Saturday’s attendance…You can’t please all the people.

13Aug - by Tim - 3 - In Club talk

What are words worth?
What are words worth? Words

Words in papers, words in books
Words on TV, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to do
Words are working hard for you

Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood

Many thanks to everyone who took part in last week’s poll to predict the likely crowd size at the Moseley game on Saturday. The results are as follows:

Attendance      Prediction

2000 plus             <1%

1850 – 1999         2%

1700 – 1849         5%

1550 – 1699         8%

1400 – 1549         17%

1250 -1399          11%

1100 – 1249         15%

950 – 1099           23%

800 – 949              10%

650 – 799              5%

649 and below    3%

In the end 1204 watched Coventry’s demolition of Moseley on Saturday. It turns out my guess of 1165 wasn’t so far off.

Settle for that.

Now the dust has settled and we’ve had a bit more time to think about the game and the afternoon in general, is that figure of 1204 better than expected, about what we should have hoped for or a little disappointing…?

With the cost of entrance set at £15 for non-season ticket holders ( excluding concessions), slightly over half of those who took part in the poll felt the gate would be lower than 1200, slightly under half believed it would be more…

And that’s at a cost £15 remember…

…had it been £10, and for a derby game against Moseley of all teams, well you’d have expected it to be more. A lot more. Or at least  would.

However, it seems to me that 1204 is enough to give some credibility to the argument that the club got it just about right, yet also low enough to suggest there were a significant number of supporters who chose not to watch because of the cost involved. 

In short, both sides can claim a moral victory of sorts.

No sitting on the fence for me on this one, though. I genuinely believe the club missed a trick by charging so much, although I can see why the club would argue otherwise.

I imagine that at 1204, the attendance for the Moseley game is the biggest pre-season gate by some margin in recent times and therefore it might seem a little disingenuous to argue that at £15 the club overpriced the cost of admission by at least £5, probably more.

A record gate is a record gate and speaks for itself.

And I do accept that at 1200+ it was a decent crowd, but I’d always maintained it would be around that anyway, even after taking into account the 50% increase on last season’s gate price. However, I believe that could have been a great deal more had the price been reduced, and without a resulting reduction in takings on the day.

I also accept that in making the game as competitive as it could be by having two 40 minutes halves, rather than splitting it into 320 minute sessions and  having three separate starting line-ups, it made it far more enjoyable for spectators.

It was also far closer to being a ‘proper’ game than I’d expected. And if I’d had to pay my £15 at the turnstile, I might even have gone away thinking I’d had something approaching my money’s worth, for which the club deserves credit. Whilst I still think £15 was too much, the club did its best to make the game worth the price.

I’ve certainly changed my view on that score and as I always try to do when I’ve misjudged things in the past, I hold my hands up to that one…

As an advert for the coming season and for the type of rugby Coventry hope to produce, I thought the players did themselves and the club proud given the circumstances.

We beat our old foes, Moseley. And won a cup.

So why the obvious disappointment on my part, given I seem to have argued against myself thus far.

Well, let’s work from the premise that any Cov supporters present at the BPA on Saturday must have been impressed by the team’s performance. I certainly was.

Most Cov supporters, whether season ticket holders or not, left the ground eagerly anticipating the start of the season proper.

Exactly as the club wanted – the players did all they could do to raise the level of expectation.

However, I do think the club could have done a little more.

The reaction of fans after the game showed exactly why it was so important for Cov to attract as many supporters to the game as possible to see the product on offer.

Once the club had got them in through the turnstiles, well it was over to the players to do the rest – and they did it in some style.

So let’s forget the season ticket holders for a moment, they’ve already committed themselves for the duration, wasn’t them the club should have been targeting.

No, it was the Cov supporters who aren’t currently regulars  but who are rethinking their commitment to the club now they are in the Championship, the ones who could still be persuaded to opt for a season ticket, or maybe encouraged to come to one or two more games over the course of the season than they might otherwise have done..

They were the very ones the club needed to attract, the ones who once they’d seen Cov in action and been enthused by what was on offer, would have gone home and blocked out on their calendars some or all of the Saturdays Cov are at home this season.

Here’s why I believe dropping the price would have been far more cost effective of doing just that…

(The figures are just to illustrate the point and are not accurate)

I understand there are something in the region of 780 season ticket holders so far this season. Let’s say 600 of them made it to the game, with the others unavailable due to holidays, work commitments, ill-heath and so on.

It was probably a few more than that, but let’s err on the side of caution and play safe.

That would leave 504 paying at the turnstiles – of which perhaps 150 were Moseley supporters.

Still 504 supporters in total, so £7560 in takings on the gate (excluding concessions).

Had the club charged just £10, then it would have been £5040

A loss of £2520

But here’s the thing…a deficit of £2520 only requires another 252 supporters at the cheaper rate of £10  to make up that loss – a gate of 1456 in total,

And the likelihood is that it would have been nearer 350/400, if you include all the Moseley fans who decided to vote with their feet.

More supporters on the day, drinking and eating more and perhaps another 30 or 40 possible season tickets to come out of it as well on Cov’s performance on the pitch. Win win.

So maybe a reduction of £5 on the day would actually have resulted in increased match receipts and probably more income from season ticket sales in the longer term.

The players sold the club to the supporters who were there, but they have little influence over the supporters who choose to stay at home because they weren’t prepared to pay £15 to watch a pre-season friendly.

I’m sure there are many would  disagree.

Still think £15 was too much though…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If I’ve been a little unfair on the club in the first half of this post, then this should help redress the balance…

…a little.

Whilst the name John Lydgate might not be overly familiar to many, perhaps the line:

You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time

is.

Although it’s attributed to the early C15th poet, it’s still an oft-quoted saying today, and one that is particularly applicable to Cov this weekend.

The club won promotion in some style last season and recruited strongly with the intention of building a squad that will be competitive even in its first year in the Championship and hopefully secure a mid-table finish. Great efforts have been made to strengthen key areas of the club  on and off the pitch, including personnel and improved facilities.

On Saturday, those present at the BPA saw a taste of what the future holds, with a dominant display that clearly demonstrated just how far Cov have moved forward in just a few short months. There’s a huge gulf between the two clubs and it’s likely to get bigger still as Coventry continues to invest in its future.

It was a really impressive display for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that pre-season games often fail to deliver and the side expected to dominate seldom does to the degree it should.

Coventry bucked the trend and I left the ground excited at what the future could hold if this squad progresses as we all hope it will over the course of this season and beyond.

I was expecting the Messageboard to be bustling with supporters posting about the game over the weekend, discussing the team’s performance and what we might learn from it, as well as sharing thoughts about players old and new.

There have been perhaps four posts in two threads in total .

Compared to some 25 posts in 6 threads on non-rugby related matters.

Instead of discussions centring on the game, it would appear that changes to the bar service and the loss of a beer carrier are the main talking points, well ahead of any discussion of the rugby itself.

You certainly can’t please all of the people…

…although the news that Ryan Roach’s injury is far less serious than was at first feared is extremely welcome)

I’m sure that the likes of Rowland Winter and Nick Walshe would despair should they ever take a look at the Messageboard to gauge the reaction of supporters over what’s happening on the rugby front.

Sam (my son) rightly admonished me when I moaned at him about it, saying that he also gets frustrated and annoyed at the times when the club gets the basics wrong – to quote him:

the bar situation is ridiculous, as is the food. If you’re going to charge Championship prices, then at least offer a Championship experience.

I wouldn’t disagree at all and as he rightly points out, there will be far more complaints when double or even treble the numbers are attending games and resources are even more stretched.

I do get that and Sam knows I get it, but he is far more of a people person than I am and he appreciates better than perhaps I do that a lot of people see attending rugby games very much as a social occasion and that often means eating and drinking as well as the rugby, not queueing and queueing.

Me, as a billy-no-mates, I just like to come to the ground early, get increasingly excited as the buzz grows as the crowd builds, and then  enjoy the game. I seldom venture into the clubhouse at all, and then only as a thoroughfare and I don’t drink at games, so I know I’m out on my own here.

I totally understand where Sam and those who have posted on the MB are coming from, and long may the MB allow the opportunity for discussions of that sort.

My frustration is that no one really wants to talk about rugby these days…which seems to me a bit bizarre given it’s at the heart of why we all love Cov. After the Moseley game, there is so much that could be talked about but no one seems fussed any more which is a shame…

I know we’re just coming out of the summer break, but that’s  all the more reason  to expect the game itself to be the focus.

Discussions about bar prices and queues are important  – they are absolutely pertinent to the club and to everyone’s enjoyment of the game and hopefully what is written is noted by those in the club who are in a position to make the necessary changes. I certainly don’t want to be seen to be having a pop at those who come on the Board simply to air their thoughts and feelings.

I just wish  discussions were on a broader range of topics, some of which are specific to the rugby itself. It just seams odd that on that front everything is so quiet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve always been a big fan of Talking Heads and for years I had a bit of a crush on Tina Weymouth.

I’ve seen both Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club live and as pleasing to the eye as Tina Weymouth was back in the day, when I saw Talking Heads (a couple of times back at University), David Byrne always stole the show.

Wordy Rappinghood was such a catchy song and there were a couple of really fun videos to accompany its release. This one, though, is a much later live version…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Saturday’s attendance…You can’t please all the people.”

  1. Hi Tim. Interesting thoughts and statistics… I was also of the thought that the gate price was too high on Saturday and felt the day was a great opportunity to sell the Cov experience long-term rather than make the most money short-term.

    Your son Sam sounds a bit like me with his frustration at how Cov seem to get the little things wrong. I confess match day is for me and my friends an opportunity to meet up and have a couple of pints – occasionally one or two more… It’s quick and easy to buy a beer pre-match in The Broomfield – traditional queuing at the bar with efficient bar staff. the same can’t always be said about the ‘clubhouse’.

    Hopefully the club will listen and learn and rugby will become the main topic of conversation this season!

  2. Jersey v Harlequins attracted a crowd of 2050 on the weekend, with a £10 entrance fee. Be interesting to see what the Wasps attendance is, are you doing a poll for that one Tim?

    1. Hi Warren – definitely, but I have no idea where to pitch the bottom/top guestimates. Maybe 1000-3000 in jumps of 200? Struggling with that one!!!!

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