Date: 14th May 2007 at 1:45pm
Written by:

An Icy response to U`s wallet-raiding

Colchester United tried to sweeten the deal that announced a new shirt sponsorship on the last day of the season with Southend United backers Haart, a property company also known as Spicer McColl, by handing out free flags.

Well, I`m not convinced; especially not when it means having to buy a new shirt less than a year after purchasing one for the season just gone, hailing the arrival of MuturalPoints for the club`s maiden Championship campaign.

I wouldn`t mind, except it`s the U`s forth new home strip in as many seasons. Even though Colchester United are offering a £10 discount on the new shirt if you bring an old one – from any season – to the club shop, I still will not buy it.

Fine, so with a new stadium on the way, I`ll accept that we need as much money as possible.

But when Greg Halford`s £2.5 million transfer fee is injected back into the club, rather than used as disposable transfer income, you know there`s a real issue with the tightness of those purse strings.

A lot of ‘hard-core` fans, meaning the few thousand max we take to most away games, will not be happy, but can accept our counting-the-pennies philosophy, if it means long-term prosperity and a continued return of investment through successes on the pitch.

Ok, so even that is a bit over the top. We can play badly, even, as long as the club makes an effort to hang onto good players like Chris Iwelumo and Richard Garcia, whose close-to-expiring contracts are defiantly worth their weight in goals.

I dismiss the freezing of ticket prices for 2007/8 as little more than a token gesture, also, because the cheapest standing price remains £361.

Forgive the icy response, but they say the prices here are among the cheapest in the Championship. Maybe, although some quick research shows that a Sunderland season-ticket, while set for a rise following promotion, was about £120; quality football, quality price.

As an aside, I`ll register that this is not a complaint about match-day quality or commitment; the football on show, with a surprise promotion followed very nearly by a play-off flourish, has been a joy to behold. Our programme was voted the best in the Football League, too.

Yes, money may talk. But so do the fans.