The SW19 presses were stopped with a late night phone call from none other than the WFC Chief Executive David Barnard. Well, as you probably knew, I wrote a letter to him about marketing opportunities, for example club shops, ticket offices etc.
This is basically what he said:
– There are WFC shirts being sold through Sports Division (in Wdon and Croydon, as confirmed by SW19 last week), plus places like Ascot, Reading, Redhill, and – perhaps most tellingly – places near Gatwick and Lowestoft. The reason for this is when Brighton went to Gillingham, many people started supporting us (over Palace for obvious reasons), and indeed many have season tickets with us as well. Hmm, remember the Gatwick rumours last year? Makes even more sense now…. Also, Lotto “got a bollocking” for the slight cock-up in the launch date.
– The club have looked at a shop unit for the new parade of shops inbetween Centre Court and Wimbledon Theatre and the (now) Gilbey’s Menswear shop opposite Morden Sports in, erm, Morden for a new club shop (did you know that Morden Sports supplies the players boots? No, neither did I). Obviously they want it to be profitable, fair enough, but also they want to plug their Football In The Community scheme a lot more, in other words give it a sort of walk-in HQ. SW19 suggested that there are many (and I mean many) empty shops in Morden, something which Barnard was most interested in.
Perhaps the most interesting thing was the ticket arrangement. WFC are looking to “share” with Wimbledon Theatre for a ticket office, which makes a great deal of sense. They wouldn’t need to employ extra people and it would work well for both sides – for example, anyone buying tickets for Derby at home may also see something else at Wdon Theatre that they may like – plus DB knows the people at Wdon Theatre very well….. Chances are, if it goes ahead, that the home tickets only will be sold, at least for now. The reason is this : there is a great danger that the office will run out of away tickets at Wdon, especially for Newk where they’ve only given us 800 (for refurbishment, apparently, obviously that means the team…..).
Now, the SW19’s ARMY suggestion committee made the point that the tickets could be supplied pro-rata – namely, the thing starts off with home fans, the number of people using it is counted in comparison with SP, then the tickets are supplied accordingly (namely, if three times as many people use Wdon, then 3 times the amount of tickets are sold). Suggestions as a Season Ticket Renewal place (as suggested by SW19) and a ST collection point (as suggested by DB) were also mooted – a very good idea when you think about it, because it saves you having to trek over to SP and it makes sure you don’t rely on the post…… Also, all this will be done via Ticketmaster, so no problem with compatability. Of course, to make this viable, a massive advertising campaign will need to be done, simply to get people’s attention, but as DB said “you can’t know until you try it…….”
Other than that, it sounds very promising, for once, and an invitation to us fans to discuss the stewarding problem was offered. So things really are looking up. Now, how about a nice new stadium………
Oh yeah, and Robbie Earle’s cheek problems aren’t so bad – it’s only nasty swelling and he may be back against Newk. Personally, I’d rather play Jason Euell meself, but at least it could have been worse. Could play Andy Roberts (er….)