Where does your heart lie?

That’s the tagline for Sheffield Wednesday’s attempts to market a huge price hike in next year’s season tickets, and a disgraceful guilt tripping exercise it is too. Tampere United seem to have learnt a thing or two from the bigger leagues in Europe though, and their cup game pricing policy shows just what that is.

TamU’s 10 year celebration match was an eventful game, end-to-end stuff, and the teams looked pretty equal until a scrambled winner for Djurgården late on. That wasn’t the point though: a ‘prestige’ friendly against a foreign club, especially one billed as a birthday party, is about more than tactics and formations. The important stuff is all off-field, and for a minority sport like football the people in the stands are much more important.

Some more important than others, obviously. Kalervo Kummola must have been to other TamU games – he owns a substantial slice of the club – but before Monday night I hadn’t seen him. many other VIPs were there, apparently having been given a free scarf on their way in. Mere plebs had to pay, however, even if they had a season ticket. When I discovered this I walked round to the press entrance, but if that hadn’t been an option I would quite likely have spent the money in the pub instead.

Quite a few people decided to do just that, as the crowd was just 1,500. It was a crap atmosphere, and you have to hope that if they make it to 20 years TamU remember that if people have to pay to come to your birthday party, only your closest friends are going to turn up. A far better idea would be to give season ticket holders a free ticket to bring a friend along too, given the 10% occupancy rate this game achieved.

Which brings me to tonight’s games. Ilves v VPS, at a proper football stadium, included on my Ilves season ticket, or TamU v FC Espoo’s reserve side at Ratina, costing €5 to get in? Why on earth did TamU decide 1) to play at the same time as Ilves and 2) charge money to watch a team in Kolmonen get torn a new one? I’m going to Tammela anyway, and then heading to the cottage for midsummer. Don’t expect any updates before Sunday.

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2 Responses

  1. I noticed the other day that Honka have drawn their reserve side in the next round of the Finnish Cup. That’s basically handing the first team a bye into the next round, isn’t it?

    It doesn’t seem fair given that the Cup is starting to throw up more competitive games by this stage.

  2. There’s actually a rule which has it that if there is a first team and its reserve squad left on this stage of the cup, they will automatically play each other.

    However, the Palloliitto forgot about it and pooled them in as usual – and were lucky enough to draw them this way. Otherwise the whole draw would have been taken again, and that would have been embarrasing.

    Then again, quite a few things where Palloliitto or Veikkausliiga or both are involved, turn embarrasing.

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