I consider myself a student of the club, someone who wants to know as much as I can.
I often spend an hour or two leafing through old programmes to get a feel for how the club was at that time. You can find loads out in a programme, the news of the day, opinion, how the board viewed the club and even about the opposition. I see a programme as an intrinsic part of supporting the club, but not so much a part of my matchday routine. I choose not to get my programme from a vendor now; they’re bulky, difficult to carry or bend and with such tight seating at the Bank, they often go home crumpled. Instead, I subscribe, but I get that isn’t for everyone.
Here is an indisputable fact; the programme is dying. Some clubs now do a digital-only copy, but where will you find that in ten years time? You won’t, but I feel that Lincoln City might be going the same way. I am informed sales of the programme are low, bought by around 6% of our attendance. Some young people wouldn’t even consider buying a programme these days, and with the price of a pie and a pint, they’re a cost many could do without. How many of you have old programmes you cherish, but don’t buy one now? I’m led to believe in the recent fans survey, more people responded and said they didn’t want the programme to go than actually bought one at the subsequent home game.
I believe the club would be open to honest dialogue with people about the programme and I’m keen to facilitate this. I want to put together a group of people who have ideas on how to make the programme more attractive, or who do not buy one but don’t want to see it go, to understand what role it plays in the modern game, and how it can evolve if need be. I have several ideas; if I’m honest, I think the current programme format is obsolete; much of the content is found online (interviews etc) and it is bulky and perhaps even a bit too slick. Do you feel the same? Do you have strong feelings on how the programme could be saved, in some form, and not be a financial burden on the club? In its present state, I feel the programme could be in its last season.
Do you want to be part of a group that saves it?
If so, drop me an email email@example.com, and I’ll put together a Zoom chat (or a couple) to get some feedback, ideas and the like, which I then plan on presenting to the club. I’ll also run you through my ideas, and maybe together we can save Lincoln City’s programmes, not just for me and you, but for the club boffins of tomorrow.