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Aidan Smith talking Hibs

1875

Admin
In the Scotsman today.....

It has always been a transaction – involving your hard-earned cash – like no other. Buying a season ticket has just become more of one. More like a leap of faith. More like a shot in the dark. More like a game of Russian roulette.
And now? More like a charitable donation, perhaps. More like what the KLF did on Jura with their proceeds from pop. Or maybe more like a declaration of love which could yet be unrequited.
Never mind season 2019-20, who knows what shape or form 2020-21 will have, when it will start or even whether fans will be allowed to watch.

Under the headline “Season-ticket frenzy at Hibs” yesterday it was reported that 7,000 supporters had committed to the next campaign. They haven’t required the usual inducements of a new striker 
joining the club and a couple of favourites pledging their futures. They’re showing their unswerving loyalty to their team, come what may.

Isn’t this, and similar stories elsewhere, remarkable? Or a strange, special kind of madness? Maybe a bit of both.
Hibs, unsurprisingly, have been knocked out by the take-up. “We don’t know when we’ll be able to get you back to Easter Road,” the club said, “but what we do know is that your support means there will still be a Hibernian when that time comes.”
So much is unknown. The cost of wiping down their entire stadium – those dreadful loos included – could cripple some clubs. If your club still have turnstile operators, how do you socially-distance your way past him or her? And how do you keep the required two metres from stewards, programme-sellers, pie-vendors?
Of course these will only be issues if football returns while such restrictions are still in place in the country at large (unlikely) or the game isn’t required to make drastic changes to the business of putting on a match (unlikely).

And of course they won’t be issues at all if fans are prevented from using the season tickets they’ve so loyally purchased with the world in absolute turmoil. That is, if 2020-21 or least part of it has to be played behind closed doors.
Okay, so the turmoil eases sufficiently for fans to attend matches, but the two-metre rule is still in force. That will have to mean no one next to you on either side of your reserved seat – or directly in front or behind. Smellies... Park and Ibrox, normally both rammed, will look weird with all those spaces, though maybe not if you remember John Barnes as manager of the former and Bobby Williamson playing up front for the latter. For every other club this is normality.
But what happens if it’s a big match and everyone wants to be there but can’t? Would there be a ballot, meaning that even with your season ticket you could still lose out?
So much about post-Covid football, and presumably there will be such a thing, is unclear. Just about the only certainties right now are the direct debits confirming that fans, given the chance and God willing, will be in their usual spots.

The season ticket is a transaction like no other because usually you can return your purchases if they’re faulty or damaged or not to your satisfaction. To an extent you’re buying blind. Yes, the club lured you with that new striker but he could miss three straightforward chances in one game then follow that by fluffing four one-on-ones, leading to the manager not surviving the autumn. Or the club could win just four measly league matches all season. These things can and do happen.
But a season ticket is not like a washing machine. It is not even like a hot-tub, the surprise lockdown must-have for which there’s been a 480 per cent spike in demand. Global pandemics come and go (hopefully) but your team is your team and they’ll always be there (hopefully).
For some who’ve already bought one, beyond the basic love of football, the season ticket is the present to themselves to be put in a drawer or placed on the mantelpiece and opened later, maybe much later – a votive object confirming that one fine day we will be through the worst and can shout and moan and cheer and sing again.
Assuredly, these will not be the people who have asked their clubs for refunds on games already cancelled this season. At Partick Thistle, who have endured a miserable term with a shock conclusion, that amounts to just 3.5 per cent. And the fact so many are continuing to make a pledge to Scottish football, at a time of fear, furloughing and financial hardship, is truly astonishing.

Maybe they’re evoking the old joke about the long-suffering wife who says to her husband “I think you love Smellies... more than me” to which the reply is “Darling, I love Rangers more than you” – but this proves they believe that whoever beats their team in the future, it won’t be Covid.


 

Greenmachine

Bounce Radge
Good article. A season ticket for me is a financial commitment to the football club I love and a guarantee of my seat at every home league match. Priority for big matches such as cup semis and finals at Hampden are a bonus. I've had a season ticket every year since 1986. It's just something I do every year and I totally realise I am in a fortunate position to be able to afford one.
Next season IMO will very likely not take place at all. I doubt very much whether even closed-doors games will take place in Scotland due to the fact that scottish clubs would make very little if anything financially from them, and more importantly the multitude of other health and medical problems arisng from staging them due to the nature of the pandemic. I have stated before elsewhere on this site already the genuine fears I have for the survival of the scottish game unless we can find a way to get crowds into our stadiums next season. I am not scaremongering or being over-pessimistic.. have no doubts about it scottish football really is in massive trouble if we cannot play football matches next season in front of crowds.
Despite selling an astonishing 7000 season tickets for next season so far, Hibs, like every other club in Scotland, will feel a huge impact in the next 6 to 12 months if we are not playing in front of crowds. Never mind all the nonsense of the last couple of months, we will IMO need to re-structure the leagues in Scotland next summer anyway because in my view there will be so few clubs left standing by then to put together any sort of meaningful league competitions.
My purchase of a season ticket for 2020/2021 was my own helping financial donation to the club I have loved all my life in the hope that in some small way it contributes to it's survival. It would be a very pleasant surprise to me if I am able to go to Easter Road to see any football next season. Survival is the name of the game from now on for every scottish club. We are in for a battle royal to keep the game in existence in Scotland...I just hope Hibs are one of the survivors of this battle.
 
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1875

Admin
My purchase of a season ticket for 2020/2021 was a helping financial donation to the club I have loved all my life in the hope that in some small way it contributes to it's survival. It would be a very pleasant surprise to me if I am able to go to Easter Road to see any football next season. Survival is the name of the game from now on for every scottish club. We are in for a battle royal to keep the game in existence in Scotland...I just hope Hibs are one of the survivors of this battle.
Me too.
 

EA2007

Last Of The Summer Wine Radge
Bounce Radge
“Or the club could win just four measly league matches all season. These things can and do happen.”

Imagine that. That’s relegation form that is.
 

Sir Shrink

Quite a bit past it radge
Bounce Radge
“I think you love Smellies... more than me” to which the reply is “Darling, I love Rangers more than you” – but this proves they believe that whoever beats their team in the future, it won’t be Covid.
WTF?

Autocorrect fail.

:giggle:
 

HenryLB

Donator
Bounce Radge
V good article.

An idle thought - say the games have to be played behind closed doors, could season ticket holders be given access to a live stream of the matches?
 

Greenmachine

Bounce Radge
V good article.

An idle thought - say the games have to be played behind closed doors, could season ticket holders be given access to a live stream of the matches?
Yes in theory they could, and that would be the only viable way that it could work. Non season ticket holders could then be offered a pay per view deal to watch every home game which would make up the financial loss.
The big problem with all that is that the government would be wary of people meeting up on mass in ST holders houses to watch the games therefore breaking the social distancing rules. Also, all the players/managers/coaches/officials/medical staff amongst others would all have to be tested before every match at great expense. All it would need is for one of these people to test positive and the whole thing is knackered. Also Sky have a big contract with the SPFL starting from next season and that would have to be completely changed which I doubt they would agree to.
 
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HenryLB

Donator
Bounce Radge
I wonder if there's scope for some enterprising consortium of clubs to get into bed with Sky to deliver it? Might just be impossible to disentangle to everybody's satisfaction I suppose. And wouldn't solve the other issues you've quite rightly raised, obv.
 

EA2007

Last Of The Summer Wine Radge
Bounce Radge
V good article.

An idle thought - say the games have to be played behind closed doors, could season ticket holders be given access to a live stream of the matches?
It will definitely happen. Nobody knows any detail yet obviously as too much time has been spent arguing over other nonsense. The sooner SPFL/Clubs/Sky get together the better. There's already been discussions with the Government about next season so hopefully the coming weeks brings progress with less distractions to be concerned with.

Sky will have taken a serious hit recent months with cancellations due to no live sport. Closed doors games are great for them. Scotland's already got highest per head of population in stadiums so they will convert many of those to TV viewers temporarily. We'll get little benefit of course as more of our subscription cash goes to ALL top 3 leagues in England than stays in our game.
 
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