How much do you spend following the Iron?
Feature by The Ref
Updated Saturday, 13th September 2003
We recieved this contribution from someone calling themselves 'The Ref' and who are we to argue with someone this angry? We thought we'd best print it if only for our own safety...
Now add on ten away games going by official coach. Now add on the price of a new replica shirt every couple of seasons and you could get a rough figure of around £5000. Staggering isn't it?
Wouldn't it be nice to get a fairly hefty discount on the above? Well get yourself on the board! For an initial outlay of substantially less than this amount (and a fair amount of glad-handing and party-line toeing) you could be part of the modern football classes with all the benefits that go with it.
Of course the directors know how much we, the LOYAL supporters put into the club - its all there in the accounts. But how much has each director put into Scunthorpe United FC? What percentage of this is in the form of a loan?
Of course, we get thanked for our support (Or should that be patronised by a passionless bloke with a clip board and microphone - no, not Dennis Norden) though this is for our vocal support. Our financial support is taken for granted. What are we going to do? Go and support Lincoln or Hull?!?! They know we will keep coming through the gates and some of us will continue to buy the overpriced replica kit (and then moan about it).
But how do they repay us? They ask us to buy a loyalty (?!?!) card to enable us to get a quid off the admission price (after raising the price by a quid on RELEGATION!)
This membership scheme by any other name is a foul and unjust rip-off of genuine United supporters. What benefits, apart from the above laughable discount, do we derive from the scheme? Certain 'exclusive' offers that if spotted in the Target newspaper would not bother your scissoring talents; second refusal on tickets for big games - form an orderly quewe there; entrance to the Iron Bar - We all like a drink before the game don't we? "Sorry mate, you can't come in, your son's not old enough".
Still, its got to be better than the old scheme hasn't it? That was five pounds for five seasons and it saved you paying 50p per game for a day membership, where as the new one costs a fiver for one season and saves you a quid a game, errr.
The original membership scheme, according to Don Rowing, was the result of discussions between the club and the police. Therefore it was all to do with security issues. The club won both ways; they had less to pay out in policing costs, plus they raked in the coin from us loyal fools.
Security! It was a great success if you listen to Don Rowing's version; less arrests, greater safety for supporters etc. As the wise one said, all the visiting supporters who got into the home end had tickets provided by Irons. He conveniently forgot that hardly anyone was asked to produce their membership cards on entry. He also forgot that there was never any trouble before the scheme. Of course not, its all about the money and if the club were questioned on the subject we would get all the stock answers, backed up by dull figures to put us dull supporters off the scent.
It all boils down to one thing; they are only interested in your money, if they could make enough money on sponsorships they wouldn't be bothered if we never turned up. The trouble is we will still be here when the shady grey suits are gone. All those businessmen with a passion for the clubs such as Tom Belton (Hull) and Chris Holland (Halifax) etc. One club men eh? Quick buck more like. It's time we had a voice within the club, but we know we'll never get one, at least not one with any power.
Next time you bump into a director, instead of tugging your forelock and mumbling platitudes, tell him how much you spend on United then ask him how much he spends on them. You may be surprised how much of a difference there is in your favour.
Note: We actually sent this article to the club not long after the publication of the first issue to see if they had a reply they'd like printing alongside. They didn't get back to us so we're assuming they didn't have anything to say. Our door is always open though.