MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Exiles tickets too pricey? I told you so

First published in Sport

LET us rewind back to the summer of sporting glory, when the new football season was someway in the distance and this journalist wrote a story about Newport County ticket prices.

The move to Rodney Parade had galvanised us all and when I pointed out that the cheapest Manchester City season tickets were less expensive than some at County, people sneered and called me lots of names my mother wouldn’t have appreciated.

C’est la vie, them’s the breaks when you do my job, but I was adamant then it was a very valid story, as it is today.

The main criticism seemed to be that I didn’t include all the prices for Man City and do a total breakdown, totally ignoring the fact there is NO COMPARISON between paying to watch the Premier League champions and the team that finished 17th in division five.

Would you expect me to do a price breakdown if Crumlin RFC were charging more than the Newport Gwent Dragons? Or just think that’s absolutely ridiculous.

Fast forward to the start of November and despite it being one of the most stacked Conferences ever in terms of the stature of the clubs, Newport County find themselves top of the pile, dreaming of the Football League.

Yet their biggest and best win of the season last Tuesday, a thumping 6-2 destruction of Cambridge United, was watched by less than 1,800 people, less than were watching the end of the procession when County got promoted from division six.

And when I dared to suggest the crowd was disappointing, many, many people contacted me on Twitter or wrote on the messageboard that the reason they weren’t at the game was that they couldn’t afford to be.

That is an extremely valid reason to not be there and a very valid reason why we were right to point out the folly of the County ticket prices last summer.

Simply put, it’s too expensive to go and see the Exiles and it is something that badly needs reviewing next season.

It’s time County took the Premier League model. You build up a hardcore following who will go to every single home game – County’s is about 1,400, though earlier this season we hoped it had grown – and then, when they’ve become accustomed to going every week, THEN you start overcharging them and taking their loyalty for granted! And I’m only half joking… Can I defend the indefensible? Namely the County defence… Yes I can.

I’m really in mind to say ‘crisis, what crisis’, baring in mind the gnashing of teeth and knee-jerking going on at the moment with some fans.

Apparently Justin Edinburgh doesn’t know what he’s doing because he won’t sign a defender, even though he is signing a defender and that being despite the fact the transfer window is closed.

The Exiles ‘can’t defend’ and were ‘pathetic’ to lose to Alfreton, having conceded 15 goals in four games.

Never mind that they scored the same amount. Never mind they are top of the league and looking like a side who can contend all season.

If ever there was proof of how negative some fans can be, the current criticism seems a great point in case.

I can’t begin to imagine how things will get if/when the Exiles are no longer top of the league.

Comments (5)

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10:06am Tue 13 Nov 12

Mr G Went says...

A no win situation isn't it.

Won't support the club at a poor level, can't afford to support at a higher level.

The route to the promised land of league football is littered with rising costs.

That cost has to be taken on by:

a) The Fans
b) The existing Directors
c) A Knight on a White Horse

Option a) is always the likely one because Option b) is in charge.

Option c) is waiting in the wings in shining armour, but hasn't been invited to the joust.

That leaves Option a) to cover the rising costs.

County are top of the league on merit, some of the football has been poor, some has been sublime.

But if we all want nights to remember (such as the 2-0 Hereford game) then we have to continue to support.

Or, we drop back down to an affordable level

No one wants that, do they?

(Awaits the public outcry for the Knight, again)
A no win situation isn't it. Won't support the club at a poor level, can't afford to support at a higher level. The route to the promised land of league football is littered with rising costs. That cost has to be taken on by: a) The Fans b) The existing Directors c) A Knight on a White Horse Option a) is always the likely one because Option b) is in charge. Option c) is waiting in the wings in shining armour, but hasn't been invited to the joust. That leaves Option a) to cover the rising costs. County are top of the league on merit, some of the football has been poor, some has been sublime. But if we all want nights to remember (such as the 2-0 Hereford game) then we have to continue to support. Or, we drop back down to an affordable level No one wants that, do they? (Awaits the public outcry for the Knight, again) Mr G Went
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Tue 13 Nov 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

County fans have always been a fickle lot even in the old Somerton days. The prices are no better or worse than most clubs in the league.
Football is just suffering , like all businesses , from the recession which despite Osborne and Cameron's opinion is still with us. Even the Emirates had a few gaps last weekend.
Let's hope the "free kids" offer swells the County crowd and helps it to grow for the rest of the season.
Come on Mr. Pearlman, stop trying to justify the original article which was misleading and didn't help the County one bit.
County fans have always been a fickle lot even in the old Somerton days. The prices are no better or worse than most clubs in the league. Football is just suffering , like all businesses , from the recession which despite Osborne and Cameron's opinion is still with us. Even the Emirates had a few gaps last weekend. Let's hope the "free kids" offer swells the County crowd and helps it to grow for the rest of the season. Come on Mr. Pearlman, stop trying to justify the original article which was misleading and didn't help the County one bit. lowandhardandinthecorner
  • Score: 0

7:48am Wed 14 Nov 12

Phil Tanner says...

Still trying to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds, and still trotting out the same disingenuous rubbish about the Manchester City season tickets.

Reportedly the number of their STs which are cheaper than the cheapest at County are for the worst views in a 47,000-seat stadium, number fewer than100 and are available only as renewals.

A less dishonest comparison would mention that a season ticket for the best seat at Rodney Parade costs the same as for the most expensive, and the most expensive ST at Man City is just short of 700 quid. And the elephant in the room is that gate money is small change to Man City. The owners can afford to write off hundreds of millions. Without this subsidy - i.e. if they used County's business model - even the cheapest ST would cost thousands.

Did you ever respond to the Forest Green official who accused you here of making up stuff about their transfer fee policy to suit the line you wanted to trot out? That one was about how bad owner subsidies are because they distort the game - EXACTLY the thing you are speaking up for here with the silly Man City parallel.

For the avoidance of doubt, I'm making these points purely as an individual supporter who hates dishonest journalism.
Still trying to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds, and still trotting out the same disingenuous rubbish about the Manchester City season tickets. Reportedly the number of their STs which are cheaper than the cheapest at County are for the worst views in a 47,000-seat stadium, number fewer than100 and are available only as renewals. A less dishonest comparison would mention that a season ticket for the best seat at Rodney Parade costs the same as for the most expensive, and the most expensive ST at Man City is just short of 700 quid. And the elephant in the room is that gate money is small change to Man City. The owners can afford to write off hundreds of millions. Without this subsidy - i.e. if they used County's business model - even the cheapest ST would cost thousands. Did you ever respond to the Forest Green official who accused you here of making up stuff about their transfer fee policy to suit the line you wanted to trot out? That one was about how bad owner subsidies are because they distort the game - EXACTLY the thing you are speaking up for here with the silly Man City parallel. For the avoidance of doubt, I'm making these points purely as an individual supporter who hates dishonest journalism. Phil Tanner
  • Score: 0

7:57am Wed 14 Nov 12

Phil Tanner says...

Correction - I mean the best seat at RP costs the same as the worst, of course.
Correction - I mean the best seat at RP costs the same as the worst, of course. Phil Tanner
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Wed 14 Nov 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

The disappointing aspect of this , is that generally I enjoy Mr Pearlman's articles : I believe his achille's heel is that when he is wrong instead of admitting it, he tries to justify it .
Is the smaller crowd at the Dragons games and reduced public spending on the high street due to the comparative cost of Man City season tickets as well? Of course not - it's fickle crowds and the recession.
The disappointing aspect of this , is that generally I enjoy Mr Pearlman's articles : I believe his achille's heel is that when he is wrong instead of admitting it, he tries to justify it . Is the smaller crowd at the Dragons games and reduced public spending on the high street due to the comparative cost of Man City season tickets as well? Of course not - it's fickle crowds and the recession. lowandhardandinthecorner
  • Score: 0

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