The Wheels On The Bus
Blues Trust was very pleased to see the club change its mind yesterday and eventually agree free travel for those supporters who travelled on official coaches to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. The Trust had made swift representations to the club once the original decision not to do so was announced during the morning.
The club clearly listened to the torrent of criticism that the original decision provoked. Furthermore, an apology “for the misunderstanding” was given by Ian Dutton, Managing Director. Although quite what the “misunderstanding” was is not made clear.
But the question has to be asked why on earth the club got itself into such a completely avoidable mess in the first place? Who signed off the original decision?
Of course there is a cost implication for the club in providing free travel, but wholly committed supporters had made sacrifices themselves to get to the original fixture in Gloucestershire on Saturday lunchtime. Many of them the same people who provide the club with one of the best away followings in the division, and who routinely travel the length and breadth of the country to support the team. So, having used the official coach service, to be told they would have to pay again for the privilege of attending the rearranged fixture was thoughtless in the extreme.
The situation is embarrassing and has rightly attracted discontent. It has also left a sour taste for many loyal supporters, even though the original decision has been reversed. And the “own goal” has denied what could have been, instead, a great opportunity for the club to acknowledge a small number of its supporters to start with. The welcome PR generated by that decision could have been very timely for a club that has an unfortunate habit of disappointing its own fan base.
In the Trust’s view the ownership of the club is quite rightly criticised because of the way it treats the club. But the operational team that created this situation in the first place also needs to be strongly challenged.
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