Sunday, 22 March 2009

"It's clear price will be a major factor..."

Words of wisdom from our Chief Executive, Steve Waggott, on page 15 of yesterdays programme. Waggott was obviously either struggling to fill his page (my guess)  or is frustrated at not yet being in a position to tell us what the plans are for season ticket deals next year (maybe both?).

If you didn't get a programme, I've summarised what he said below...

- We're at the business end of the season (it's 21st March)
- Perfomances have improved (even if results haven't)
- Despite what you might think, no-one at the club is giving up until relegation is mathemical certainty (as opposed to a certainty).
- However, we are now considering third tier football (so are all of our fans)
- There's no parachute money next season and even less TV money (just in case there was anyone left who isn't painfully aware of this).
- There are a tough few months in store as we restructure the business (again).
- It would be good to do a Leicester and bounce back (as opposed to a Colchester).
- The Board discussed season ticket pricing this week. It's very important to get it right (and...).
- We have to strike the right balance between highest pricing the market will bear and yet making it attractive enough to appeal to the largest number of fans (and...).
- It's been a poor season and season ticket sales will plummet irrespective (unanimous on that one - the only question is what can we do to minimise this?).
- There's plenty to play for in the last eight games (it doesn't look like it out there does it?).
- We will need to regroup and all push in the same direction (stirring stuff).

I have known Steve Waggott to nod to for years around and about the club as well in local pubs on odd occasions. He always worked long hours in his Community role and I have no doubt he's been working equally hard as Chief Exec this year. Unfortunately there has been very little to show for it and communication with the clubs supporters has been almost non-existent. He can't be blamed for the dire performances on the pitch or the fact that he has had a suffocatingly vicious circle of events to try and break. However, I think he would struggle to document his successes since he took over from Peter Varney.

At a time when there is a growing clamour for Phil Parkinson to be relieved of his duties, I think it's premature to be calling for Waggott's head but he really does need to pull a rabbit out of the hat if he's to restore some of the confidence lost in him this season. Peter Varney resided over a halcyon period in our history in the PL but his legacy will be the almost non-stop sequence of ideas and initiatives which invariably struck the right note with the supporters at just the right time. I am thinking about the annual free away travel, the various "Operations" for big games - three planes to Middlesbrough on a work-day - and the genius offer of a free season ticket in the event of a very possible first season return (and second) to the top flight. With Varney back on the firm as vice-chair of the Charlton Community Trust, I wonder whether he's refreshed sufficiently to lend Waggott some help in getting an imaginative and compelling new deal ready so that he doesn't have to scratch around to fill his page in the Birmingham programme.

1 comment:

sm said...

The bit in yesterday's programme about Andy Gray's injury never having been experienced by a footballer made me smile - although apart from Therry Racon (where was he being hidden for 2 seasons) not much else did.