in itself nowadays) and I could justify the cost to turn up for the game on the day (another 90 minute walk there and back).
But steadily the price hikes have mounted up, so it’s now crept over 20 quid. That’s a fair amount and there’s plenty of other stuff such a sum can go towards. That’s a bloody good meal and night out, or fresh stuff for whatever hobby you might be into.
There have been times where I’ve taken the latter option, not through any loss of affection for the club, but simply as a result of weighing up our form, the appeal of the opposition and making a choice. I can’t say I’ve felt that bad about it.
A few months back I visited a friend in Derbyshire. I bought tickets on-line for Sheffield United v Forest and Derby v Cardiff. Ticket cost was 14 quid and 10 quid. I told my family and they were amazed.
The club’s living in some sort of bubble of willful ignorance. I hope they get to read this thread.
Like a lot of elements of this club, the marketing is sooooo far behind the times it’s comical. And I’m speaking here as someone who works in marketing and communications for a company that also has dealings in the sporting world.
“Go support someone else then” - remember that old Bonser chestnut? That whole philosophy seems embedded into the fabric of the club. Remember last summer when the bogs getting a lick of paint and some actual hot water basically got a press release? That sums it up. Like that’s them making their big strides towards making the matchday experience better and we should all be thankful. Bottom line is they won’t take any risks or do anything to bring the running of the club up to even vaguely modern standards - from safe standing, to overhauling the ticketing system (the queues on matchdays are hilarious), to sorting out the catering.
The club just rely on those hard cores. I’m 20 years and counting now so there’s no chance I’ll be changing allegiance but the proof is there that attendances are falling. Just look at the state of the average age of our supporters now. If I worked for the club, alarm bells would be ringing very loudly.
From this we can safely assume that for the group of fans we have identified it is cheaper not just in our local area but at most Championship clubs? That is just astonishing - how can this be justified?
The amount of issues highlighted in this thread is mind blowing - but not surprising.
I missed only one of the first eleven league fixtures of this season and I think an underrated element of the attendance problem is the match day atmosphere.
I used to think it was nonsense until I started attending away days more regularly. It’s absolutely night and day to the atmosphere at home. I’ve seen us 3 - 1 down to Charlton towards the end of last season and the fans are still singing and creating an atmosphere. Nobody is asking you to sit down or give you dirty looks.
I’m all for family friendly atmospheres but we have a stand dedicated to that. If you don’t want to be rowdy or hear swearing or worry that your kid can’t see go in there. That is where my Dad took me when I was a kid. I wasn’t stood in the Gilbert Alsop stand moaning that I couldn’t see.
Completely agree with this. But even at home games I’ll be stood in Block 4 in the lower along with every body else standing and can’t even get a peep out of these a lot of the time so might as well be sat down
Still don’t understand why we have 3 different groups that sing but are no where near each other, why don’t they all just come together across 2 blocks?
Our Chairman would rather bleed the hardcore supporter to stump up the majority of the club fund’s (cause he knows we would always pay ) rather than risk reducing price’s to encourage new support in case it doesn’t pay off .
The way the crowd’s are dropping I think he and his sidekicks need to re evaluate
That’s what I’ve suggested a couple of times, we need to get together and do it or it’s not going to happen if we just Keep moaning about it on here we need to take action
Been reading all the ticket pricing concerns, does anyone really think that our illustrious chairman and his cronies care! When does Bonser ever connect with the fans? As someone mentioned earlier Dan Mole is way out of his depth, does he have any qualifications relating to his role? He was just a photographer that supplied photos for the match day programme and video footage of games ( I’m told ) then all of a sudden he’s club secretary? Also informed he’s a vile fan!!!
Of the many gripes there are with the club I’m astounded with the grief Mole gets. The commercial side of the club, the side he’s heavily involved in, is extremely lucrative at our level and extremely well regarded.
I know, I know, people hate “The Venue” bullshit but our hospitality and events packages are well regarded.
Does anybody really think he has any input on ticket prices? Or match day offers? Of course he doesn’t. One man decides the prices and one man decided that the fans don’t matter.
Think most of these in each section are ST holders so unfortunately can’t see anything being done until at least next season but something definitely needs to be done