It is a graphic perfectly suited for the split second, scan and upvote experience that often defines Reddit.
Under the presumptuous and awkwardly worded title, “Who has the best value season ticket?”, we see pounds fans paid for home team goals scored, the idea being that the enjoyment of watching a football match is entirely defined by the ball crossing the line for the good guys. This is a more absurd, more dangerous reduction than all the advanced stats analyses could ever dream of coming up with.
But then how would one define the value of a season ticket, realistically speaking? Could we encapsulate everything that goes into it? Let’s try!
1. Accessibility Is your park accessible by transit? Is there an elevator at the adjacent subway/underground station? Is there ample parking? Surely your “match day experience” comes in part from an enjoyable and uneventful trip from home to the park.
2. Ample clean bathrooms Any match day is made better by the availability of clean toilets without long lines in front of them. Stalls with stainless steel doors with working locks? Toilet paper dispensers with smoothly rotating wheels and a full back up roll for those game day emergencies? This is the stuff of football dreams.
3. Smell of ground Is the football ground adjacent to a pig farm or a paper mill? A big no no. Chief executives might consider perfuming grounds in order to charge more for their season tickets.
4. Covered stand Do you know who likes rain? Plants. Definitely not humans, and certainly not humans who wanted nothing more than to watch people play some football.
5. Throw-ins Throw-ins are a nice change of pace in football, and the only element of the game wherein players who are not the goalkeeper can touch the ball. Plus your kids can dream of discovering the next Rory Delap. Another graphic idea might be to calculate the number of throw-ins your club performs for the price of a full season ticket. Executives may want to think of recruiting players along some “throw-in” based metrics.
6. General attractiveness of the players Sure, you want to see all those silky tricks, but what about those assorted gobs you’ll have to stare at during the lulls in play? An amazing goal scored by a genius is a good, an amazing goal scored by a genius with a symmetrical face framed by a hip, neo-Rockabilly haircut is great.
7. Pre-match and half-time musical choices : Does your park DJ (or whoever it is) still play tracks from Arcade Fire’s Funeral for the pre-match warm-up? Why are you paying hard-earned money to listen to 2003? This isn’t why England gave football to the world.
8. Colourful corner flags: Everyone loves the moment when a young sprite, having ended the career of some awful second string keeper, runs off to celebrate by boxing a corner flag to death. But what if the flag itself is nothing but a drab piece of coloured plastic? For shame. Teams may want to consider hologram flags or flags adorned with QR codes which redirect users to season ticket renewal sites.
9. The intrinsic value of supporting your beloved football club through thick and thin Overrated. Why not offer imported ales and gourmet poutines in the tea stand instead?