Over the years, football has evolved from the sport I first enjoyed watching, face pressed against the railings down at the front of the terrace as an excited youngster.
Gone are the days when you could pay on the door, stand on the terraces and wait for the half-time scores to come up on those old-fashioned boards where every game was allocated a number.
But, are we about to witness the beginning of the end of another valued icon from my early days, the football programme?
Earlier this week, news broke that the 72 EFL clubs are going to vote on whether it should still be mandatory to produce a Match Day Programme.
It appears that, in these harsh economic times for some clubs, producing a programme is a loss-making exercise with clubs unable to shift the minimum print run they’re forced to produce, a print run that has been affected by spiralling costs.
The consensus of opinion is that the mandate will be broken and, for some clubs, programmes will become a thing of the past.
Now to me, that’ll be a crying shame.
Back in my humble abode, I’ve boxes and boxes of old programmes, all stored away ready to be looked at when a time to reminisce arrives.
Often, whilst flicking through these prized possessions, I recall the steps taken to ensure they arrived home in as mint a condition as possible, hidden away in inside coat pockets, desperate to keep out the rain.
My treks around the country saw me collect several complete seasons collections, all different shapes, sizes and colours.
Now, I’ve not a clue what they’re worth, to me it’s more a case of being able to retrace my formative years and also my youth.
But, it then struck me that although I treasure my collection of programmes, I can’t recall the last time I went to a game and actually bought one!
Therefore, despite my protestations, I’m starting to suspect that it is a trend many a supporter follows and perhaps, whilst it is only the EFL who are debating dispensing with the mandatory requirement to produce a match programme, is it only a matter of time before the Premier League follows suit?
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