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Programme Subscription U-Turn

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I have been as sceptical and critical as anyone of Everton's off-the-pitch antics over the years. To my mind, if they can mess it up, they will always find a way, but last week something rather surprising happened!

I have had the Matchday Magazine subscription since 1982, and I suppose that living ' down sarf ' it has always been a useful source of information for me, even in this internet age. I know it sounds a bit sad, but I have hung on to all of them and have all the Home programmes going back to 1974 when I began supporting the Toffees.

You may not know, but 12 months ago Everton took the publishing and supply deal away from Merseyside based Sports Media (part of Trinity Mirror, I think) and gave it to a company called CRE8 who are based in Gloucestershire and also do the same job for Spurs, West Ham and Celtic. The price fell slightly from £72 for 24 issues ( really annoying when we had 25 or 26 home games in a season as you had to re-subscribe during the season ) to £70 for a whole season regardless of the number of games. This was a good deal, although the programmes started turning up 4 days after the match rather than on match day as with the previous supplier.

Then, 2 weeks ago, I got the renewal notice sent by CRE8 on a wonky, photocopied sheet - up from £70 to £95!!! I e-mailed the Club and Robert Elstone expressing my disgust at a 35% price hike and he replied saying he knew nothing about it, but would investigate. Others at the Club, including Gary Wliton and Dave Biggar also took the trouble to e-mail me to say that they were meeting with CRE8 to find out why they had hiked the cost right up. I must admit it all went quiet for a while and I began to suspect that I was being fobbed off, but last Friday I got an e-mail telling me that they had met with CRE8 and the price was now coming back down to £72 from the frankly outrageous £95. Anybody who has paid £95 will be getting a £23 refund.

Whilst I am still concerned that a Third party supplier can almost get away with ripping Evertonians off seemingly unknown to anybody at Everton, praise where it's due. They sorted it out, and quickly too.

Maybe the times really are-a-changin'. Remember the 24 year rule! Really looking forward to this season.
Karl Masters, Chatham, Kent     Posted 03/08/2010 at 21:36:51

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Lyndon Lloyd
1   Posted 03/08/2010 at 23:10:03

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Everton's commercial department has had their share of mis-steps over the years but I think there is a lot to admire with how they're going about things these days.

The Official site is widely regarded as one of the best in the Premier League (and might have been ranked the best recently in some category if I recall correctly), they have been at the forefront of adding new online features (like the iPhone app, Desktop Davey, etc) and the merchandising side (Everton 2, etc) seems to have been very successful.

They're not perfect, of course, but (as this incident shows) credit where credit is due, I feel, as they try and eke everything they can out of a comparatively smaller consumer base than the likes of the Sky Four, Spurs, etc, while keeping prices competitive and accessible.
Chad Schofield
2   Posted 04/08/2010 at 02:29:15

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Nice one. After so much negativity (admitedly by me as well) with regards to the club, it's good that they bothered to keep you informed and more importantly sorted it out.

Everton 2 and the far broader range of merchandising are certainly things that Elstone and the rest of the club should be really proud of.
Lee Mandaracas
3   Posted 04/08/2010 at 11:54:10

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On top of that they should be applauded for the extensive range of products now offered by Kitbag. I am not usually a fan of outsourcing that sort of thing but this contract has IMHO improved us immeasurably.

Maybe we actually are starting to move in the right direction off the field as well as on it.

Glad to see you got it sorted out Karl.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
4   Posted 05/08/2010 at 01:48:32

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Karl, I used to get the programme on subscrition and had them from 1993 through 2007 or thereabouts. But they were not being read as I found what I did read that was of any real interest had already been on the internet.

However, ther was one thing I used the programme for and that I really relied on: team sheets for the Reserves and Academy games. I have all for last season... bar one: the last game of the season when the Under-18s thrashed Man City 5-2.

I was hoping it might have been in the Portsmouth (H) programme from last season but the game was played only the day before, and too late for inclusion. But if you see that teamsheet listed anywhere in future programmes (or total stats for Under-18 appearances and goals) I'd really appreciate a copy. Thanks!

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