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The Southend United Program debate.

What is your choice on matchday programme provision?


  • Total voters
    170
  • Poll closed .

Lex Immers

Newbie⭐
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
10
Location
Den Haag
I fully share the nostalgic view that a physical programme adds to the matchday experience; it is a memento of the occasion and something to look back at to rekindle memories. I am glad to say I have boxes of such memories, which were a Godsend during lockdown. Books on a shelf at home, anyone??!
An away programme is a must and I frequently look at forthcoming fixtures for the teams concerned, especially if an early season opponent has become our Promotion, or more likely Relegation (!), rivals later in the year.
I was really disappointed not to be able to buy a programme at the Wrexham game. Nowhere to be found at the usual haunts and they had even 'sold out' in the Club Shop after the game. This thread now reveals why. Having said that, I was disappointed with the thin content when I did peek at a mate's copy in The Railway after the game.
By comparison, I thought the King's Lynn programme was really good. Ok, it was £3.50 - only 50p more than ours - but had 68 pages of reasonable quality articles and features. If that is typical for a club with probably only around 1250 or so regular home fans, it is a great effort. And this publication is actually an historic document - our first ever game in the National League. Not sure our fans would have been too happy if that had only been available digitally.
It may also interest people to learn of my Dutch experience, particularly concerning price. At ADO Den Haag, programmes were sold for one euro, pretty basic content (report of last match, feature/photo of opposition, strangely only results of home games but no attendances, schedule of upcoming home games, league table) oh and it was in Dutch! At the likes of Excelsior Rotterdam, and even Ajax, they gave them away, free, gratis. Needless to say, my beloved programme collection is multi-lingual!
 

Shrimper in France

Old bloke⭐
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
150
Location
Haute Vienne, France
Totally agree with all of this from Lex Immers above. The Kings Lynn programme was excellent. Our Stockport programme was a disgrace. As usual (for many seasons now) typos galore, missing information, incorrect stats and now a paper thin publication covered in beer!

I won't be bothering again (thus giving the club yet another spurious reason to discontinue it!)
 

mfurok

Manager⭐
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,165
Totally agree with all of this from Lex Immers above. The Kings Lynn programme was excellent. Our Stockport programme was a disgrace. As usual (for many seasons now) typos galore, missing information, incorrect stats and now a paper thin publication covered in beer!

I won't be bothering again (thus giving the club yet another spurious reason to discontinue it!)

Not a word on here from the Trust!
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,102
Location
Benfleet
Not a word on here from the Trust!
Why do you think the Trust should comment?

As it goes, the Board are as split on this subject as Zoners are. I believe that there are plans for the next home game, but it's not my place to enlarge upon this at this time. I know there are discussions going ahead so actually, although you appear to be criticising the Trust's perceived inaction - we're one step ahead.

For the collectors amongst you, the Trust are planning a programme fair in the not too distant future - maybe we can arrange for any unsold programmes from this season to be available there too?!
 

Billy Bests boot laces

President⭐
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
6,063
By comparison, I thought the King's Lynn programme was really good. Ok, it was £3.50 - only 50p more than ours - but had 68 pages of reasonable quality articles and features. If that is typical for a club with probably only around 1250 or so regular home fans, it is a great effort.
If they set that standard for the whole season, what an incredible effort?.
 

mfurok

Manager⭐
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,165
Why do you think the Trust should comment?

As it goes, the Board are as split on this subject as Zoners are. I believe that there are plans for the next home game, but it's not my place to enlarge upon this at this time. I know there are discussions going ahead so actually, although you appear to be criticising the Trust's perceived inaction - we're one step ahead.

For the collectors amongst you, the Trust are planning a programme fair in the not too distant future - maybe we can arrange for any unsold programmes from this season to be available there too?!

I don’t.

They’re hopeless.

Zoners aren’t split.

Try reading the threads and interpreting the poll - unless @RHB has changed it again.

This actually matters.
 
Last edited:

brigg blue

Newbie⭐
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
746
I don’t.

They’re hopeless.

Zoners aren’t split.

Try reading the threads and interpreting the poll - unless RHB has changed it again.

This actually matters.
Let's not pretend that every Southend fan is on the zone so the poll cannot be seen as representative.

I also think there is a generational difference here and people that have grown up with digital devices are far less likely to buy a physical programme. Personally I have very few actual books because I use a kindle, the books that I do have are typically special or important to me.

I also don't think the club are phasing out programmes, they are rationalising how they are sold to reduce overheads, weirdly I'd be more likely to buy a programme if it was available where I got a brew from.
 

mfurok

Manager⭐
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,165
Let's not pretend that every Southend fan is on the zone so the poll cannot be seen as representative.

I also think there is a generational difference here and people that have grown up with digital devices are far less likely to buy a physical programme. Personally I have very few actual books because I use a kindle, the books that I do have are typically special or important to me.

I also don't think the club are phasing out programmes, they are rationalising how they are sold to reduce overheads, weirdly I'd be more likely to buy a programme if it was available where I got a brew from.

What are the pubs like in Brigg?

Sell many Scunny programmes?

Probably best to tell the owners to scrap the SZ poll option.
 

brigg blue

Newbie⭐
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
746
What are the pubs like in Brigg?

Sell many Scunny programmes?

Probably best to tell the owners to scrap the SZ poll option.
Not sure what any of the above has got to do with southend programmes but...

Yes loads of pubs in Brigg, at one point it had the highest number of pubs per person in the country, if's dwindled slightly but still pretty good.

Why are you raising Scunthorpe programmes?
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,102
Location
Benfleet
I don’t.

They’re hopeless.

Zoners aren’t split.

Try reading the threads and interpreting the poll - unless @RHB has changed it again.

This actually matters.
How incredibly rude are you? I take huge exception at your tone.

The poll shows a split, while showing a majority of those in favour. What I said is that the Board is split in a similar way. I don't know what you thought that meant, I have also said that it is something being discussed for the next home game - maybe YOU should re-read MY post and you might realise that we're not actually that hopeless!
 

blues exile

First XI
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
1,574
Those who responded that they don't buy a programme are irrelevant to the topic by definition.. The vast majority of those who do buy a programme prefer the printed version compared to a tiny number who 'are happy' with (note 'not would prefer') a digital version. That's not a split, that's a clear preference.
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,102
Location
Benfleet
Those who responded that they don't buy a programme are irrelevant to the topic by definition.. The vast majority of those who do buy a programme prefer the printed version compared to a tiny number who 'are happy' with (note 'not would prefer') a digital version. That's not a split, that's a clear preference.
How many of those who have responded to "I prefer a hard copy version", actually buy it? That's the crux of the matter. Probably most of us if faced with a physical programme or an electronic one would choose the physical one.
 

blues exile

First XI
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
1,574
How many of those who have responded to "I prefer a hard copy version", actually buy it? That's the crux of the matter. Probably most of us if faced with a physical programme or an electronic one would choose the physical one.
If you make it difficult to buy a programme your self fulfilling prophecy will come true. What is the print run, how many were sold at the Wrexham game and is it profitable or not? These are questions to ask and to get a straight answer from the club, rather than waffle about reducing the carbon footprint.
 

Exiled Shrimper

Manager
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
1,481
Location
Prittlewell
If you make it difficult to buy a programme your self fulfilling prophecy will come true. What is the print run, how many were sold at the Wrexham game and is it profitable or not? These are questions to ask and to get a straight answer from the club, rather than waffle about reducing the carbon footprint.
What would also be interesting is how many fans downloaded the digital version for the same match(es). Given the responses to the poll, it would suggest the numbers would be very low, but it would be useful nonetheless if the club harbour genuine thoughts of reducing the carbon footprint.

I also think, however, this matter is too complex for a simple poll to provide answers. For example, if you prefer a hard copy of a programme, do you prefer buying from designated sellers, from a kiosk or bar (because some have said on this thread they are more likely to purchase a programme if it’s available with food/drink) or taking out an online subscription to have hard copies delivered?

For myself, as a 38-year-old, I’ve grown up purchasing hard copies of programmes and have them from all matches when they’ve been available, including last season when I bought every Blues programme home and away that was produced. I don’t usually buy food or drink at home games, so it’s made it more difficult for me to purchase a programme at the game, so I’ve taken out an online subscription. It costs slightly more per issue, but drops on my doormat a day before the game.

I do think it’s important that selling areas are publicised, though. There are no signs at the kiosks or bars saying programmes are available here, so walk-up fans (who might be more likely to buy one than a regular, who either does or doesn’t) won’t know where to get them. There are some in the ticket office, but because the club shop is franchised, they aren’t there, which is another place someone might expect to get hold of a programme. Again, the thought of queuing in the ticket office amongst people buying tickets is unappealing,

The final nuance is the content. I’ve been writing the Academy content in the programme for well over a decade now, so hopefully there aren’t too many typos there! I generally try to keep back some quotes from a coach/player to make it different to the match reports available online. There are also number of other regular contributors I know that put a lot of effort into the articles they write. I would concede that the club could possibly survey supporters to find out exactly what they want to see in their matchday programme; after all, if you put together a publication full of stuff your readers want to digest, they’re more likely to buy it!
 

Fairport

Coach⭐
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
1,849
Location
Shoeburyness
When I have been to Gillingham I always buy a programme from their club shop which is not to busy, I can't recall seeing programmes available elsewhere at that stadium. As our new CEO worked there maybe that is why he has changed the selling points here. The big difference is that you can buy a programme within 90 seconds at a club shop compared to the utter shambles we have at the moment at Roots Hall. The whole issue needs a rethink to give the customer what they want.
 

Tangled up in Blue

Certified Senior Citizen⭐
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
31,390
Location
Sant Cugat del Vallès
How incredibly rude are you? I take huge exception at your tone.

The poll shows a split, while showing a majority of those in favour. What I said is that the Board is split in a similar way. I don't know what you thought that meant, I have also said that it is something being discussed for the next home game - maybe YOU should re-read MY post and you might realise that we're not actually that hopeless!

He's not rude normally.Certainly not in person.Just an avid programme collector really.Even has a (smallIish) room in his house dedicated to his collection of SUFC programmes
 

mfurok

Manager⭐
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,165
How incredibly rude are you? I take huge exception at your tone.

The poll shows a split, while showing a majority of those in favour. What I said is that the Board is split in a similar way. I don't know what you thought that meant, I have also said that it is something being discussed for the next home game - maybe YOU should re-read MY post and you might realise that we're not actually that hopeless!
I am not trying to be rude.

I have no intention of being rude (nor personal - contrary to the opinion of @RHB). but, and here's the point, I am critical.

I am critical of a poll, which was altered after almost everyone who was interested in voting had already voted.

The result of this ridiculous (critical comment but not personal to @RHB) last minute addition to the poll options now suggests to a casual reader that only 5 per cent of the respondents bother to buy a programme.

This is, of course, complete nonsense (except when programmes are almost impossible to locate let alone buy) because the poll already had an option for 'I don't buy a programme' and this was chosen by only just over a third of the respondents.

I have previously been critical of the Trust (as you know) for all sorts of reasons - none of which relate to the excellent work that you do (as you also know). but in this specific instance I am critical because, of those that have not said that they do not buy, just over five percent prefer a digital copy, just under 5 percent are ambivalent and ninety percent want hard copies (presumably with decent content).

Spin it how you like but those are facts.

So, why should the Trust comment you ask?

The answer is that:
  • People generally want hard copy programmes as part of their match day ritual. Make no mistake, football is a ritual - much more than just the actual match.
  • The SZ, community is, by definition, a group of people who are able to use the internet and are therefore generally sympathetic to digital media. They are likely to be up to date with Blues news but, according to the poll and the highly critical views in this thread, still want an easily accessible paper programme with decent content.
  • A large number of the silent majority of supporters, who don't spend their life on SZ or are not savvy with digital media, are likely to want an easily accessible paper programme with decent content to catch up with the Blues news - and find out who is playing etc.
  • The club is ignoring all this and making it nigh on impossible to buy a programme, stripping the programme of free content (ask SUEPA) and then it will no doubt tell the punters that they only have themselves to blame for this ridiculous decision.
  • As I have said before, the club should be using the programme as a method of communication with all supporters, Not everybody has two hours to spare to watch a liaison meeting.
  • I could go on and on (but I won't)...............
The club should be able to produce a decent programme at break even at the very least if all of the processes are managed properly (perhaps they should bring back Moseley to mastermind this).

The bottom line therefore is that this is an emotive issue that is concerning a number of people on here and will no doubt concern a lot of people who are not on here.

The Trust should represent its members and the wider support and save our hard copy programme before the management consultants take over the world.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I will repeat - well done for all of the excellent work that you do - especially with the JBs.

Hope that explains.

Not trying to be rude or personal - just critical - of the Trust (again) and doctored polls.
 

mfurok

Manager⭐
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
3,165
Not sure what any of the above has got to do with southend programmes but...

Yes loads of pubs in Brigg, at one point it had the highest number of pubs per person in the country, if's dwindled slightly but still pretty good.

Why are you raising Scunthorpe programmes?

Sorry.

A bit obscure.

I just wondered whether your local EFL team, Scunny, had taken to serving their programmes in obscure bars without telling anyone..........
 
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