Match Day Programmes – Yes or No?

The EFL will hold a vote in June as to whether to stop making it mandatory for clubs to produce a match day programme.

Currently, all EFL clubs must produce a programme for every match but as printed media becomes increasingly obsolete, it may not be a requirement in the future. Declining demand and increasing prices have led to a call to scrap the current requirement.

Personally, I’d be appalled if clubs stopped making the programme an option, whilst digital media is progressing it is also very ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ and digital programme would be lost almost as soon as it had been purchased. A printed copy gives you a glimpse into history, it is a social commentary and a valuable source of both history and culture.

We ran a Twitter poll to find out if our readers would like to see Lincoln City make a programme. 421 people voted in total, with an overwhelming 80% coming out in favour of a printed product.

I’m biased, I collect programmes (much to the anger of my other half) and I have a filing cabinet of issues going back to 1947. Every so often I spend a couple of hours flicking through reading old managers comments and laughing to myself. Colin Murphy turned programme notes into an art form, Keith used them to berate officials as well as put forward his forthright views, whilst David Holdsworth used them to introduce us to a new face every week. Steve Tilson probably wrote his in wax crayon and Chris Sutton, well I won’t read his drivel, but it’s there if anyone else wants to.

The point is, they’re a wonderful resource for us bloggers and content creators, thanks to programmes I wrote the article about our former player who starred in Brookside, I did the ‘guess the Imps’ quizzes and managed to track down trial players from yesteryear. Fact books, website and the like, they can only tell you so much but a programme is a magazine that gives you everything it can about that week in time. Mixed with a fanzine it is a unique glimpse into the past. reading some of the 80’s and 90’s programmes along with Deranged Ferret’s from the period is often very eye-opening.

I can understand a move towards new digital media but I hope that in some way, there will always be a printed magazine to buy on a match day. Believe me if there is not, the Stacey West shall produce a fanzine for every match, even if it is just a few pages thick, to satisfy demand.