Manager Gone, Now for the Programme…

Well, we wake up to the sound of church bells, rain bouncing off the window cill and the news that Mark Robins has gone. It is being spun by the Club as an amicable parting, and that, “The Club would like to place on record their gratitude…” Etc etc blah blah blah. He was sacked, they know it, we know it, he knows it. I’m not puffed up and vain enough to suppose that my call for his head last night had even the slightest scintilla of effect in getting Robins the bullet, but just in case…

Who in the wild, wild world of sport came up with the idea of passing off a free pullout from the Examiner as a two quid piece of merch? The Club has it that this is as a result of a fans’ forum. Trouble is, no-one has any idea who these fans are. Is it the view of the fans, or the interpretation of what has been said? Indulge me a short mo in a possible scenario…

Fans: “The bloody programme’s too expensive, £3 – you’re  ‘avin’ a bleedin’ laugh.”

Club: “Hmmm, something with a lower cost base, but with larger strategic volumes, leveraging an overall uplift on the margins.”

Fans: “There’s more adverts than there is articles, I can read this stuff in the Examiner.”

Club: “Yes, a larger viewed area would make the insertion of sponsored copy less obvious vis-a-vis the ratio of monetised to non monetised display. And what was that last bit, the Examiner? Hold on a minute, we might be onto something here…”

Fans: “Yes the programme is rubbish, nothing in it that you can’t see elsewhere, you might as well chuck it for all it’s worth”

Club: “Chuck away…yes, that’s it. A new business model, based on a disposable, large format publication on newsprint media, pitched at a lower price break, say GBP2?”

Fans: “You mean like a free Examiner pullout, but charge two quid for it?”

Club: “No little fellow, you don’t understand the world of business. On your way now, feel free to take a handful of biscuits on your way out. Dean, I think I have an idea…”

And so it came to pass. It might have happened that way, it almost certainly didn’t, but you recognise a grain of truth don’t you? I think that, after the initial curiosity and the purchase of an example to give it the benefit of the doubt, ‘programme’ sales (or lack of) will signal a change of direction. Make it soon, eh?

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