Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Preston Pigeon Takes Off!

And that’s about as good as it gets I’m afraid. Expect plenty more poor puns over the coming weeks, months and years. So, what is the Preston Pigeon and what is it all about? Written by two football fans who have been going to matches together for ten years, the Preston Pigeon blog will detail our travels in a time where our national game is going through a revolution of sorts, a time when we dont have a vault of cash like Scrooge McDuck and a time when we just want to get out there and see as much football as we can. We could probably explain it even better over a pint or two, but we’ll keep the rambling in written form just now, so keep up!

Chris...

During the Easter weekend of 2007 Phil and I had planned an away day to Carlisle, for a League 1 match between Carlisle & Bournemouth. The impulse to do this came from simply being two guys that love football and fancied a change from the norm (the norm being, watching Aberdeen underachieve for most of our football going lives). The trip was brilliant! It was cheaper to get to Carlisle from Glasgow than to go to Aberdeen. The game ticket was cheaper, the football was better, the atmosphere better and you could get a beer in the ground! Over the next four seasons we planned an away day around my English team Southampton, and each game and experience was better than the last!

After several seasons containing many visits to watch games lacking in any form of entertainment, I was sick of it. I sat with Phil and said let's do a blog about our away days down south (& abroad), showing how it's cheaper to go to these games, better football, better atmosphere, and so on! It was decided. We would call it The Preston Pigeon (as we would likely have to go via Preston for many of our trips south)... and we were ready to go!

Then, the summer of 2012 happened. Scottish football was revealed for the corrupt game it is. The Rangers Tax Saga dragged Scottish football through the mud and was handled terribly (but we aren't here to discuss that). Luckily, at some point during all of this, something fascinating happened, the whole of Scottish football clubbed together and said they wouldn't stand for it anymore, and out of nowhere (despite what the suits will tell you) amassed a fan base again. Now, only time will tell if all of the fans will pull together and turn up in their numbers, but it's safe to say that over the next years we hope to visit as many grounds as possible.

One thing on my agenda still hasn't changed, however. The cost of Scottish football, for the poor quality of the product, is way too high. Over the next year we will report on the cost of each matchday ticket we buy, each train or bus ticket & most importantly the value for money. We hope you enjoy!


Phil...

Well, that pretty much sums it all up. I mean, the lacklustre displays we observed didn’t go for all the games we saw, I remember some particularly good encounters at Somerset Park in Ayr. Growing up I had a season ticket for many years until I left for university and for a couple of seasons, I would go to away matches with my Dad, always excited about finding the new stadium, trying to spot the floodlights towering over the local rooftops. However, it wasn’t just following my team. If it was Saturday afternoon, we’d find a game to go to, always trying to visit a new stadium. Now that I am grown up, I want to cross more off the list.

This blog is, like Chris said, about our travels, how much it costs to get about the country, not only in England but Scotland as well. The idea of going to towns and stadiums we haven’t been to before, is very appealing to us and sometimes the more obscure the better. The blog isn’t only about crossing the 42 Scottish and 92 English league grounds off the list (one day though!), it’s about going where the time and more importantly, our money, takes us. Neither of us have disposable income in abundance, we have mortgages, children and weddings to pay for, just like most people, like your average football fan.

We do however like a good list or top 5 so we’ll have some ‘goals’ as we go along the way, things we want to see, stuff to tick off the football bucket list and as noted, we’ll detail all the stats about where we’ve been and what we’ve seen.

We hope that the recent goings on in Scottish football mean that the quality of the game in our country improves and that fans start going back to support their local team because essentially the seeds of this blog were sewn because of the lack of quality and value for money in Scottish football. This will take a long time of course, but we’re more than happy to watch and see how it goes.

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