Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Pay days and play days

After what seems months of waiting, season ticket holders at Gillingham finally found out the cost of their viewing next season. For me personally it amounted to £340, a rise of £45 or 15%. Our esteemed chairman has basically made the point that if we want a winning (or at least competitive) side then it is us, the punters, that will pay for it. I will quite happily bite on the bullet of the £45 if he can deliver, but no amount of throwing cash at football has guaranteed a winning side (although, of course, it is bound to help, Chelsea being a case in point). He also made the point that football at Gillingham last season was cheap, he omitted to mention it was dross. A year ago Gillingham went down the route of reducing prices to attract new season ticket holders and whilst there was a slight rise it was not enough to cover the shortfall. General opinion seems to take Mr Scally to his word and there is a tempered optimism that a resurgent Gillingham could emerge for our money.

The fixture list for next season has also been announced and I see it as a good list with some attractive fixtures at key times should we be challenging. A Boxing Day home game is always seen as a bonus and relegated Southend will be the Christmas visitors to Priestfield. Easter Saturday provides another home game against Bournemouth whilst Easter Monday sees a travel day to Port Vale. The end of the season could prove very interesting with old foes Swindon being the last visitors to Priestfield and the final game sees us travelling to Elland Road to face those fallen giants Leeds United. There are a couple of grounds that I haven’t visited. Having missed two opportunities to go to Swansea’s Liberty Stadium, an early November, Saturday fixture gives me every chance of ticking the box. Doncaster’s Keynote Stadium might be more of a challenge with a March, Tuesday night date.

Tonbridge’s Ryman Premier fixtures are to be published on Tuesday, 10th July and they have announced there will be no price increase at Longmead with entrance remaining at £8.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

On the bench for Tallinn

No ticket, so reduced to the armchair for England's game in Tallinn. The visiting allocation was only 1,140 for this game and with 34 caps needed as a guaranteed ticket I fell a long way short on 27. Tried both the second ballot and the reserve list but no ticket was forthcoming and the television had to be settled for. England played well enough to overcome a Estonian side that have no points and no goals in the group and thankfully there was no repeat of the over-the-top reaction of some England supporters in Barcelona. Beckham was once again to the fore and despite playing the second half on a twisted ankle set up goals for Crouch and Owen (welcome back, Michael) to add to Joe Cole's first half opener. My good friend, John Gilmour was our man in Tallinn and hopefully he will add a comment and a picture.
Match Report

Sunday, 3 June 2007

The new Wembley experience

Match 48/06/617 - Friday, 1st June 2007 - International

England (0) 1 Terry 66

Brazil (0) 1 Diego 90
Att. 88,745

Seat: £55
Programme £5.00
Mileage 100/3,946
New ground: 218

Match Report
View from F70: The occasion was much more significant than the actual match. Brazil showed why they are world-class when they seemed bothered, but for the most part seemed to be in second gear. Being pro-Beckham it was great to see him back and performing as well, if not better than any other England player on the pitch. Have to admit to being a little emotional at the return to Wembley after seven long years. The new stadium is absolutely magnificent, although we were disappointed that for 55 quid we had seats on the corner flag, but everything else was first class. Plenty of leg room, a good view even from a poor vantage point, we got in and out easily (albeit we did leave before the end and missed Brazil's goal!). Atmosphere was subdued, but I put this down to the friendly nature of the game. Against Germany in August, although another friendly, I anticipate a better atmosphere given the greater rivalry between the nations. If England are still in with a chance of qualification come the final game against Croatia, then I can imagine Wembley rocking to the rafters.