Good summary @Exiled Shrimper. I would say that I started this thread as there were many comments on the Zoom meeting thread and I felt the topic deserved it's own thread. I set the poll questions quickly and without too much finesse just to get the discussion moving, and then I moved some of the posts from the Zoom thread as they were pertinent here. With hindsight and a bit more time the options may have been better worded, but you live and learn.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!
What I have found disappointing is that some posters have taken the opportunity to take a swipe at the intent of the thread and even to suggest that I was looking to manipulate the outcome, which is, quite frankly, total rubbish. Still, I suppose it is easier to criticise than to constructively debate, or better still, start a thread themselves on the topic. It is seldom I respond on stuff like this, but this time I feel the need.