Community spirit or the biggest micky take of the season? Bolton Wanderers Football Club asked for their supporters help to shift the snow around the Reebok Stadium in order to make the area safe in time for the FA Cup fourth round tie with Everton.
Did they offer free tickets or free shirts? Maybe a Club Shop Voucher for a fiver? Ok then - a free hot drink? No! Did they heck-as-like. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that the club were asking for volunteers to give up their own time and put in a back breaking shift before being rewarded with the pleasure of spending £20 of their own 'hard earned' to get into the ground for the match!
Bolton Wanderers, meanwhile, have the highest paid manager and players in the division who were all gathered snugly inside in the players' lounge eating free hot soup and pasta. Zat Knight is on a purported wage of £15,000.00 PER WEEK (over two grand a day) and yet the club can't offer a few miserly pence to those willing to brave the cold and ice after the heaviest overnight snowfall in years.
Could they not afford to get a few temps in for a couple of hours or get some extra stewards on the job? Personally I just think it is pure cheek on the part of the club to get the fans to do the dirty work. It's not as though we didn't all know the snow was on it's way. On Tuesday my weather report said HEAVY SNOW, Friday, 4pm til after midnight. So they had plenty of advance notice. It's also not as though we are a tiny club like Daisy Hill or Marine or even Bury who you could probably forgive and understand a last minute cry for help.
All those fans who turned up early today to clear the snow should be Knighted. Zat Knighted. He should turn up to each person's house with a thank you letter and a crisp fifty. It's fans like this that keep players like him on wages like his*.
I did not go to the Reebok early to lend my support for the pre match winter piss take and I do not know whether the club took pity in the end and bought everyone an overpriced Roll Over Hot Dog but they didn't offer anything up front. I also don't know if the players really were inside eating soup. But what I do know is that I found the very notion of the club asking the fans to get stuck in was all kinds of wrong considering the size and financial clout of their business.
No matter how much I wanted a Big Mac you certainly wouldn't find me clearing the drive-through with my own shovel before I could order one and I think the same principle applies here.
*I don't want to be one of the fans who turns up to help out and reinforce our position as the lowly supporter whilst keeping the players on their Royal, out of reach, millionaire perches. To anyone who turned up today to help out, you should not have bothered. Helping out will only serve to cause the club to take us more and more for granted. It would have been a far stronger message for all fans to give them a big 'up yours'!
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Life long Wanderer, season ticket holder and avid blogger!
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