Why I didn’t go to see Crystal PalaceJuly 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Posted in General Football, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps 2016, Whitecaps Season 2016 | 11 Comments
Tags: Crystal Palace, Vancouver Whitecaps
I am a football nut. I can’t walk by a football match at any level without stopping to see what is going on. I have been a season’s ticket holder for the 86ers and the Vancouver Whitecaps since 1998 or so. So why didn’t I go see Crystal Palace play the Whitecaps? Especially after griping for years about no friendlies!
- No benefit to season’s ticket holders. While I admit I made no enquiries directly of the ticket prices, the rumours floating around my section were that prices for our seats were more expensive than we pay for a Whitecaps MLS match. Pay more for a friendly? No thanks.
- I went to see West Ham play in Seattle recently. Though West Ham is my favourite English club, the team put on a poor show. There were no names on the jerseys. The players did not even bother to wave at the West Ham supporters section before they slunk off after an indifferent performance resulting in a 3-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders. The players and the coaching staff clearly didn’t care. It was a very bad reflection of the English Premier League brand and was a disincentive to attend to see another Premier league team in a friendly.
- The other rumour running around was that Palace manager Alan Pardew had made comments to the effect that fans here would simply flip over a Premier League side no matter which one it was, and that frankly, we wouldn’t know the difference between one team or another in any event. More arrogance from the English Premier League! We do know the difference and know that Palace are generally a quite unspectacular second division club, albeit one that has very recently become somewhat more ambitious.
- This was not really a Vancouver Whitecaps gig, but someone else’s. The fact is this match was not really a Whitecaps initiative, it was just an event they had agreed to participate in. The lack of control the Whitecaps had meant there was a lot of confusion in the marketing of the match. When Manchester City came to town back in 2011, the match was a part of the season’s ticket package for the Vancouver Whitecaps. That set a precedent and I found myself confused and bewildered by the crazy swing the other way where the match seemingly cost more than a Whitecaps match. The marketing of the match was very alienating.
- Fan fatigue. The match timing was poor. The Whitecaps have had three very recent home games in close proximity. I am tired! If you have to skip one match of these four, then surely you skip the friendly before the other full-blooded matches.
- It’s only Crystal Palace. Sure they are in the Premier League, but Palace is not a well known side outside of England. I can remember reading about them in Shoot! magazine as a boy, and they do have a cool name, but they are not really a team that sets the pulse racing. Their only real claim to recent fame was that they were defeated in the most recent FA Cup final. Boring!
- Top players missing. In the run-up to the match it became clear that this would really be a reserves match. Palace had many of their top players missing due to participation in the recent Euro 2016. If we want to see any Palace players, those are the ones we want to see! Pay more money to see second stringers play second stringers? No, thanks.
I am a huge football fan but all of these factors turned me off of this match. I never really got any kind of convincing argument or persuasion from the Whitecaps or anyone else to rebut my feelings about it and to convince me that this match was worth attending.
Ultimately this was a case of poor timing, poor planning and poor marketing. If the Whitecaps had more control over the enterprise and had given season’s ticket holders a tangible benefit, it could have been more successful.