Tuesday, 30 March 2010

So what happens now?

I'm not referring to the result at Huddersfield - and it was, in my opinion a result. No, I'm referring to Season Ticket sales.

Let's ignore, for the moment, that they will extend the deadline to account for postal issues etc. what happens if I stroll up to the ticket office to purchase my current seat on 1st April? I mean, I've missed the 31st March price deadline, and the club will not be able to tell me the price until we know what division we will be in next season.

Thus the club seem to have forced a period of two months where they can sell no season tickets. Should we be in the playoffs (and, of course reach the final) that two months becomes almost three months.

Now, if the club have sold a lot of season tickets by tomorrow (or the new deadline to take account of the post etc.) then this process will have been a success, but if many have taken the same approach as I have, and decided to wait, then this could well turn out to be a disaster.

On the basis that the last date for loans has now passed the playing side cannot be altered so there is no benefit for the squad based the number of tickets sold early, and if we are to assume that the club has no further overdraft facilities any shortfall between now and the end of the season will have to be met by further injections from the board. I'm not demanding that they put money in, but again, this season, we seem to have thrown money at the side very late in what looks, again, like a desperate attempt to win promotion.

I do wonder what would have happened if Parkinson had been allowed to bring in Kyle Reid, Nicky Forster and Johnny Jackson on 1st January. I'm not saying there would have been any appreciable difference, but if it had managed to secure us just three wins where we drew and one win where we lost we would now be six points above Leeds with them to come to The Valley. Not to mention if two of the wins had come at Swindon and Millwall.

The clamour to buy season tickets this week would have been unrecognisable to what I suspect will happen. It will be interesting to discover just how many have committed to next season by the end of this week. On the basis that we are most likely to finish in the playoffs, but that is by no means guaranteed, the gamble of having to pay more but getting to keep your money for another four months is worth taking. Sure the club have told us that if we don't renew, our seats will not be safe, but on the basis that they now cannot sell any season tickets until our fate is known it is not much of a risk. It is possible that the day our fate is known someone will drive to the box office and demand my current seat, but I would guess that is very, very unlikely.

I also think that the club will, for the second year running, offer a second round of 'guarantees' to secure your seat. The risk of fans refusing to pay a year in advance when they can't even have the same seat they've had for years will almost certainly mean that a new deadline will be offered. Due to the pricing issue of what division we are in that new deadline can't realistically be much before the end of May. Even then, there will be a fair chance that you can hang on until the end of July and still keep your seat - especially if we are not promoted.

I should point out that I have been impressed with some of the offers that the club have made in recent years, but the recent loss of form, and the lack of player signings, has made the promises of a price freeze seem to be less of a 'steal'.

I understand that the club (the board) need our money as soon as possible, but the lack of total truth last summer and the summer before, coupled with the nagging feeling that some of the Directors wanted just too much money for the club tend to make me reluctant to allow them to have next season's money in time to spend it this season.

I expect to be back at The Valley next season. In truth I can't think what else I would choose to do on a Saturday when Charlton are at home, but with my Dad being away as much as he is, and most Third Division opposition being, frankly, uninspiring, I don't think I would necessarily feel that I have to attend every game. Midweek games, for example, are a chore, especially if my Dad is away.

I went to CentreParcs for the weekend, and for the first time in a long time I had neither the radio nor the TV on with scores coming in. I did keep looking at my phone, but I have to say I had the most relaxing weekend I have had for a long time. I'm not saying that's all down to avoiding obsessing about Charlton, but it didn't hurt.

Anyway, a very credible draw away from home, a continued gap of six points to 7th place, and a reduction to three points to 2nd place, all be it that there are now three teams we have to catch. I believe it is still in our hands. Sure if Millwall win all their remaining games we can't catch them, but I doubt that they will, so it is up to us. Do we have what it takes? And, if we do will I win the scramble to secure my seat for our Second Division season?

Time will tell, but at the very least it is interesting.

Up the Addicks!


Dave said...

KHA - you make an interesting point. Are season ticket sales suspended after tomorrow until we know what division we are in (early or late May)? I don't believe the club will stop taking fans money, so I suspect the 5pm deadline tomorrow is simply a marketing gimmick to encourage early renewals.

Kings Hill Addick said...

Surely the management daren't have another deadline that turns out to be a trick/con?

What price do they charge? If they charge Championship prices they can't reduce them if we fail to go up, and if the continue with the lower prices those that have already bought them will kick off.

I can't wait to see what they do though.

Anonymous said...

The only thing about all this is that frankly why agonise about renewing . I don't want to go shopping on Saturdays or spend the afternoon glued to Sky Sports or my phone , so I renewed because frankly, regardless of what division we are in or what team we have or what manager we have or what planet we are on, its the only thing I want to do so why faff about , you might as well get on with it

Anonymous said...

One simple way to sell season tickets. Sack Parkinson and get in someone that can inspire the fans. Gary Johnson would be my choice. I don't have an issue with 3rd tier football, but I have an issue with that Parkinson teams play 1) uninspired football and 2) with so many loan players in prference to actual Charlton players.
Have been a season ticket holder for 20 years, but am NOT renewing next year until we change manager. I know a hell of a lot of people with the same attitude. My Dad has had a season ticket for 45 years and this is the only time that he has stopped watching Charlton. All that I can say to the Directors is that why put in an extra 7mm of your own money and effectively throw it away but letting Parkinson waste away the season?

Hungry Ted said...

Great post, KHA. It's not an ideal situation. I agree, however, with the first Anonymous poster who has already renewed (as I have done). We may still face dark days ahead, but Saturdays are for football, and without that my Saturday's would be much darker. In addition, I respectfully disagree with the second Anonymous poster. It maybe changing the debate slightly, but it is painfully obvious that the lack of finances are the reason why there are numerous loanee's rather than contracted Charlton players in our matchday squad. And, if you share his strong opinions on Parky (which I don't), finances would play the same role in the clubs inability to get rid of him at the drop of a hat, and furthermore, to find a replacement (I do like the sound of Gary Johnson, however, should our managerial situation need to change). As finances is the common theme, avoiding the renewal of your season ticket is hardly helping the club, is it?

Anonymous said...

Hungry Ted - I am the anon poster - I respect your post too. Granted that I will probably cave in and end up buying a season ticket but it hurts me to see what is happening. Parkinson has had the last squad we potentially will ever have where we could pay more than the average wage bill in the division. Shelvey and Sam have been completely mismanaged. These two should be two of the stand out players in the division and both will go and be replaced by rejects from other clubs or OAPs. These two are Charlton products and were two players we should have built the team around and really utilised their skills. I'll stop there nefore I get carried away ;-)
Question for you - don't you think that an inspired managerial appointment and an incremental increase in season tickets sales would more than pay for a Parky pay off?

Hungry Ted said...

You raise an interesting point within your question to me. Being an absolute dunce at financial matters (or is it simple marketing?), I tend not to see options like that as a way out of a tricky situation. None the less, I cant deny that I like Parkinson. I feel he's done a decent job on what is clearly very limited resources in a horrendous dark time for the club. He's certainly not got everything right, and whilst I reserve judgement on Sam (who I think is old enough to step up to the plate under his own steam, so to speak), I can see your point regarding Shelvey (so can my Mum, who texts me after nearly every game asking me why he's not playing!!!) Parky's biggest challenge was to overcome the problem of being associated with the Pardew failure, and I don't think he's ever managed to hurdle that obstacle. None the less, I predict you, like many others, will buy your season ticket once again. I am honest enough to say I am not strong enough to let my head rule my heart, and I fancy you are the same!?!