The only way is Essex

Former BBC Wiltshire commentator Vic Morgan writes his latest blog for TheWashbag.com…

It’s off to the South East on Saturday for a game that means a lot. Swindon’s third successive game without a goal brought a point but puts extra pressure on the match at Colchester.

Yes I know all games are important but with both teams down in the nether regions, this one is even more crucial. The home side are at the foot and Swindon a good few points clear of danger, hopefully a reversal of the result between the sides in September will see the Town pull further away from the bottom four.

This comes after a decent point at high flying Gillingham. It was a game I couldn’t make because of family commitments, but by all accounts it was a deserved draw in awful conditions. What’s becoming obvious is that Swindon are giving the younger players a chance. More and more of them are featuring in match day squads and getting game time. This has to be a good thing. There appear to be one or two top prospects in the youth set up and with money tight, it’s promising to say the least.

On the subject of money, ticket prices have been much in the news this week. Protests among Liverpool fans have forced the club’s owners to think again on a new price structure for next season. It’s clear that the game is in danger of proving to be beyond the reach of the ordinary supporter.

For those of us who attend matches home and away, the cost is beginning to bite. It’s a matter of choice of course. Nobody forces you to go to football, but for many of us it’s more than a game, it’s a way of life. Most football fans have spent their lives following their team. Not only their time but their hard earned pennies too.

Do we always get value for money? Of course not, but we still love it. What is a fair price to pay? I happen to think my season ticket at Swindon is good value. If you go to every home game it works out at about fifteen pounds per match. That to me is fine. I looked at going to a Premier League match on Sunday to follow up the trip to Colchester, but at forty five pounds a throw I thought better of it.

At a time when the game is awash with money at the top level, it seems nonsense to charge daft sums which the ordinary fan can’t pay. Maybe the Liverpool supporters have paved the way for a sensible look at the cost of the game to those who fill the stadia. Somehow though I doubt it. It’s a case of supply and demand. Top clubs can more or less charge what they want and they know their ground will be full. Perhaps more direct action is necessary, or is it that ticket money is now becoming secondary to other sources of income. i,e Television and sponsorship.

One thing is clear, it’s time for fans to say enough is enough. Stop ripping us off and keep us coming to football. It’s what the game is all about.

See you at Colchester.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!

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