My supporters bus just elected its new executive, and people are looking forward to the season ahead. We still go to every home game, and that’s good, but it’s getting harder and harder to convince people that the modern supporters bus has viability.
The reason for this is simple; there are no longer buses running, with big numbers, to away games.
When I was younger, away games were what it was all about.
There were brilliant cities which I used to love to visit; Dundee was my favourite, and I retain great affection for the place to this day.
The team was brilliantly backed by the away support, and most of the places we went rolled out the red carpet for us, because we brought plenty of money to town.
All that has changed, utterly.
Nowadays we don’t get enough away match tickets to justify taking a bus to games. Only in Scotland would the governing bodies allow this to happen without putting their foot down and protecting supporters. Supporters buses are going to disappear.
The clubs have not backed them in the ways they should have, and now opposing clubs have cut the numbers they can get.
Even shared buses are rare now; when there are 700 tickets available to our fans there’s simply not enough of us, even if we’re collaborating, to get to matches.
We’ve got three tickets for Aberdeen. Three. That’s half a decent sized car. Even if three or four buses come together, even hiring a mini-bus looks like overkill. The away fan experience is being destroyed and nobody at the top of the game gives a damn.
Our new executive is keen and the guys are good at what they do.
They will give us stability and we’ll raise money for the home game transport and celebrate major events and give cash to charity and all the other stuff supporters buses do.
But going to away games is going to become so rare as to make it virtually unimaginable, except in the cup.
The current situation with the tickets cannot continue or whole parts of the football ecosystem in Scotland are going to die off.
It is a shocker that we don’t have minimum allocation rights here, it is shocking that clubs can take these short-sighted actions, when there are many thousands of supporters who want to go to away games and can’t.