Monday, 26 April 2010

Premium experience - an insulting offer?

It’s that time of year when Manchester City inform their supporters how much they will have to pay for their season ticket for next season. The City website carries the information that the area where I currently sit will be upgraded to offer ‘a premium experience for supporters’. This wonderful news carries with it the privilege of paying more and probably increasing amounts over subsequent seasons.

So what might be a premium experience? Well, quaint old fashioned thing that I am, for me it would be open attacking football that pleases the eye and excites. It would be skilful and committed players and creative tactics. I don’t expect City to win every match providing they lose to a team that’s better on the day. I know that a 0-0 draw can be exciting. The experience I seek when I go to the stadium is watching football – with all its ups and downs. What more could you want of a premium experience?

I’m not looking for a shopping experience or an eating and drinking experience. My boredom threshold is not so low that I need to be entertained before the match or at half-time. I feel quite insulted that the club I’ve supported in good times and bad, as ‘owners’ have come and gone thinks I am so shallow that I need that kind of premium experience.

The club did offer supporters a chance to participate in a survey and I answered their questions about what I want. I would be interested to see the results but I doubt they will be published. So I’m left with the suspicion that this was a sham consultation when the decision to offer this kind of premium experience was already planned. And that is doubly insulting.

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