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Mar 20, 2008
(Was) Back home on the North Bank now back in W.
Really don't want to put a downer on last night but the Club really needs to get its act together on the promotions side.

I thought the £1 a pint idea was a good one and the timings right, £1 a pint 6-6:45 which then means you've got a crowd in with an hour to go before kick off who will then probably have another drink or two at full price in the hour and probably have a burger as well.

Sadly that's not quite how it worked out, certainly in the West.
I arrived in the ground at 6:15 to find that in the West it wasn't a £1 a pint for Fosters, as there is no draught beer in the West it had been decided that it was a £1 a bottle (just under half a pint), so it was actually £2 a pint, still cheaper I appreciate, but even so not the advertised £1 a pint.
Also in my round was a cider, again bottled but a pint bottle, was that £1 a pint? No, £3.40, normal price, because the bottles of cider in the West are are Bulmers' not Strongbow and are therefore not part of the offer.
So my round of a pint of Fosters (two bottles), two pints of cider (Bulmers) and a half of Coke came to £10.10 instead of an expected £4.30 at a promised £1 a pint for Fosters and ciders plus a Coke.

Now, as I've often said before, I've followed this club since 1966 so a few quid on a round of drinks isn't going to stop me coming back, BUT, WHY NOT PUT ON THE WEBSITE/PRESS RELEASE THAT IN THE WEST THE OFFER WILL BE £1 A BOTTLE !!!!! Then we would all know and it wouldn't be some great surprise.

However, I got chatting to a couple outside the bar who related their experience as they saw it... Now this couple were born in Canvey and Rochford and now live close to the ground but through various historical family loyalties they follow Arsenal but last night they decided to come to Roots Hall to see what The Blues are all about. Apparently the husband came home from work and suggested that it was a nice evening, football down the road and there's a happy hour in the bar, let's go to Roots Hall.
First experience they had was neither of the nearest cash machines at the BP garage were working, totally out of club's control but it's where their evening started, so couldn't draw any extra cash. Husband says that's OK I've got £50 odd quid in my wallet, I'll pay by card for the tickets. They arrive at the West ticket office, 'Sorry, mate, if you want to pay by card got to go to the Main office.' Husband thinks don't want the walk to the Main office and back I'll pay by cash, still leaves £10ish in cash and the drinks are a £1 so a £10 will be plenty for 5 or 6 drinks. They then enter the ground about 5 past 6 and walk into the above bar scenario.....
Fortunately they had a friend joining them who they rang and who brought them some more money when he arrived.
I got into conversation with them about 6:30, just before they managed to get in touch with their friend, they were not happy bunnies.
They also got into conversation with some of TBV boys and they really appreciated being made welcome, even though they got a friendly remark about being Gooners, and were really impressed by their passion for The Blues. They ended up looking forward to the game and, being seated in U, getting in to the atmosphere. Having been made welcome and having a friendly chat by 7:30 they seemed prepared to give it another go if they enjoyed the game. Hope we did enough on the pitch and in the stands.....

Now these are exactly the sort of people we need to attract to the club but it goes to show that EVERY part of the 'matchday experience' needs to be right or you can put on every attraction you want to get their bum on the seat once but if it's not alright on the night they won't be back.

Just hope that last night the atmosphere and the football was enough to persuade that particular couple to give us another try because at 6:30 last night they certainly weren't looking to come back again.......