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Keeping Football Programmes Relevant

Date: 18th May 2018

The English Football League have decided to vote on whether on not to keep production of match day football programmes compulsory.

Running costs and declining sales have caused clubs to rethink their commitment. Scottish clubs will be watching on with interest as they to might be rethinking their stance if programme sales are struggling.

For me, I’d hope that Scottish sides could save the football programme by being more forward thinking and innovative.

We should have a few different types of football programmes out on the market.

Growing up I always wanted to get a programme when I was a kid and I’d keep and collect them. Reading about the team, the manager’s notes and the upcoming fixtures kept me amused before kick off. Personally I’d think about introducing small kids only versions with player interviews, games and plenty of photos in it. You could also have a birthday message page and advertise club merchandise and holiday training camps too.

I would introduce an online version (I know some teams already do this). We know that people are using phones and tablets more and more, so why not bring the programme into the twenty-first century? You could offer season long subscriptions, allowing a continued revenue stream. These programmes would include videos that aren’t shown anywhere else, as well as glossy images, interactive polls and a player rating system.

While some clubs have embraced the digital age more than others, I still think too many teams in Scotland still under appreciate the need for good digital products as it can allow the club’s marketing and PR department access to reams of essential data relating to their fanbase.

Then I’d  have a more sophisticated programme.

These would be more like club journals rather than the traditional programme. You could have established writers and bloggers doing long form stories about club folklore, greatest matches, club heroes and important issues that mean something to the home support.

I think the clubs should encourage supporter’s submissions, I bet they’d be surprised by the great content they would get for free. You could maybe sell these once a month but for a slightly higher price.

All Scottish sides should be contacting their fanbase either by an emailing list or on social media and finding out what improvements can be made to enhance the match day experience as a whole and not just the football programme.

So much in our game is going forward but sides can standstill.

Now all Scottish clubs should use this summer to concentrate on improving the things that will keep the existing supporters and that will hopefully bring in new fans as well.

I believe innovative programmes along with better food options, good all round facilities, strong stadium wifi and some fresh pre and post match entertainment could go a long way!

Teams need to embrace fan interaction and that will hopefully mean saving the once beloved football programme.

By Scott Johnston (

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