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1 hour ago, Mattyblue said:

No problem ‘99, as for me it’s the crux of where Waggott has gone wrong since arriving.

I always look back to, and I’ve referred to it on here before, about a conversation I had with John Williams in the 2000s. On taking the job as Chief Exec in the late 90s, the board said to him; ‘we have 8,000 fans’

Williams pushed back and said something like ‘Eh? But we 20 plus thousand home fans coming through the gate each week?!’

Their point was, even then, when the club was in an infinitely better position than it is now, that we have to work bloody hard as a club from a small town with unfavourable demographics and a fairly poor local economy in the most competitive region in the country for clubs, with mega sized clubs 30/40 miles away, to maintain and grow our crowds. The ‘8,000’ were a given and you had to work your arse off to keep the rest, don’t take the piss out of Blackburners or they’ll vote with their wallet.

Williams therefore knew that he had to be innovative, flexible on price and careful not to piss them off as our fanbase didn’t have the depth of floating fans a city club in a less competitive region would have. 4,000 ST holders don’t renew? Your crowds go down by 4,000 as we don’t have the floating fanbase to take their place and we don’t attract many walk ons week by week, ST holders are the foundation of our support.

Of course, the new owners thought they knew better and those people who knew the club and fanbase inside out were jettisoned, ridiculous decisions were made that were slap in the face to fans - like keeping Kean employed in the summer of 2012, so thousands of fans followed them out of Ewood, the vas majority haven’t come back and their seats remain empty.

Waggott has since parachuted in at a time, in which through no fault of his own, those long standing ‘Rovers’ people have long gone from the club. So he sees a grand old name, a 31,000 ground, Brockhall, the academy, years of top flight football, and expects that we have the floating fanbase of the club he came from, Coventry, a club from a city three times bigger than Blackburn and a large support base across Warwickshire.

But what is his fault, is that he still doesn’t seem to come to grip with the make up of the fanbase. The data surely tells him that our crowds are 80% made up of ST holders, that crowds don’t particularly rise here on good runs of form like they do at clubs from larger conurbations as walk ons aren’t a major factor here, that we have a core that turns out year in year out, and it’s a core that stands up to scrutiny to the core of a lot of clubs in this league, by the way, but we just don’t have the same numbers of ‘floaters’.

So just like in Williams’ day, we must do everything we can not to lose ST holders, something he never forgot, but Waggott hasn’t learned in the first place.
 

 

Great post and best on here for some considerable time.

It should be printed off and slapped down on Waggott’s desk, with a copy framed and stuck up on his wall as a reminder as to what he should be aiming for.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, JHRover said:

I'm looking forward to matches happening again and watching the results come in and promotion/relegation be battled over. Not really looking forward to watching us on my laptop in an empty ground though.

I watched a few La Liga games this weekend and it's been strange not saying fans in stadium. A lot of Spanish clubs ground arent the vocal anyway. 

Just watching the golf and its is very weird and different not seeing or hearing the fans. Players have said the same. 

It will be strange watching on Laptop for this season but hopefully we are back into ground before November/Christmas time. 

Edited by chaddyrovers

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42 minutes ago, JHRover said:

I'm looking forward to matches happening again and watching the results come in and promotion/relegation be battled over. Not really looking forward to watching us on my laptop in an empty ground though.

In my minds eye, I will be watching from my seat in the Blackburn End. I hope my Preston neighbours appreciate the noise when we score.

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1 hour ago, JHRover said:

I'm looking forward to matches happening again and watching the results come in and promotion/relegation be battled over. Not really looking forward to watching us on my laptop in an empty ground though.

I bought a screen with a connector to my laptop which will enhance the picture and will watch in a  room - unless I call for another beer. I'll miss the chat, the noise and seeing the chap (don't known his name but he could be reading this) lower down than me in the Blackburn End who always stands with arms raised to encourage other fans to sing.   

Fingers crossed that ifollow will not let anyone down on the day.

:rover: COYB

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2 hours ago, Mattyblue said:

No problem ‘99, as for me it’s the crux of where Waggott has gone wrong since arriving.

I always look back to, and I’ve referred to it on here before, about a conversation I had with John Williams in the 2000s. On taking the job as Chief Exec in the late 90s, the board said to him; ‘we have 8,000 fans’

Williams pushed back and said something like ‘Eh? But we 20 plus thousand home fans coming through the gate each week?!’

Their point was, even then, when the club was in an infinitely better position than it is now, that we have to work bloody hard as a club from a small town with unfavourable demographics and a fairly poor local economy in the most competitive region in the country for clubs, with mega sized clubs 30/40 miles away, to maintain and grow our crowds. The ‘8,000’ were a given and you had to work your arse off to keep the rest, don’t take the piss out of Blackburners or they’ll vote with their wallet.

Williams therefore knew that he had to be innovative, flexible on price and careful not to piss them off as our fanbase didn’t have the depth of floating fans a city club in a less competitive region would have. 4,000 ST holders don’t renew? Your crowds go down by 4,000 as we don’t have the floating fanbase to take their place and we don’t attract many walk ons week by week, ST holders are the foundation of our support.

Of course, the new owners thought they knew better and those people who knew the club and fanbase inside out were jettisoned, ridiculous decisions were made that were slap in the face to fans - like keeping Kean employed in the summer of 2012, so thousands of fans followed them out of Ewood, the vas majority haven’t come back and their seats remain empty.

Waggott has since parachuted in at a time, in which through no fault of his own, those long standing ‘Rovers’ people have long gone from the club. So he sees a grand old name, a 31,000 ground, Brockhall, the academy, years of top flight football, and expects that we have the floating fanbase of the club he came from, Coventry, a club from a city three times bigger than Blackburn and a large support base across Warwickshire.

But what is his fault, is that he still doesn’t seem to come to grip with the make up of the fanbase. The data surely tells him that our crowds are 80% made up of ST holders, that crowds don’t particularly rise here on good runs of form like they do at clubs from larger conurbations as walk ons aren’t a major factor here, that we have a core that turns out year in year out, and it’s a core that stands up to scrutiny to the core of a lot of clubs in this league, by the way, but we just don’t have the same numbers of ‘floaters’.

So just like in Williams’ day, we must do everything we can not to lose ST holders, something he never forgot, but Waggott hasn’t learned in the first place.

Great post Matt.

The trouble with Waggott is that his lack of understanding here (or willingness to listen*) means he is actively going out his way to make this worse. Charging increased prices for potential crowd fillers. But I continue to take issue with the club (under his watch) not doing anything to increase the floating fan numbers and instead whacking huge prices in concessions. £7.50 for a pie and a pint is ridiculous but they keep pushing this as though it is some kind of great deal. Ignorance and arrogance is a bad combination.

*I do wonder what the Fans Forum are saying at club meetings.

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I went past Ewood around 3pm on Saturday and it occurred to me how bizarre it is that next week there will be a league game taking place with nobody around.

Imagine a few fans will head down to their teams grounds on match days, there’s no chance scousers will stay away from their title* celebrations 

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It would be pretty hard if i was  Liverpool fan not to be tempted to go to Anfield when they win the title,it is 30 years since they won it.

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5 hours ago, Mattyblue said:

No problem ‘99, as for me it’s the crux of where Waggott has gone wrong since arriving.

I always look back to, and I’ve referred to it on here before, about a conversation I had with John Williams in the 2000s. On taking the job as Chief Exec in the late 90s, the board said to him; ‘we have 8,000 fans’

Williams pushed back and said something like ‘Eh? But we 20 plus thousand home fans coming through the gate each week?!’

Their point was, even then, when the club was in an infinitely better position than it is now, that we have to work bloody hard as a club from a small town with unfavourable demographics and a fairly poor local economy in the most competitive region in the country for clubs, with mega sized clubs 30/40 miles away, to maintain and grow our crowds. The ‘8,000’ were a given and you had to work your arse off to keep the rest, don’t take the piss out of Blackburners or they’ll vote with their wallet.

Williams therefore knew that he had to be innovative, flexible on price and careful not to piss them off as our fanbase didn’t have the depth of floating fans a city club in a less competitive region would have. 4,000 ST holders don’t renew? Your crowds go down by 4,000 as we don’t have the floating fanbase to take their place and we don’t attract many walk ons week by week, ST holders are the foundation of our support.

Of course, the new owners thought they knew better and those people who knew the club and fanbase inside out were jettisoned, ridiculous decisions were made that were slap in the face to fans - like keeping Kean employed in the summer of 2012, so thousands of fans followed them out of Ewood, the vas majority haven’t come back and their seats remain empty.

Waggott has since parachuted in at a time, in which through no fault of his own, those long standing ‘Rovers’ people have long gone from the club. So he sees a grand old name, a 31,000 ground, Brockhall, the academy, years of top flight football, and expects that we have the floating fanbase of the club he came from, Coventry, a club from a city three times bigger than Blackburn and a large support base across Warwickshire.

But what is his fault, is that he still doesn’t seem to come to grip with the make up of the fanbase. The data surely tells him that our crowds are 80% made up of ST holders, that crowds don’t particularly rise here on good runs of form like they do at clubs from larger conurbations as walk ons aren’t a major factor here, that we have a core that turns out year in year out, and it’s a core that stands up to scrutiny to the core of a lot of clubs in this league, by the way, but we just don’t have the same numbers of ‘floaters’.

So just like in Williams’ day, we must do everything we can not to lose ST holders, something he never forgot, but Waggott hasn’t learned in the first place.
 

 

My only issue with this, is that it is very easy to find fault with how the club are running things. I’m not defending them, but what is the alternative? Crowds haven’t significantly fallen since Waggott arrived. 

What would you do differently? Lower ST prices? Scrap the ‘Waggot Tax’? You’ve said yourself that we have a core 8000 ST holders and very few walk ons. Ultimately, is any ticketing initiative going to significantly change that?? If we reduced tickets by 25-30%, do you really think we’d get another 5k regularly through the door to watch Championship football? I’m not confident. Is it worth the risk? Possibly, but it’s not clear cut.

There will always be calls to make it cheaper. Blackburn isn’t an affluent area but we’re trying to survive in a league where clubs are blowing £25-30m a year. I can guarantee that the same fans calling for radical ticket price reductions are the same fans criticising our transfer business when we don’t spend more money. Can’t have it both ways. 
 

Blaming Waggott is easy. Actually providing solutions is not.

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24 minutes ago, magicalmortensleftpeg said:

My only issue with this, is that it is very easy to find fault with how the club are running things. I’m not defending them, but what is the alternative? Crowds haven’t significantly fallen since Waggott arrived. 

What would you do differently? Lower ST prices? Scrap the ‘Waggot Tax’? You’ve said yourself that we have a core 8000 ST holders and very few walk ons. Ultimately, is any ticketing initiative going to significantly change that?? If we reduced tickets by 25-30%, do you really think we’d get another 5k regularly through the door to watch Championship football? I’m not confident. Is it worth the risk? Possibly, but it’s not clear cut.

There will always be calls to make it cheaper. Blackburn isn’t an affluent area but we’re trying to survive in a league where clubs are blowing £25-30m a year. I can guarantee that the same fans calling for radical ticket price reductions are the same fans criticising our transfer business when we don’t spend more money. Can’t have it both ways. 
 

Blaming Waggott is easy. Actually providing solutions is not.

Waggott arrived in mid-2017 when we were half way towards promotion from League One. Since then we secured promotion and made a good fist of being back in the Championship last season, yet despite that upward trajectory the number of season ticket holders has at best stood still, and is actually significantly less than it was during the Gary Bowyer days in the Championship.

I think it represents a failure, somewhere along the line, that crowds have bumbled along and our season ticket base has dwindled, despite a pretty good couple of years since he arrived. 

That tells me that either the Blackburn/Rovers supporting population are freaks of football nature, who react adversely to positive upward momentum, or one/several of the club's policies have failed in delivering an increase in season ticket holders despite having had success to build on.

We certainly missed the boat with the promotion season and carnival Oxford fixture, inexplicably allowing 26,000 Rovers fans to come and go without ramming season ticket information down their throats. In my view deciding to rocket prices by some 17% overnight was another dubious decision that would probably have put some people off.

When we were meandering along between 2013 and 2016 under Bowyer and Lambert were were getting more people on watching, but since then the club committed harakiri by bringing in the dingle clown and losing any good will that was left. Subsequent actions have repaired some of that damage but bewildering approaches to shutting various areas of Ewood down with seemingly no consultation and all done in a very insensitive manner again erodes trust and respect. 

Once a person is gone they aren't coming back.  

I firmly see Waggott as someone brought in to boost income and reduce what Venkys need to chuck in. To that end he's dealing in the here and now - maximising what he can as quickly and easily as he can from what is already here. Hence price rises across the board and a very much short term image about everything - all about immediate cash flow rather than taking a medium to long term approach on how to engrain new cultures into new fans. This is one of the reasons for my concerns because I suspect both Waggott and his bosses are solely concerned with the immediate cash flow situation, and have little-no interest in the impact policies will have on our support 5-10 years from now. Waggott because he won't prioritise this over cash flow targets and Venkys because they are clueless and disinterested in such things. If 500 turned up to league games I doubt they'd notice.

For me the focus is on the wrong groups. If you want more people to come you target those most likely - the youths and younger end people of say 15-25 years of age (predominantly males) who are capable of buying tickets and going to games with their mates without their parents and who might well get into the habit and follow it for the long term. Especially who enjoy the social side of spending the afternoon out with their mates.

Aiming at the primary school age children, is in my view admirable and even worth a shot but the focus should be on the above. I know the club do good work for primary school age children. Dishing out free tickets to kids is nice but in my opinion unlikely to see them suddenly become fanatics. Even if they were they can't do it on their own and can't spend.

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Posted (edited)

You’ve missed my point morten.

I’m not talking about the ‘Waggott Tax’, general ticket reductions and offers, be they match day or STs and all the rest of it. That is old world stuff. Initiatives to improve crowds can be looked at again in the future, in the ‘new normal’ as they say.

I’m talking about the very critical need to maintain the dwindling core we have in the here and now as we try and negotiate this pandemic. And if Waggott doesn’t recognise that ifollow was a blunt instrument that just didn’t appeal to a large swathe of ST holders when pricing next season (next season being whenever fans are back) ‘the 8000’ will become ‘the 4,000’ and we will structurally diminish as a club and should prepare for League 1.

Edited by Mattyblue

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I wouldn't worry about next year's STs.

Waggott won't be... and clubs offering discounts next season are likely misleading their fans to take a credit note to preserve cash.

I can't see there being a Championship season in 20/21. No club could survive a full season BCD and the TV money is next to nothing.

We are only finishing this season as a one off to tie up contractual loose ends.

The PL will be the nation's TV entertainment, all played BCD. No football below the PL and none in Scotland.

Only way we play next season is if we are promoted this summer.

Championship football next season is simply not economically viable.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting point, I’d say there’s a chance L1 and L2 mothballs without help - and reading a Gary Neville interview in the Times this morning, wearing his Salford hat he hinted that no help will be arriving from the PL.

 

Edited by Mattyblue

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25 minutes ago, OldEwoodBlue said:

No club could survive a full season BCD and the TV money is next to nothing.

Amazon will bid and so will Sky to show all the Championship games. TV prize money will go up to incentivise clubs voting for a season BCD. The TV companies and the league officials will do everything they can to convince the EFL clubs that a restart is worth it.

Obviously most sane people know it isn't however.

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Has anybody actually written to the club requesting/demanding a pro-rata ST refund?  If so, what was the written response?

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8 minutes ago, toooldforthis said:

Has anybody actually written to the club requesting/demanding a pro-rata ST refund?  If so, what was the written response?

I wrote on Thursday and whilst I didn't demand a refund personally I wrote that there should have been options. I sent it to Lynsey Talbot and got a reply that she had forwarded it to the Commercial Department. I subsequently asked her for a specific name of who I should deal with. A friend sent an email marked FAO Waggott and got a reply from a lady (Waggotts PA?) who pretty much said that everybody was busy sorting out iFollow and he would get a response later.

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24 minutes ago, JoeH said:

Amazon will bid and so will Sky to show all the Championship games. TV prize money will go up to incentivise clubs voting for a season BCD. The TV companies and the league officials will do everything they can to convince the EFL clubs that a restart is worth it.

Obviously most sane people know it isn't however.

Problem is that nobody watches Championship football except fans of those clubs. I simply never watch Champ games on TV unless we are on.

The PL is so lucrative due to its global audience on top of the gate receipts.

At Champ level it only means fans who usually go, now watching on TV instead, with TV company taking a slice. i.e. less revenue for clubs (not more).

Not economically viable.

 

Don't be surprised to see football rebooted in 21/22 with PL1 and PL2 with around 16 clubs in each.

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17 minutes ago, arbitro said:

I wrote on Thursday and whilst I didn't demand a refund personally I wrote that there should have been options. I sent it to Lynsey Talbot and got a reply that she had forwarded it to the Commercial Department. I subsequently asked her for a specific name of who I should deal with. A friend sent an email marked FAO Waggott and got a reply from a lady (Waggotts PA?) who pretty much said that everybody was busy sorting out iFollow and he would get a response later.

I am not signing up for an ifollow password. Once you do that you will have accepted the offer and thus waive your comsumer rights for a refund.

Probably banking on most doing that before the Bristol game, thereby reducing the potential liability to a few thousand quid, paid for by fools buying cardboard cut outs for £25.

Net zero is the only way.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, JoeH said:

Amazon will bid and so will Sky to show all the Championship games. TV prize money will go up to incentivise clubs voting for a season BCD. The TV companies and the league officials will do everything they can to convince the EFL clubs that a restart is worth it.

Obviously most sane people know it isn't however.

Rename the Championship to PL2, join the PL cartel and leave the EFL. Take advantage of the marketing expertise of the PL brand and leave the buffoons who run the EFL.

An immediate hurdle is gits like Guardiola who would rather see MC reserves.

Edited by AllRoverAsia

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43 minutes ago, JoeH said:

Amazon will bid and so will Sky to show all the Championship games. TV prize money will go up to incentivise clubs voting for a season BCD. The TV companies and the league officials will do everything they can to convince the EFL clubs that a restart is worth it.

Obviously most sane people know it isn't however.

Sky have TV rights until summer 2024 so can you explain how Amazon will bid for EFL deals? 

Here is the last TV  deal

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46267320

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Posted (edited)

Each to their own, but I watch far more Championship than the PL.

Most game’s in this league actually have something riding on them and most teams go out to win, unlike game after game of safety first PL football as half the league tries to avoid relegation and mid table bore fests like Crystal Palace v Southampton 

Edited by Mattyblue

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1 minute ago, OldEwoodBlue said:

I am not signing up for an ifollow password. Once you do that you will have accepted the offer and thus waive your comsumer rights for a refund.

Probably banking on most doing that before the Bristol game, thereby reducing the potential liability to a few thousand quid, paid for by fools buying cardboard cut outs for £25.

Net zero is the only way.

I will not be signing up either but it's not about a refund (or any other options being mooted) for me personally, it's more the principle and how Rovers have tried to make me feel guilty about it. I have said before last week's announcement I am just not interested in watching Rovers on a laptop.

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6 minutes ago, AllRoverAsia said:

Rename the Championship to PL2, join the PL cartel and leave the EFL. Take advantage of the marketing expertise of the PL brand and leave the buffoons who run the EFL.

An immediate hurdle is gits like Guardiola who would rather see MC reserves.

As much as I'm personally agains this, it's the exact kind of offer than the PL, TV Companies and the greedy clubs still down at EFL level will be looking to strike. The Premier League would absolutely love it, most clubs would be more than happy with double, maybe triple the TV prize money.

This kind of thing was always going to happen at some point in this decade for me, but COVID-19 has certainly sped it up.

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5 minutes ago, Mattyblue said:

Each to their own, but I watch far more Championship than the PL.

Most game’s in this league actually have something riding on them and teams go out to win, unlike game after game of safety first PL football as teams try to avoid relegation and mid table bore fests like Crystal Palace v Southampton 

Agreed. All the Yorkshire derbies are a great watch, the play-off. games. There's not many ties that I don't fancy seeing on TV from our league. Maybe something boring like Barnsley vs Luton Town, but even then it's more entertaining than Everton vs Watford.

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9 minutes ago, chaddyrovers said:

Sky have TV rights until summer 2024 so can you explain how Amazon will bid for EFL deals? 

Here is the last TV  deal

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46267320

Something along the lines of the Championship clubs no longer remaining as members of the EFL. I'm not saying that will happen this year but there's a chance it happens one day in the next decade. I can see the CH sides being open to joining a proper Premier League 2, and abandoning the EFL set up. Pretty much every single club out of the 72 has had some kind of run in with the EFL, the leadership and management is extremely poor, the prize monies aren't lucrative enough, the financial restrictions are too tight on teams in our league who want to bring in big name players.

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"The EFL have stuck their necks out in signing this deal.

This morning, I was told 21 out of the 24 Championship clubs wanted the EFL to ask Sky for more time, or even negotiate a shorter contract, to allow some of the issues - amount of money being paid, the number of times clubs are on TV, the mass streaming of midweek games - to be sorted out.

Should this deal go through against their wishes, I was told by one senior club executive that the "EFL should not be patting themselves on the back thinking they have won and they should not see this as being done, because in fact, they have just started a war".

Now the Championship clubs must decide whether there is any substance behind their rhetoric, whether they are willing to do anything to back up their claims of incompetence.

A meeting is due to take place on Tuesday. The outcome will be very interesting indeed."

From that article. In 2024, the TV prize money currently on offer just isn't going to be anywhere near sufficient. At some point between now and 2024 there will be some major MAJOR happenings in the boardrooms of football clubs, leagues and the FA. It's all going to change IMO.

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