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Cod Almighty | Diary

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13 May 2019

Trentside Diary writes: So that's it then. The main football leagues are decided – and setting aside the money and the obsession our sports journalists have with the top flight, I'm just so happy that Liverpool didn't do it. And as the Man City team lined up to receive the trophy, I was bemused that a few appeared a bit too old and portly, until I realised that they were backroom staff. There were dozens of them. I bet they have a strength and conditioning coach. They probably have one for every squad member.

Now we've got odds and sods of play-off games and a few cup finals and then nothing. A long, boring nothing. There has been a point in every campaign for the last 10 to 12 years or so where I've had the conversation that begins: Shall we bother next season? What do you think? We'd save a fortune and would have a lot more time to do other things.

Last season it happened earlier than usual. Around Christmas and new year I'd decided that if Slade was still there at the end of the campaign I definitely would not renew. The previous season, it was at the time of his appointment.

I know I'm not the only fan who goes through this ritual but the club keeps trying its best to put us off renewing. The latest frustration of fans not being able pay over ten months seems lost on the club. No, it's not the club's fault that Zebra Finance are not now offering credit, but other clubs were issuing statements about it in March.

Interestingly, those clubs that put their season tickets on sale much earlier in the year (which is probably most other clubs) are only having to resolve this for the few who haven't renewed yet, as many of their fans were able to use Zebra Finance. They are also working to find similar alternatives but Town have just offered a four-month payment option. Four months. In a region in the bottom quarter for wages in the UK. Bottom quarter.

This is all pretty standard for the club – but surely some bright spark could have given it a little more thought? The season lasts nine months and we get 23 games for our season ticket. Why not allow fans to set up a direct debit or pay cash at the office for three or four matches at a time and collect the tickets before a match? You could give them the stubs from their season ticket book. Might seem a faff, but no more than those tickets being purchased one at a time and it's no risk financially to the club. You could at least do the paperwork when the office is quiet. Fans would get to keep their seat, which is pretty important. We often go with friends or family and get used to watching from a particular spot.

More importantly, if they did this the club is less likely to lose paying punters. As soon as you miss a couple of matches it gets easier to miss a few more and then you become one of those who says, oh yes, I'm still interested, I always check the score on Football Focus. Come on Town, do something for the fans who will struggle. UTM!