November 4, 2014 Leave a comment
I stopped blogging some time ago, because I simply did not have the time. I still don’t, but I heard something on Saturday that compelled me to make the time, and here I am tapping away because 140 characters do not allow me to fully express what I want to say.
After Saturday’s match against Wycombe a lady was interviewed by Selfie on BBC Oxford, she said something like “I used to be a season ticket holder, and thought I’d come today because of the Yellow Army push, but won’t be coming back”. That depressed me beyond words.
Mark Ashton is quite rightly asking supporters to back the team, and working with a number of fans promoted the Yellow Army Day initiative that undoubtedly boosted the gate. Credit by the way should go to Joe who works tirelessly to improve the fan experience, he gets knocks but he’s unwavering in his commitment. A lot of us moan about stuff, but he actually does something about it. I could say the same about the ‘Ultras’ who week in week out are doing their bit to improve the atmosphere and overall match day experience.
Anyway, I’ll get to the point. Once you get a crowd like that, if you want them to come back, then you need to WIN in front of them (I’m not talking here about the idiots like me, who would turn out even if we played a team of omni-limbed ballerina blindfolded hippos every week – David Kemp’s teams anyone?)
Since taking over the club the new owners have worked on improving the club in a number of areas. The scouting, the business initiatives, the match day experience, and enabling Michael Appleton to help shape entertaining football. There must be an endless list of tasks that need to be prioritised. However, the one objective I would prioritise over ALL, even the entertaining football, is to get wins, and at any cost.
The simple fact is that without wins the crowd’s will not start coming back. Take Wycombe as an example, last season at the Kassam they must have barely brought 100 fans, this year getting results, albeit not so prettily, but almost sold their end out. We can promote the hell out of the fan experience, and believe me, I do my bit, but until we start a run of results the crowds will not come back. Experience days may bring transient day trippers but sustained repeat visits (in any business) only come if value has been found, and in football there is no value greater than the joy from winning 3 points.
So, there it is, I came out of blogtirement, just to say: “we need to start winning”. I know, it’s a no-brainer, but the thing is it has to be prioritised. Yes, we have to build for the future. Yes we have to do things the right way, but if we don’t start winning soon a relegation tussle could set us back many years.
Here’s the business model: Winning brings back fans. Fans bring money. Money brings everything you need to set up long term success for our club.
Let’s start with the winning, and give that woman who I heard on BBC Oxford something to think about.
I just read that back and was left with the question “So what actually do you want the management team to do?” I’m afraid I don’t know, but the overall theme is can you please direct your attention towards doing everything you can to get results on the pitch, whatever that might entail. I don’t know, perhaps you have all the answers reader, and if you do, do not hesitate to share them.