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Is there a future for matchday programmes?

Date Added: July 29, 2011 05:07:51 PM
Author: Six Yard
Category: Publications

Arbroath made the sad decision to scrap their matchday programme for the forthcoming season. It means fans attending games at Gayfield will no longer be able to get hold of a programme as a memento of the game. Maybe they should focus on betting, especially now that the Europa League Odds for some teams are so enticing given that both Manchester United and Manchester City got knocked-out of it in the last round by Athletic Bilbao and Sporting Lisbon respectively.

It is a sad day for clubs when they end their programmes and some fans are understandably up in arms about it. Stranraer have also announced they will not be making a programme for every matchday and instead producing a monthly magazine – which is a tactic used on the continent.

Finding people to handle putting together the matchday programme and taking on the printing costs is a burden for many teams, especially in the Scottish leagues and the non-league ladder in England, but there still remains the hardcore element that love collecting them. Programmes remain, even in this day of the Internet and developing media on phones and tablets, an integral part of a matchday football experience for fans across the United Kingdom.

Personally I have always bought a programme at every game I attend and still do to his day. In my younger days I even used to arrive to the game very early to get the cream of the lower leagues to sign my programmes – and I still have boxes full of them. There remain collectors around the country and fans who want to support their team and collect mementos despite being unable to attend the games.

Teams need to ensure they sell their programmes on the internet (via their sites or Ebay), as there is a demand out there to be tapped into. A subscription-based service for fans that cannot attend games to read online versions of the programme is another method that could be considered. Some clubs have even been known to give a programme away free when a fan buys a £2-£3 line of raffle tickets.

Some people have been falsely predicting for some years now the death of the printed matchday programme for years, but they remain a staple part of football and will stick around for many years to come. I cannot imagine a game without them.

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