Well, it came on Saturday. As it usually does around this time of year. Sandwiched between a bank statement and an AA renewal letter. Don’t worry, I’ll be on to the AA very soon to waste 20 minutes on the phone to get the obligatory 40 per cent discount. As you (have to) do.
John the postman said: “I bet you’ll be wanting one of these three letters”.
I had a quick look and said: “Yeah, I’ve been waiting to hear from the AA for ages”. We laughed as usual. I went indoors, trying not to trip over the dogs.
And on opening the envelope there it was; bright yellow, reminding me my supporter number is 1100920. My new season ticket: a piece of plastic.
But this time, it came with a couple of subtle differences.
The ticket itself was attached to a very respectfully written letter that we probably have all seen by now, even if not directly received.
This was accompanied by an excellent booklet. Most of us might not need “Your Season Explained” but oh boy, did I enjoy reading it.
It begins with a snapshot of Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke, passes through the detail of some mascot packages and vitally page 13 presents something for all of us. Quite why a left-sided page has an odd number on it I do not understand – that wouldn’t have happened in my journo days. However…
I drink alcohol and (unfortunately) smoke on occasions. But as well as decrying these activities, what page 13 tells us is this: there will be NO tolerance of homophobic chanting, NO tolerance of racist chanting and fireworks are strictly forbidden.
I feel a lot happier on all three counts.
And you know what? The City PR machine has finally kicked into gear.
There is no rubbish in that booklet, it’s been overseen by somebody (or somebodies) who really know what they’re doing. And how refreshing. At last.
I won’t use a single voucher in the “Yellow Rewards” book as we as a middle-aged couple with dogs don’t move in those circles. But, nonetheless, it’s a nice gesture.
I can remember almost 30 years ago Robert Chase dishing out leatherette season ticket covers, complete with little medal bars for when you got your next one. As if – he didn’t remain in situ for long enough to provide them. Thank the Lord.
The Archant clappers I will gloss over – as much as I hated them there were a few people who enjoyed the experience. Que sera sera.
But all that stuff is basically junk. We are moving forward and there is no doubt about it.
An interesting detail is that if you lost your season ticket a year ago it would have cost £50 – yes, £50 – for a reprint. Now I hate to use the word extortion, but I didn’t feel that was exactly a bargain. Every organisation I use, from Tesco to HSBC, provides replacement contactless cards for free if lost or stolen.
Suddenly, the potential replacement fee has dropped to £20. Considering the cards are dedicated to the turnstile scanner, that is much more reasonable for a one-off reprint. A minor issue perhaps, but still something to be appreciated.
When everybody around me is excited about our new signings – I am too, let’s be fair – I don’t think we should ignore the best PR effort from the Club in my living memory.
After John the Postie left me with my letter and I’d had time to flick through it, I started to feel like a real supporter again.
So well done Norwich City.
I might not have the same praise for the AA…