Ticket Gamble? Let’s Hope Boro Pay Up

I THINK it was Les Dennis who faced with a far fetched proposition once said: “If it’s there I’ll give you the money myself.” There is a hint of that in Boro’s Christmas half-season offer – buy a ticket now and if Boro win all their first four games after Santa’s been we’ll give you your money back.
You can’t blame them for trying, that’s the name of the game marketing wise. It is an inventive approach in what must be a rapidly deminishing market. Most loyalists are already hand-cuffed in (and some of them aren’t going to games!) and the feel-bad factor is so entrenched in Teesside now it will be hard to find many takers who actually believe they will be quids in on this one.

Boro’s recent form – two points from 12 under Strachan – suggests that a sudden upturn in form that will leave Boro out of pocket is very unlikely. For the first two of those games they will be without Preston gardening leave absentee Sean St Ledger and after the opening pair of games Dave Kitson, Marcus Bent and possibly Isaiah Osbourne will be gone, although replacements may well be lined up by then.
So there are things far likelier than Boro shelling out on this one… Thierry Henry being awarded the Freedom of Dublin, Bernie Slaven being handed the manager’s job, Jedward winning the Mercury prize… and besides, they are insured against that with the financial market equivalent of bookies laying off big stakes at long odds.
Predictably there have been squeals from existing season ticket holders, something I have never really got my head around. Presumably the same people complain to Marksies when the shoes they bought four months ago appear in the sales.
Surely any move to get more people in the ground is a good thing. And presumably people understand the maths of a season ticket – you are getting a massive £6 a game discount already. People who take up this offer get exactly the same discount plus a raffle ticket with long odds. Are the people complaining about the calculated insult all ra-ras who believe there is a good chance of the gamble coming off? Because it sounds to me like they are veteran creative moaners who grab any stick to beat the club with and who normally are convinced Boro are a crisis wracked basketcase doomed to failure.
If Boro have to pay up (to what, 200 people?) that means the promotion bandwagon is rolling again and we should all be jubilant. Shouldn’t we?
SIGN of the times: Boro spent “just” £500,000 on agents fees in the period between October 2008 and September 31st this year. But wait: the only permanent incoming transfers in that period have been Mark Yeates (£750,000) plus freebies Leroy Lita and Danny Coyne.
Suddenly the “just” seems hugely disproprotionate. Half a million in commission on a £750k spend? Of course, it is not that simple. The chances are that the vast majority of the spend was on agents engineering moves OUT of the club.
How much money would have been needed to perusade Tuncay’s entourage that putting the number-crunching work in on the career enhancing Stoke deal was worthwhile? Likewise, it will not have been cheap doing the paperwork to set up Mido’s loan exile. Or to arrange for Alves to transfer his goal machinery to Qatar.
You expect maybe 10% of most incoming transfer fees to go in various directions when setting up a big money move. Expect but not neccessarily condone. Or even be comfortable with. Most agents are parasites and as they act for the players they should be paid by the players and not the clubs (but we’ve had that discussion before).
But as you go down the value spectrum surely moves start to become a formality. I can’t see much work for an agent to organise in Yeates move from Colchester… image rights, overseas media licencing, negotiating the end of binding sponsorship commitments in the Essex area. Hardly back-breaking work. Likewise the Lita and Coyne deals: yes, even free transfer have their contractual complexities but it is not the deal of the century.
The figures are complicated by the case of Sean St Ledger who arrived on loan in September in a convoluted deadline busting deal that in the Championship’s worst kept secret will revert to a permanent £4.5m deal in January. How large an agents commission – if any -has been paid to come up with that formula we can only guess. You would hope that the any such payment would not be made until the deal goes through in the next window. But who can tell in the shadowy world of football facilitation fees.
So we can safely say that the majority of the half-a-mil will have been spent on arranging the departures of players who were desperate to escape the Championship debris of a car wreck season they were at least partly responsible for. And to be fair, for the club, shelling out that sum to unshackle themselves from a prohibitive toxic wage millstone probably represents good value for money.
But that sum handed to agents – a figure equivalent to the 66% of the total transfer spend so far this season – and the list released today of Premier League clubs payments to agents raises some interesting points.
For instance, it shows how far down the money tree Boro have fallen. Contrast the agent spend in the past year with the shocking commission of £3m agreed for just one deal back in 2004. Yes £3m… that could be next season’s total transfer kitty. If we’re lucky.
That outrageous commission was what “super agent” Pini Zahavi wangled for himself after arranging the £7.5m transfer of Yakubu from Portsmouth to Boro in 2004. It wasn’t up front though, it was to be paid in instalments and he only got top whack if the 23-28year old Nigerian stayed for the full five years… so his exit wasn’t all bad news then.
The headline grabbers in the big league table are Manchester City. The rich mans’ plaything threw money around like the property boom in Dubai was going out of fashion as the new owners set out to sign a real life Fantasy Football team. Having spent 116 squillion megabastardpetrodollars on fees they also paid £12,874, 283 to agents…. that is comfortably more than the £11.2m parachute payment clubs who fall off the gravy train get in consolation.
Boro, Newcastle, West Brom and Sheffield United aside, it is also higher than the total annual wage bills of all the other Championship clubs. Most clubs operate on total turn-overs well below that mark… Cardiff have a turnover of £9m, Forest and Crystal Palace £8m, Watford, Preston and Plymouth £7m. And it is far, far higher than most long term, medium ranking Championship clubs could dream of paying in annual wages.
Agents fees are one of the factors that feed football’s debt boom too. Look at the agents’ payment table. West Ham are up to their necks in debt and twice last season almost went under… yet they splashed out £3.5m to agents. Likewise Pompey and their conveyor belt of would-be owners. They narrowly avoided receivership several times in the summer and have failed to pay their players and staff on a couple of occasions – yet they too have handed a ridiculous £3.184m to agents. That will help.
And how can Wigan, who operate on average crowds less than 20,000 and who are are on the box less than Boro ever were, pay agents £5.5m in one year? That is more than their record fee. That is the route that the Hammers and Portsmouth went down. It is the path to financial disaster.
We are well out of it that particular vipers nest. You can say that we would be back there like a shot and writing cheques out willy-nilly again given half a chance but having cleared the decks I hope Boro never go back to those days, paying parasites vast sums to bring half-hearted mercenaries in on short-term term deals designed to reliev us of as much money as possible.
The Championship has given us much to think about and has injected a painful dosh of reality – but it has also given us a chance to reimagine the way we operate as a club.
ARTICULATE footballers: fantastic blokes who make my job easy. Dave Kitson is brilliant to interview. He’s my new favourite footballer (move over Poggi). Not only is he much needed injection of Titian but he is our best interviewee since the dark day George ‘Five Intros’ Boateng walked out of the door.
Kitson has crystal clear officer class diction untainted by an accent with pretentions to pseudo-ghetto cool making transcribing it all back later on a doddle. That is not always true of say, Julio Arca, who is a lovely fella but at times indecypherable (and the problem actually gets worse if you use the ‘slow’ function on the dictaphone.
He has an extensive vocabulary (“ascendency” … I’m loathe to say it but not even Gareth Southgate used to say ascendency ) and uses it appropriately which makes for crisp copy that speaks for itself. You don’t need to explain or frame it, just let it run.
He has a clear grasp of what question has been asked and so he actually answers it, comprehensively but concisely (which is more than you would get from me) and that is always a bonus in these days when most players – and managers – take one or two words from a question and use them as prompt to shoehorn in a string of cliches.
And – gasp – his answers are delivered in a style that is grammatical correct. It comes complete with tight syntax and logical sub-clauses. It has built in punctuation, space and tempo. What a delight. It is fantastic. IIt sings. It means you don’t have to cut-and-shut two sentences and change tenses to make a coherent statement. Oh joy.
Can we keep him please?


92 thoughts on “Ticket Gamble? Let’s Hope Boro Pay Up

  1. This offer is very much a double edged sword – it can so easily be misconstrued as MFC saying even they don’t believe the team can win, in the same minefield-like vein as Christmas shopping for the other half and gifts that seemed like a good idea but actually suggest the opposite:
    Expensive moisturiser – you think she looks old.
    Thoughtful home made gift – you look cheap.
    Relaxing spa day – you think she has anger issues.
    Clothing bought in too small a size – She thinks she’s fat
    Clothing bought in too large a size – You think she’s fat.
    Sexy underwear – you think she’s a slapper.
    Dull underwear – you have no interest in her sexually anymore.
    Anything kitchen or domestic appliance related – she’ll put the divorce papers in the post.
    At the same time it shows the change in attitude, if the offer had been brought out at the beginning of the season everyone would have snapped them up after our initial decent form, now every supporter is thinking “no chance of that happening..”
    Surely the offer any fan would want to see would be the club actually backing itself and its own abilities – if we LOSE the games we will give you the money back, after all people are paying to be entertained and to see boro win, whereas with this offer the club are saying you have to pay to see us lose, and it is essentially like betting against your own team on matchday.
    Imagine the response if Boro had said if we lose two or more of those games we will give you your money back…
    I wonder if this offer in any way coincides with the recent redundancy of MFC’s marketing manager or the resignation of the hospitality sales manager? It does have that Keith Lamb smack of ‘unintentionally saying something stupid’ about it, as if he came up with it himself.

  2. Clearly the idea is to get a few supporters shouting and supporting their hearts out to get Boro winning all four matches! Who blames – and hopefully the normal Season Ticketers join in. Nothing to lose…
    I don’t agree with AV, here. We could win those matches. At least I believe it possible (perhaps not so likely but possible). I would say 1/8!
    My cup is not half empty yet. Up the Boro!

  3. Firstly I am happy for the club to attempt some possibilities as far as concerns selling tickets (BOGOF’s, cheap tickets for kids etc) to fill the ground – even if I won’t gain from it the club might.
    So the offer is four wins in a row. What are the odds on our conceding a goal in the last few minutes of game four (to forfeit the lead or even to lose) even if we comfortably won the previous three? There really would be some moaning going on at that stage!
    And finally, halifaxp at 12.28pm, it’s good to think you agree. If SG or KL want to come on here to indicate they ARE taking sensible, decent, views on board, then I’m sure we’d all welcome that. Come on, boys, don’t be shy. We all want the same thing don’t we?
    AV – “The Guantanamo years”. Could be a book in there. And seeing as you can’t, I’ve had a hair cut today. (No shouting at the back: “How can you tell!”).

  4. Shawky? I remember that name from somewhere! Isn’t he an international midfielder? Lucky , isn’t it, that our club is so stuffed full of quality in midfield that we can pay good wages to an international who has probably played more games for his country than for his club since he’s been here?
    Next time anyone is in the hospitality area, can they please look to see if his name has been painted up on the “International honours boards” (you know, the one that lists the number of international caps won whilst they were at the Boro).
    Has Southgate’s date of departure been filled in yet, and is Shawky’s name there, even if the number of Egypt caps hasn’t yet been filled in (there’s time for another half dozen before his contract is up, surely?).
    And back to agents, if we are paying people to “get rid” of players as well as to get people in, surely if Shawky has no future at the club (and even if he were an optimist, Shawky would have to have his suspicions by now) we could have got someone to assist in offloading? Or do the agents only want good money for the easy deals?
    Still, let’s look on the bright side – Christmas is coming! On the other hand I hardly need to remind people how the Boro tends to perform around and after Christmas.
    From a freshly coiffed contributor (hee, hee!).

  5. Vic
    Is this tagging to the front of the last blog post just a vain attempt to keep your numbers up with posts/blog!!! Or is that as cynical as the “Christmas card” possie?! If so you’ll see me hanging around the 6 yard line with Wedermouth and Gilly in about 8 hours time waiting to score number 100…
    Now what news about the next 6 pointer in our season?
    **AV writes: No, nothing cynical. There were two decent discussions going on and I didn’t want to artificially disrupt them with a new front page. I get the same number of posts/views on average most days so there is no real advantage.

  6. This is why the Geordies and makems look, down on us ,the club gives an incentive,and lets say a father and son take it up,they could save over 300 quid, but OH NO! The boys who sit in the worky club.and have done for the last 20 years have got to have thier say, all negative as usual. The club give you an option, don’t take it if you dont want to, after all you’ll save more of your money for more pints

  7. I agree with Lewis Thompson’s analysis – the idea that you make a ‘tempting offer’ (as the Gazette put it) to fans based on winning four games in a row when Boro have only won one game from their last eleven gives the appearance of making no offer at all.
    If you placed an accumulator bet at the bookies for these games you’d get odds of around 40-1 – maybe the club is planning to bet £5 on each ticket sold to cover any ‘possible’ losses.
    If the club wanted to go down this road then maybe a better idea would have been to let the purchaser choose two home games and two away games that they thought Boro would win and offer half the money back if they were successful.
    However, if Boro somehow manage to win these four games after Christmas then I look forward to the chant from the terraces during the forth game of ‘We want our money back’.

  8. Lewis Thomson
    I dont rate the ticket gimmick in the top ten of MFC marketing gaffes. It isnt the best idea but a major advance from the ‘wont do anything on pricing’ approach to attracting fans to the ground.
    There are many faults with it as we have all outlined above.
    As usual the timing is immaculate coming on the back of GS2’s run of four without a victory. It reminds one of Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf telling reporters that US soldiers were burning in their tanks and dying at the gates whilst in the background the aforementioned US tanks were driving around the streets.
    I think the ticket offer is the least of the problems facing MFC starting tomorrow with the visit to QPR.
    On to our defence and a quick bit of anoraking shows that we have had 10 different back fours since Huth left. Wont help stability.
    As you still Jedwarded have you thought that a trip to the Kremlin and application of electrodes might give you a Keegan perm?

  9. The chances of Boro winning the 4 games will equate to odds of about 16 to 1.
    Boro will be odds on with the bookies for both home games and joint favs for both the away games. To win all four whilst improbable is certainly not impossible.
    C’Mon Boro!

  10. Sorry to rub it in AV but I took the plunge and got a hair cut too last night. A nice crisp number 3 all over. And this time next week I will be walking amongst you, watch out Teesside here I come.
    So the morning of the big draw has arrived….. The office secret Santa/bran tub draw I got some woman who left a list with 16 items!!!. I think I’ll get her a half season ticket at the Boro. Any other ideas?
    Oh yeah the other big draw today. Anyone else hoping that England gets North Korea and the USA. I wonder want the Sports reporter Ant Vic Jong-Ill of the Pyongyang Gazette will blog if the North Koreans get beat? Dodgy ref? International Conspiracy?, or just fail to report it?
    Was it Pak Do Ik who got the goal at Ayresome? I remember some of the players from that game came to a match at the Riverside a few years back. I think there should be a statue to him some where in the town. A great symbol of a little known/liked underdog achieving greatness in the face of adversity.
    They will definitely be my second team next summer, maybe even my first.

  11. Just for the record and to prove it is actually possible for Boro to win four league games in row. I’ve checked the results for each season and Boro last won four in a row back in 1997/98 in our Championship promotion winning season.
    11-04-98 Boro 4-0 Bury
    13-04-98 Reading 0-1 Boro
    17-04-98 Boro 3-0 Man City
    24-04-98 Port Vale 0-1 Boro
    Also Season ticket holders feeling left out from this tempting offer could always place their £5 bet at the bookies – though perhaps a good PR excercise would be for MFC to do it on their behalf.

  12. Forever Dormo – you’re absolutely right, just think of the conversations (imagined or otherwise) that may go on before the final game if by some miracle Boro win the first 3 matches? Keith Lamb in the dressing room saying “We need you to throw this one lads…”
    The public outcry, followed by the furore in the local and national press, followed by a football league investigation into the matter.
    It’s just all so mind numbingly ill-conceived and could end up with a huge 12 bore hole in the foot that it could only have come from MFC.

  13. Werdermouth – Re 4 in a row
    Was the win at Reading a league game? I think we won there in the Cup (was it Carling cup then) that season en route to Wembley for a 3rd final in a row. Higgy the goalscorer got left behind and missed the bus home as he was doing media interviews and ended up hitching home with Bernie and Brownlee.
    If I am right then it don’t count as its not four league wins in a row (unless the one either side of these was a victory too of course)

  14. Werdermouth –
    That is even sadder than me checking how many different back fours we have had since Huth left.
    Brisbane Phil –
    It is Werdermouth and Forever who lurk around the near post trying to get the magic hundred. Occasionally someone peels away and scores at the back post.
    I am the box to box poster that Boro need in midfield, the Robbie Mustoe of the blog.
    Powls is the Bobby Murdoch look alike who patrols either side of the halfway line lobbing precise posts into the inbox.
    Jaguar Boy –
    Cant see it being the Count in the dressing room on a Sunday lunchtime, an evening kick off yes, but nothing in daylight hours. It could be Sue Watson warning the players they musnt score and get people excited on Health and Safety grounds.
    This is much better than blogging about the football. If Carlsberg did a blog…..

  15. Doesn’t this “special” offer simply display the lack of ambition and belief the club now has??
    No-one at the club seems to have any confidence that the team CAN win four in a row and turn the season around or this wouldn’t be offered, and they advertise this fact. Advertising the expectation of losing will not attract fans back.
    Surely the offer of “if we lose 4 in a row” OR “lose one of the four” would be a better offer. The club displaying confidence like that may coax people back and convince more of them to buy a half season ticket.
    Looks like we get our marketing staff from the same place we get our strikers!!

  16. AV If you think by Winning one trophy The League Cup Is a Success say no more.
    To reach Five Finals we were In over the last 12 years winning one and losing four well then we have no chance of winning anything. What do the players do to loser medals hide them away In the draw Its nothing to be proud of.
    In Eindhoven we were outclassed and come to mention It. Didn’t the players mention they didnt know who Sevilla were. I did and I am a fan. And If you think by reaching a UEFA Cup and being hammered is a success cant really say you have the right mentality and ambition of a succesful winning club. YOU DONT GET REMEMBERED FOR LOSING FINALS ONLY WINNING FINALS!
    **AV writes: You never mentioned success, you said it had been 12 years of “humiliation.” As you say, five finals, highest ever Prem position, a string of world class players, the only English team outside the big four to reach European final in over 20 years… humiliation? Really? Come humiliate me again.

  17. Recently there have been some good ideas re Agents and players being centrally contracted to the league and players leased out to the clubs. This could be the best way of ensuring clubs don’t spend too much on players wages.
    There would have to be a universally accepted wage cap otherwise the richer clubs would be able to get all the best players.
    Unfortunately I can’t see this idea being taken on by the league, but I have another good idea. You may have heard this mentioned before but here goes

.The King Herod Cup. Replacing the Carling cup the King Herod cup involves all league teams. However the teams can only pick players Born or Educated up until the age of 12 within 25miles of the clubs home ground.
    The final to be held at different locations depending on geographical location of the clubs involved will be held on Xmas eve. Supporters making the journey by donkey get a discount on official merchandise.
    No extra time, penalties or replays, you’ve guessed it Multi Ball bar billiard overtime will decide tied games.
    This time I think I’m onto a winner.

  18. Let’s just go the whole hog and give the marketing managers job to “Del Boy”, you know it makes sense!
    “This time next year Rodder’s……”

  19. Just doing some stretching exercises AV.
    I was wondering if you have ever had a hat trick of consecutive 100 post winners? What is the blogging equivalent of “The match ball?”
    After scouring the UEFA Pro coaching manual for blog posts, it would appear the “POMO” for achieving it is the early hours of the morning.
    Just off to get some midnight oil.

  20. Caleb Folan is on the same deal as St Ledger I believe. He will be signed on a permanent deal in January. Is that correct AV?
    **AV writes: We have asked and been told categorically no… although you have to wonder why he wasn’t sent back to Hull after 28 days when injured .

  21. Werdermouth –
    The win at Reading was indeed a league game, Marco Branca got the goal there. We also beat Reading 1-0 in the then Coca-Cola Cup that season, thanks to a disputed Higgy goal.
    You got all the other results right except the win over City, which was actually 1-0. It saw (sadly) the end of Branca’s Boro career, Ricard continuing to fail to hit a barn door…and Armstrong keeping the promotion dream alive.

  22. Jiffy, no they were all league games – if you check the date of the Reading game (April) you will notice that it was long after the final had already been played.
    Ian, there’s nothing sad in checking painful facts – though I think it’s called saddomasicism – besides it didn’t take too long as the historic data is available on soccerbase.com.
    Though, given that we haven’t achieved four in a row for over ten years, the odds available at the bookies are not exactly generous.
    I’ve got a feeling we will win tomorrow as QPR have only won three at home and we should have our strongest team on the pitch since the start of the season – plus everyone is now close to match fitness. Prediction: 2-0

  23. Well spotted (remembered?) Si it was 1-0 against City – my eyes must have been playing tricks with me – unless it was a premonition for our next encounter in January? A result that will probably inspire AV to shave his head.

  24. Agents.
    If you take them out of the equation, it would not mean cheaper seats, better pies or improved performances. The excess would go to paying off the Club’s debts. (In an ideal world that is. I suspect the reality would be that it would be spent on executive goldfish.
    As Bogart said, ‘I don’t object to a parasite, just a cut-rate one.’
    Incidentally Vic, what did GS2’s agent charge to acquire him?
    Have a Saturday off work from Trinity Towers especially to go to QPR. Best I can see is another two all draw. The worst? We were stuffed here six nil (I think – shudder) in 1982(?) on MOTD wearing orange tops (recent precedent for that..) Fortunately I was too young to travel to that one.. But wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age..
    One more thing Vic, if you haven’t had your Jedward ‘do’ photoshopped for you, am happy to oblige, (no agents fee required) just say the word..
    Right then, off to the match..
    Come on Boro.
    **AV writes: You can Jedward me up if you like in a “let’s see what you would have won” style but by breakfast tomorrow I will be down to a No1 again. Thank god. How do hippies do that hair stuff?

  25. I pressed a wrong button and lost it….thankfully only a short one.
    So here we go again.
    Werdermouth, it seems a little dangerous these days to make predictions. It is as if God were a football fan (for another club) and sought to punish us for our presumption. So there’ll be no prediction from the Oracle about the QPR game. I’d feel responsible if it all went wrong!
    And for those (above) who think I might be lurking near the goal, I have taken up a deep-lying midfield role today. Mind you – I wouldn’t mind stroking one in from 35 yards if a gap appears in front of me.

  26. Something seemed to happen to the Live Blog in the second half. I hope you (and your equipment) are OK. If not, some of the “tongue in cheek” comments about your liking for the half-time smoked salmon and champagne might seem a little inappropriate.
    And will the blog now carry an up-to-date photo of you with a “shorn” look?
    **AV writes: Yes, the live blog went belly up in the second half. I think a few people we already having a few problems so it was wobbling a bit before it blew up. I don’t think it was configured for a Boro win.

  27. AV, did you and I both get lost in Cyber Space on the live blog? We both disappeared at around the same time. I did try to send more comments right up until the end (30 plus and they all got lost)!
    Hope it works for the next game on Tuesday.
    Come on BORO.
    **AV writes: Yeah, I’ll kick it a few times, turn it off and on again and then try again against Blackpool.

  28. Great result today…
    However the marketing team at the Boro should put their heads together. Please can they hire someone with a bit of nouse.
    To me it is obvious. The (full) season ticket holders should be rewarded. The way to do this is, given that we might see some entertainment served up, is to allow season ticket holders to bring other friends and family into the ground on the cheap, say for a tenner or a fiver for the under 16s. A friend system. Quite honestly, i’d just do the quid a kid to fill the stadium up.
    But as far as filling the Riverside up, clearly they are stupid. Never heard anything ridiculous as this refund for a half season ticket if they win 4 on the trot.
    Just like Lamb, it is quite clear they have naff marketing people in place too. Its just so obvious what they have to do… and stop penalising the people who actually pay for their season tickets. That to me is the most ridiculous thing.
    I only get to away games and a couple at the Riverside so as an outsider in the sense, I can’t believe the stupidity. No wonder attendences are falling. Gibbo and Lamb et al. will be patting themselves on the back after today’s result, but unless they act with better incentives to reward the loyal fanbase, they may as well cancel christmas.

  29. Werdermouth, again:
    Oh, me of little faith. Why didn’t I believe you?
    Question is: What took the team so long? And we even did it without Jinky…

  30. Great win – it came also so convincingly! QPR 1 Boro 5. Just unbelievable!!!
    Up the Boro!!!
    PS. Where was AV – did you miss the goals? Hair or something else?

  31. He’ll be taking paracetomol to get over the bubbly-induced hangover. We’re on mackerel salad sandwiches and tea, and he is on the smoked salmon and Bollinger. Let’s be honest, if you had such a spread before you in the Press Lounge at half-time, would you be rushing out to do the second half live blog?
    **AV writes: Nothing at half-time. Shocking. I had to break into the home made emergency sandwiches on the train back.

  32. ….and a safe journey back from London. Just don’t get a lift from Ali Brownlee because he was certainly on cloud nine after the game. I don’t expect his feet to touch the earth for a few days.

  33. The club are great at throwing freebies,incentives and offers at the random uncommitted supporter but what about the loyal redbook holders who have shelled out £400 or more a season for the past thirteen years? What are we getting?
    We should have a few full season refunds for some of the rubbish we have watched over the years. Its about time the club looked after its most loyal supporters for a change!!

  34. NorthantsBoro – I have a season ticket and I don’t feel penalised in the slightest by the clubs offer.
    Great win today. Typical Boro really. Can we talk about automatic promotion again now?
    After all the doom and gloom merchants got carried away with themselves at the Boro ticket offer, wouldn’t it be great if we actually won four in a row now, culminating with the Newcastle game?

  35. Borophil:
    Tell you what – if Boro were to win four on the bounce, they might actually sell more season tickets!
    It’s a chicken and egg situation and for those like myself, who aren’t prepared to continue to pay in advance for continued decline in standards. The club needs to improve its product, give genuine hope on the back of demonstrable evidence that the embers of ambition still glow a bit and actually demonstrate some of Gibson’s rhetorical ambition through results.
    You can’t continuously offer rubbish for sale and expect exacting people to buy it!
    Offer some decent fare and they’ll come back voluntarily.
    Four in a row would be a start – but no more than that – after everything that’s gone on to put Boro where Boro is!
    For the club, I’ll count the QPR result! But for the HOME supporters, the count is STILL zero!

  36. just read half season ticket offer has been because of petty minded whingers with nothing better to do but moan.
    We have three season tickets but would not dream of complaining at somebody else’s good fortune, we say good luck if you can get your money back as this would mean boro winning 4 on the bounce! We could do with as many fans as possible at the games. The club should not bow to this minority of doom and gloom merchants

  37. What is it with these so called fans. The reason for having a season ticket is you are investing in the future of the club. More bums on seats = more revenue. Or would they rather the seats stay empty?

  38. What about “mothballing” The Riverside and playing our home games at Darlington. We might almost fill it. We can return if we get back to the Premier League.

  39. Well there can be no more excuses. This is now GS2’s team, and sadly we have gotten worse. How on earth Digard can’t get into this team is totally beyond me.

  40. How about it AV, have I caught the defence napping?
    **AV writes: That is well naughty – a one-two with yourself on a thread from last week – but you have got to admire the work-rate. Is that a hat-trick?

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