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Early Birds

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I?m currently feeling two squeezes. That is not a sentence I?ve ever written before. There?s not much I can do about the one placed on me by the odious Osborne, not ?till the next election anyway. But at least I have some control of the squeeze placed on me by Elstone and Co: to renew or not to renew, that is my question.

The early bird date seems unnecessarily premature if you ask me... but hey-ho. It forces me into having to make a decision, which is probably a good thing given the time I am spending, at home and at work, on debating whether or not to take the plunge.

I mentally reconfigure the pros and cons list on an hourly basis and they are refreshed most thoroughly every morning on the bog. Currently top of the pros list is the fact that having a season ticket will virtually guarantee me a Wembley ticket if we get there next season. How pathetic is that? Despite the paucity of the season we have had to endure, and the fact I have only been there four times in 21 years of having a season ticket (actually, make that five, I?ll never forget Bob the Pole?s equaliser against Palace in the ZDS Cup Final), I am potentially basing a decision to part with five hundred odd quid on the basis that it might, just might, mean I get to see Everton at Wembley. But could I bare the thought of not getting a ticket for a Wembley appearance? No, probably not.

Other items on the pros list? Oh you know, the usual: the inevitability I will go to every game anyway, so a season ticket will save me dollar in the long run; feeling sick at the thought of someone else sitting in ?my seat?; and the nag of Sod?s Law ? you know, if I don?t get one, they?ll be taken over by zillionaires and romp to the title. Christ, I even convinced myself, at one point yesterday, that the delay of the Park End development is simply because the new owners have outlined their proposals for the 65,000 seat redevelopment of Goodison Park, so a Lego box of admin offices has been deemed unnecessary. Now I know ToffeeWeb isn?t the best place to come to share such unfounded optimism, but others share these moments of delusion too... Don?t they?

My list of reasons for not renewing is similarly predictable I guess: it?s financial; it?s political, in the sense that I try to convince myself that I?d be making a statement to Kenwright, and the club might actually miss me; and it?s a protest, in the sense that I?m sick of being bored to death by them, and (you?ll love this) I still don?t think I have forgiven them for the ?09 Cup Final.

So, my questions are: who is renewing? Who isn?t renewing? Why should I renew? Why shouldn?t I renew? And how the hell did we lose a Zenith Data Systems Cup Final 1-4 to Crystal Palace just three years after we were champions of England?
Jack Garrett, Crosby     Posted 29/03/2011 at 20:58:21

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Chris Bannantyne
1   Posted 30/03/2011 at 03:36:37

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Hahah... I can't tell you not to renew on the off-chance we make it to Wembley (the odds are currently around 1,000,000 to 1 though.)

Funny post though, and yes, I think even the gloomiest of Evertonians has such moments of unfounded optimism (see the start of this season for example).
Lynn Thorne
2   Posted 30/03/2011 at 06:49:48

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I also went through all sorts of discussions with myself! Even e mailed the club with reasons why I and many friends I know are seriously considering renewing.

I also realised that I would renew -- was going to leave it until the last minute as a sort of mini protest... But I've already done it! It's a drug I can't wean myself of.

Evertonians must be the most deluded optimists in the world

Andrew Bankes
3   Posted 30/03/2011 at 06:51:25

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Brilliant, Jack! Your post puts into words exactly how I feel about my season ticket 'dilemma' this year! Based on the current shambles at the club, their lack of finances, impending player sales, my young family and my own lack of funds, I really shouldn't renew -- bit I know I will. EFC is a drug, and we're all dirty big junkies!
Dave Wilson
4   Posted 30/03/2011 at 06:47:06

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Good post, Jack.

It's hard just enough being an Evertonian at the moment without having a bog that takes you on such a roller coaster ride.

I think people should make it clear why they don't renew.

if you aint going to renew your season ticket out of protest, you should find a way to make it be known, because if you dont, BK will explain away any dramatic drop in sales on the fans simply feeling the pinch.

As for your decision, well you`re on your own with that one.
Tony McNulty
5   Posted 30/03/2011 at 08:01:35

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From one Crosby boy to another. As you imply, this is an emotional decision, not a rational one.

Without funding ? and I see less sign of it now than I did a couple of years back when the financial climate was different ? Wembley looks a distant prospect.

One point in your letter did strike a chord. I gave up my season ticket regretfully (Goodison Road stand, Top Balcony, second row, slightly to the left of the penalty area) when I went to university in the 1970s. I still look up longingly at that spot whenever I return to the ground, and wonder who is sitting in ?my? seat.

By the way, I trust ?The Liver? is still doing good business. My granddad had that pub for thirty years and I spent the first seven years of my life there.
James Hollister
6   Posted 30/03/2011 at 08:11:30

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I've read some strange delusions but this post tops the lot.

Renewing is important only for the fact if most people didn't, we'd end up in even more trouble than we are currently. Hard to believe we'd be in more financial turmoil.

As for getting to a final, unless we make some inroads in the next transfer window, we'll be lucky to still be in the Prem next year. Our squad is so small now, that we'll be once again forced to play untried kids... kind of pathetic really.
Marc Williams
7   Posted 30/03/2011 at 08:08:23

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Jack... I think you need to apply the 'Duck Test' to our prospects for next season. That is: if something walks like a duck, sounds like a duck & looks like a duck... then the chances are it's probably a duck.

Ask yourself: Are our finances so bad we are already loaning out the tea lady, to maintain a hand-to-mouth survival?

Will we have to sell our best players & only assets in the summer in order to keep the Goodison lights on?

Will we be pushing for fourth or falling further behind?

umm... I'd say you'd be quackers to renew!

Alan Williams
8   Posted 30/03/2011 at 07:59:47

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At last, a funny post on TW, about time too! GP is a 500-mile round trip for me and I get to about 50% of the home games and give my ST to my brother or friends for free when I can?t get there.

My wife reckons I spend well over £5k per year on EFC with train, fuel, hotels, beer and away matches but, if I included my son?s tickets and when we were in Europe, you could probably double that in some years. Yet every year my renewal arrives, it takes me about 30 seconds to fill it in and send the cheque.

I could easily get away tickets even corporate for every London game through my job but I choose to pay in the EFC end and enjoy the atmosphere... complete madness but, since I moved south 5 years ago, I can't let go of my season tickets ? it's part of me and my commitment to EFC, not players or Directors but to Everton Football Club.

Only Evertonians can understand the bond we have with our club and, unless financially I can no longer afford to pay the money, we should all continue and follow the Blues, it?s our birthright to do so! COYB.

Eric Myles
9   Posted 30/03/2011 at 09:40:35

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A current poll on GoT indicates 75% going to renew against 0% not going to renew with the balance made up of non-season ticket holders who either want to get one or don't.
Eugene Ruane
10   Posted 30/03/2011 at 09:42:39

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Hi... um... I'm Eugene and I'm an Evertonian.

Went cold turkey a year ago and... um... haven't had a season-ticket since.

Hope to remain clean until fat-head's gone.
Dave Lynch
11   Posted 30/03/2011 at 10:55:52

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Same as Eugene.
Only 2 seasons clean and not mising it one bit now.
Pick and choose my games now and feel all the better for it.
Tony Waring
12   Posted 30/03/2011 at 10:58:06

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Tony at #5. What were you doing in The Liver? It's full of Reds! Or at least it used to be when I lived in Crosby.
Stephen Kenny
13   Posted 30/03/2011 at 11:05:43

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I laughed through most of this!!!

I've thought every thought and felt every emotion you've detailed, also I'm considering not renewing on exactly the same grounds. I also contemplated most of this on the bog.

If they had better toilets in Goodison we could take over the world!
Dick Fearon
14   Posted 30/03/2011 at 11:34:46

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Hey Jack, your first sentence drew my attention because, here in Oz, a 'squeeze' is a bloke's girlfriend.
Lee Courtliff
15   Posted 30/03/2011 at 11:33:36

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I had a season ticket from 19'95 until 2000. Sadly, due to work commitments, I haven't had one since. If I had the chance to see my team almost every week in my own seat I wouldn't think twice about buying one. No matter who was in charge.

I only get to Goodison a handful of times each season... all these years later, I still really miss my season ticket. Especially the first one I got for my 14th birthday. Top Balcony, slightly towards the Street End. Great memories.

Tony McNulty
16   Posted 30/03/2011 at 11:32:58

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Tony Waring (#11)

Yes, you're right. Some customers were dead from the neck up, even then.

One consolation from my early childhood was that I used to fall asleep to the sound of "Danny Boy" at closing time, rather than that unspeakable Gerry Marsden dirge (the tune that shall not be named). That particular oral shite came on the scene later.
Norman Merrill
17   Posted 30/03/2011 at 11:57:28

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Jack, I have commented on another thread about the early bird renewal. The way it's going, getting earlier and earlier, we will be asked to pay for two seasons in advance, now wouldn't that suit the powers that be? I would be very surprised if the renewals did not show a much lower figure than we had for 2010-11.

Besides the economic climate, and the poor all round performance on the pitch, including the woefully thin squad, there does not seem to be very much confidence in things changeing for next season. >I would like to think that things will change for the better, but being a season ticket holder for more years than I care to think about, who am I to expect anything else?
Andy Walker
18   Posted 30/03/2011 at 12:59:00

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Season ticket holder for over 25 years and I'm not renewing. Bored with uninspiring football, mismanagement of the club, Sky, people who think footy started with the Premier League, the worship of money, stupid "early bird" membership that smacks of desperation ? once the early bird goes I certainly won't be paying over the odds for yet more shoite next season.

Does that make me a part-time supporter? If so, so be it... but at least I can look back to such wonders as the Zenith Data System matches and hold my head high, even though they were crap too!

I'm sure I can find something exciting to do with my £550.

Keith Young
19   Posted 30/03/2011 at 12:51:58

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My view is if you have a great seating position, renew it; if you have a lousy seat, get rid. On that basis, as there are about 20-30% bad seats which, if empty, would get the message across to BK.
Peter Warren
20   Posted 30/03/2011 at 13:07:18

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Had a season ticket since 1993. Even went to home games when I lived in Newcastle for four years.

I am not renewing: no interest, sick of getting treated appalingly and indeed, have not gone the last two home games and will not be going to Villa either, giving my tickey away for someone who will enjoy.
Tony J Williams
21   Posted 30/03/2011 at 13:18:22

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Already renewed. This season is the most times I have left a game and said I am not renewing but, when it comes to the crunch, I love Everton and want to watch live games... it's as simple as that to me.

Don't care who the manager is, who the chairman is, I just want to watch live football at Goodison.

Only one of the lads I go the game with is not renewing, that is only due to him now having a second kid.
Peter Laing
22   Posted 30/03/2011 at 15:45:24

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Whether you renew or not, it will be same shit, different season as the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. I too have a season ticket and have been comtemplating introducing my two kids to the fold on junior tickets with the prospect of my total bill coming in close to £1k. I took the kids the Reading game and my decision was made there and then ? am I fuck going to continue to pay through the nose for such mediocrity.
Terry White
23   Posted 30/03/2011 at 16:30:29

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Thanks, Alan Williams, #8, for putting it so succinctly. It's the club we support regardless of who is playing on the pitch or who is running the club. I have been supporting Everton since the mid-50s and there have been some dark days since then. But I love the club and nothing that happens off the field is going to change that.
Jay Harris
24   Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:02:04

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I sent my season ticket back before the end of the season a couple of years ago in protest at the push for Kirkby. (As expected, I did not even get a reply.)

I had a superb view in the Park End which I had had since it was developed when I moved from the main stand where I had been for over 20 years.

There used to be 8 of us.

It's now down to 2 and none of them could believe what I did knowing how committed an Evertonian I was. I really miss it and the days out.

However, life moves on but it still hurts so much to see our club being ruined by a load of gobshites that haven't a clue how to run a football club and I am determined that I will not get another season ticket until Kenwright and his cronies are gone.
Chris Butler
25   Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:30:48

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Exactly my thoughts, summed up all these feelings I've had over the last few weeks. But, when you do get it, you regret spending that amount of money.
Marc Williams
26   Posted 30/03/2011 at 22:13:46

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Perhaps Kenwright could make up for any shortfall in revenue with a new stage play called "The Early Birds".

It's about these two arl' scouse nanna's who share a sheltered accomodation flat for the elderly. Like many old people, they'll fall for any old scam & give up their pension earlier each year with promises of investment, a push for 4th & possibly (read the small print, dears), a ticket for Wembley... WOW!

Rumour has it Nerys Hughes & Polly James are up for the parts!

Dennis Stevens
27   Posted 31/03/2011 at 16:45:48

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Wasn't that a Norman Wisdom film?
Gavin Ramejkis
28   Posted 01/04/2011 at 14:38:44

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Marc #26, Kenshite played a redshite in the Liver Birds, the more I think of his smug ugly mug the more I could believe its the truth - Agent Kenshite

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