The club can’t take their non-football fans for granted. Conference and hospitality is a competitive game. You need to be good. As football fans, we have a far greater tolerance and to be fair there are around three thousand of us who would probably still turn up if we had to watch from an open end in snow having waded through chicken droppings to get in.
But there are some supporters who quite sensibly exercise their right to pick and choose and will take all of the options with what to do with their time on a Saturday, weigh them up and make a far more logical decision than some of us. And part of that logic will be whether they want to queue to get into a football match that might be thrilling or ■■■■. If it is the former then actually the half hour on the car park probably fades in significance. If the game is rubbish and you’re watching it shivering cos you got caught in a shower whilst queuing to get a ticket then you’ll be put off.
And some of the solution isn’t about the club spending more money. It is just getting things a bit more organised. The club shop has two assistants on a Saturday who between them serve one customer at a time. On a smooth transaction that is fine (one takes money and one bags up the stuff). But if a punter has an issue, a query or a problem it comes to a shuddering halt as both of them become occupied trying to help one person.
The trouble with the half time pre-ordered drinks yesterday should never arise. You know how long it takes to pour a pint. If there’s two of you on the bar and you’ve got thirty pints to prepare at one minute per pint then you need to start prepping for half time at 3:30 and not 3:44.
I don’t think this is about deliberately treating us poorly. I think it is about a degree of complacency that comes from having ran things at the Bescot for three decades and believing we’re pretty good on a matchday. There’s lots that is good but other bits that need to be reviewed and changed.