The younger daughter texted me today, asking if I fancied going to the kit launch on Sunday.
The truth is, I don’t particularly, as I’m a boring old fart these days who likes to sit on his bum doing as little as possible, so I can recuperate from the efforts of the working week.
But then again, I thought it’s another chance to meet up with the grandsons, whose youthful enthusiasm for the Villa knows no bounds. That can’t be a bad thing can it?
It very much reminds me of my youth and we all know we love to harp back to that.
So off I go to read the official site’s description of what’s going to happen.
It actually sounds quite good, in that there are groups playing the sort of music I might quite like.
Except I then go on to read this;
Entrance to the event will be free of charge.
However, children’s activities and stadium tours will require either a wristband – which gives you unlimited access to all the activities (£5) – or tickets (£1 each) which give you a single go on each activity.
Like in previous years, you will receive a wristband free-of-charge for every home shirt that is purchased.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fortunate enough in that I can afford to pay a fiver for each of the people who will be going, so it doesn’t really affect me much.
And the tour, yes, you don’t want to be giving that away. It’s not something you’d do repeatedly, is it?
But charging for kid’s activities? At a quid a time, if they can’t afford the fiver for the wristband?
I can’t see the reasoning behind this. Times are hard for some and there’s no way many I know could afford this.
Some of you might not believe it, but my week’s pocket money as the eldest of five kids, equated to the equivalent of a packet of crisps and these sort of events were massive highlights in my younger life. Anyone else remember the Army putting a demo day on at the Norton in Pype Hayes every year, for example?
Ok, I never joined the Army, but the feeling I got from sitting in a tank, as an eight year old…. well, you get the idea, I’m sure and it’s something I’ve never forgotten.
The point is, it was all free and the thought of being asked for money never came into it.
They were after your custom, regardless of whether the tactic worked or not.
In other words, you were doing them a favour, as they were after something, as opposed to the other way round.
So why are we charging our future audience for an event where they actually want you to buy a massively over-priced shirt?
The cost to the club for this event will be minimal in the scheme of things and this is just penny-pinching in my opinion.
I’m actually quite minded to go out of my way to not buy a shirt.