1. The Wolves game was turgid, but the result was very welcome and effectively guarantees us a play-off spot. Nine points ahead of Cardiff (in seventh place), it seems as equally inconceivable that they could displace us from the play-off zone as City now finishing in an automatic promotion spot.
2. The challenge for Steve Bruce is to use this victory, streaky as it was, to get some badly needed form and confidence back into his team. The benign run-in we’d hope would be propel us over the line to automatic promotion will instead have to be used for collecting some reinvigorating victories. And hey, if we can pagger Leeds and at least partially right the ghastly wrong of December, perhaps we will all start to feel a little better. Win most of our remaining fixtures, ensure we have the home leg second in the play-offs, and as wretched as it all feels now, football can change rapidly and this could still be a summer of epic celebration. No, really.
3. That will require a sizeable improvement in quality and attitude, of course. Names don’t need naming, but the manager must find a way of focussing his players minds not on their summer machinations and Premier League prospects, but on getting City promoted. That’s a tall order for a manager who has cut a reduced figure of late, however he has done it before, and getting City up for a second time would restore lustre to a legacy that’s been tarnished of late.
4. The club announced the revised Membership Scheme details over the weekend. If you’re a South Stander and had been expected to move seats if you’re not in a family group, you now don’t have to move, though you do have to accept that the stand will be more kiddy filled than before. That’s a very positive and welcome change.
5. Supporters being allowed to secure use of their current seat in the West Stand upper should we get promotion to the Premier League seems a neither here nor there change. They could always go in the West upper should we go up, albeit buying tickets on a match by match basis. Either way, the people contemplating potential eviction from their seats have no influence on the outcome, and have to hope a side whose manager branded their performance against Wolves “not good enough” are going to save their seats. The whole idea of closing a part of a stand rather than attempting to fill it with reasonably priced tickets is just pathetic and defeatist.
6. Does adding 800 extra Zone 1 seats cut it when almost 40% of current passholders have concessionary tickets? “For too long, the price of football in this country has been much too high”, Ehab Allam, the man behind price hikes following relegation, is supposed to have said. If he really thinks that, why not make the entire upper West Stand Zone 1 and fill it every week?
7. A question not answered the first time round still has no answer: If you suddenly find yourself in a rather cheap Zone 1 seat and will be saving money when compared to pass prices this season, why would you move to somewhere more expensive? If people don’t move, the chances of other people being able to move to cheaper seats from seats that have now risen in price significantly will be very limited.
8. The ‘Family Stand Guarantee’, which means ‘no group in the Family Stand will have to pay more than you did for…2015/16 Season Cards’ sounds great, but the caveat of ‘for your first year of Membership’ implies that the financial pain those who want to remain in their current seats not in the Family Stand will face soon, will merely be postponed for those who agree to move.
9. Even after the changes, many supporters are saying their overall spend may price them out of every game attendance next season. The brochure trumpets ‘adult savings’, which seems odd given there will be no distinction between adults and children any more, and ignores that most people don’t attend alone, they go with other people, some of whom will be children and/or seniors. The line stating that ‘the pride and passion of the black and amber army will never be lost’ seems remarkably hollow and mealy-mouthed doesn’t it?
10. It is clear that this scheme has been launched despite being nowhere near ready. Through our place on the Fans’ Working Group we urged the club not to proceed until the all-too-obvious issues had been satisfactorily resolved. Instead, the FWG was invited to another meeting to discuss it further. This was shelved. A proposed e-mail discussion failed to materialise. Instead, those on the FWG were notified on Thursday about the few small alterations prior to Saturday’s announcement – clearly, the club had decided to proceed by decree rather than by meaningful consultation. It’s precisely the sort of arrogant attitude that caused such serious damage over the name change fiasco, in which the fans imploring the club to think again have been proven entirely correct. A similar situation is imminent here. We despair at the club’s refusal to listen and the long-term harm could take a generation to repair.
10a. The club had previously promised us that the words “Hull City” would be used in the brochure. Predictably, you will scan it in vain for their actual FA-sanctioned name. A small thing perhaps, but indicative of the spiteful way in which the owners and management regard us all.
10b. And no, we very well may not be accepting any future invites to FWG meetings, if indeed there are any more. If they can’t be arsed to listen or make good on assurances given, why waste our time attending and being the only ones to ever produce a proper write-up of them?