Date:Friday February 29 2008
Rotherham United Chairman, Denis Coleman says that the club are now paying the price for the lack of vision in the past. While other clubs were dragged screaming and kicking into the Twenty-first Century, the Millers, perhaps somewhat blinkered, carried on in their own little world and now, when it could prove too late, they have woken up.
The travelling fans have seen, even in League Two, some of the hospitality other clubs have to offer and can't help but compare with what is on offer at Millmoor - although I have received hospitality in the marquee in the Main Stand at Millmoor and I have to say I really enjoyed my afternoon, it still falls way below the standards of most of the other clubs in the Football League and the Chairman agrees
Speaking to The Advertiser he said, 'When you went to the match twenty years ago you met the lads in the pub and got your pie and this, to some extent, is still true but people want more these days from football. They want to have a day out and corporate football plays a big part in the income of the club. In years gone by most clubs have built facilities to cater for the changes but we didn't and we are suffering for that now. It is so frustrating that we can't drag corporate business in but we have done our best but it's difficult to ask sponsors to bring their clients to the marquee because everyone wants to go to a shiny new stand with new facilities. We need to catch up and we need someone to help us.
'Relegation hit us hard. Our home crowds dropped and we lost £150,000 Football League funding - if we could go up we would be in a better position with bigger gates, bigger visiting support and more Football League money. After all, promotion is still a possibility and we want to think positive and not about the possible ten point penalty.'
As a footnote to this, I have travelled to ninety per cent of away games this season and for most of them we have been invited into the clubs social club. A few weeks ago a coach driver dropped the visiting supporters at Millmoor and they headed to the Suite where someone on the door gave them directions to the pubs in town. I was frankly gob smacked when I heard this and I mentioned it to someone else and they said they'd seen the same thing happen before. Now, I'm sorry, but to me if visiting supporters want to come into the Suite and spend their money then surely this could only be good for our club? Oh and these people I saw weren't young lads shouting and swearing, they were people aged between ten and sixty.
Date:Friday February 29 2008
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