If you’ve seen the news about Hearts cutting the allocation for Ibrox fans to a mere 1000 you, like me, are probably thinking “so what?” They have done this to us before, after all, and nobody made a song or a dance over it. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them.
Hearts are doing what they’ve been doing for the last couple of years; if the demand from their own fans is there they want to prioritise them. Ibrox did this with us and the press was not encouraged to open revolt. It was only when we repeated the exercise that the moaning started. The press needs no encouragement to cry for Ibrox.
The real story is in how the club is allocating the tickets; they are going to the “Gold Tier” members of the MyGers scheme. Now, this was only supposed to affect tickets for games against us. It has now been extended to this game and will doubtless later apply to others.
Think for a moment about what you just read. The full scale of the using must now be apparent to each and every Ibrox fan.
What in God’s name is the “Gold Tier?”
MyGers is a scheme which already splits the fan-base into those who are members and those who are not.
Putting tiers into the scheme itself is a further fragmenting of the support, and one which gives priority to those who spend the most money. It’s as far from being a “fair” system as you’ll ever see.
The tiers system is ridiculous, and what most Ibrox fans haven’t twigged is that it is permanent. You will have priority access to away tickets for as long as you can spend money earning MyGers “points” on a variety of other activities; subscriptions to RTV, buying merchandise from official shops, taking stadium tours, spending money within the club …
It’s a hand in the pockets of the fans from the first minute of a season to the last minute.
If you’re not a MyGers member, your chances of ever seeing away match tickets at all is virtually nil. In a game like this, unless you’ve spent a fortune your chances are virtually nil even if you’re a fully paid up member who simply can’t afford to pay for all the other things which “earn” you “loyalty points.” There are few clubs which are so creative at fleecing their own fans.
If you think otherwise, you need to consider two of the ways you can get higher up on that list; the first is the preposterous Champions Wall, which – hilariously – they constructed featuring Steven Gerrard as its centrepiece; it commemorates “the club’s greatest managers”, and there he is, in the middle of it.
It’s meant to celebrate “55” but it’s as if they are subconsciously telegraphing the fact of the previous club’s liquidation by having their single title winning boss in the middle of the display.
Where he will be forevermore. Amazing.
The Wall is a mosaic of “images and memories” submitted by fans; it’s a giant collage.
To get on this piece of souvenir tat costs supporters a whopping £45.
But fear not, ladies and gentlemen, because that also gets you 5 MyGers points.
The second way is to buy an Edminston House package; these are on sale for a mere £150 … which according to the blurb represents “outstanding value” ho-ho-ho.
That will get you a sizeable cache of MyGers points; 50 of them. And what else do you get?
Your name will be inscribed on the wall of their Supporters Museum, if it’s ever completed. You will also get an “exclusive gift” which is a model of the stadium and the Edminston House itself. You get priority when it comes to the first visit to the museum. (Wow.) You will get priority for tickets at Edminston House events. (Unspecified.)
And you will get a certificate “signed by (manager) Giovanni van Bronckhorst and chairman, Douglas Park.” They’ve altered that in the last week. If you’ve already purchased yours it will, of course, have the signature of Mr “Let’s Go Get The F Outta Here.”
If you hang onto that, it could be a collector’s item one day.
I mean, form an orderly queue ladies and gentlemen because clearly the MyGers points and the chance to be on the Tynecastle ballot is the most valuable part of that whole package.
And bear in mind, that in order for MyGers to be viable they are going to have to come up with mugs willing to spend this kind of money each and every year.
So a variety of other daft schemes are, without a doubt, coming their way such as the Memorial Garden whose original intention was very proper and decent and respectful, as it was for the victims of the Ibrox Disaster before someone came up with the ghoulish suggestion that they should allow fans to pay to have their own earthly remains interred there … and which would have plenty of slots where you can charge your IPhone whilst you … waited?
This is my favourite bit; “Part of the plans was an overstretched statue of John Greig with his hand sticking out so passers-by could give him a high five.”
The club had the planning permission all ready to go.
But they withdrew it after they got feedback from the fans that this was a plan too far … just read their official statement to see what it was really all about; they didn’t even particularly try to hide it.
“(We) initially agreed to proceed with this project subject to consultation with key stakeholders. Both that consultation and Memorial Walls communications during that period, led us to conclude that such a project was inappropriate, would be rejected by supporters and result in commercial disaster.”
Commercial disaster … so it wasn’t a tasteful tribute to the dead, but a shady means of putting their hands in fans pockets, and even their supporters drew a line at that one. The last I heard, the club was being sued by the company they contracted to do the work.
Everything they do over there is geared towards playing on the loyalty of the fans as much as they can get away with.
For all we slate our own club, they would never have come up with something like this.
They are lacking in vision, out of touch and disrespectful of the fan-base, but they have never set out to fleece us in this fashion, and I don’t think they ever will.
This one belongs to Ibrox alone.