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Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League

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Fan Letters: ‘It seems like a generation of fans have just been cut off & forgotten about’

RR reader David fears the club’s move to digital ticketing will leave the older generation adrift.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report

At a time when we are doing well, it seems more and more people are wanting tickets but it appears lots are having trouble with the Ticketmaster website. When I was renewing my season ticket (and I had bother) one of the ladies from the ticket office admitted the site was a nightmare.

Now that it appears this is the only way to get tickets as they’ve done away with buying paper tickets the club must sort that site out. I'm of the non-digital age but I have people to help me... lots of people my age and older don't. It seems like a generation of fans have just been cut off and forgotten about. Maybe the club think we’re not the future. Well, I also know a lot of younger people have failed to get tickets this season and streaming passes last season. Someone at the club has got to get this sorted. It's been like this since we started with Ticketmaster.

David Wilkinson

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for getting in touch David. While I understand the need for the club to look at business efficiencies and the need to digitise what they can, there’s evidently a huge problem the club needs to rectify here. Fundamentally, any business needs to make it as easy as possible for people to buy from it – and Sunderland have made it more difficult! I’ve had professional experiences with TicketMaster, and it’s not the easiest system to use – I suspected there’d be difficulties when we went with them. Hopefully, they’ll get sorted out. I think the bigger thing here though is the more we digitise things the less human interaction there is between the club and supporters. From the ticket office to the club shop, that person-to-person experience is a vital part of a football club, and for a community. A football club isn’t like any other business, and we need to be incredibly careful when reducing any of that contact. For people who are struggling with the digital side of things, I believe the Branch Liaison Committee were helping supporters who were struggling to get things sorted online, and I’m sure they’d be happy to help. We did a piece with them earlier this year in which they talked about this, among other things.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report

Good badge design by Matthew, and it started me thinking, and as I am not as good as Matthew design and drawing capabilities, I wondered if he could design the colliery wheel in the centre instead of a football with Sunderland AFC round the wheel. Just a thought.

Billy Bell

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Billy – it’s nice to see the badge issue has stirred some debate! Matthew, what do you reckon?! (For those of you who didn’t see Matthew’s design yesterday, check it out here!)

Dear Roker Report

As regards redesigning the club badge, I have always thought it should be a black cat holding a miners safety lamp. What do you think?

Matthew Hay

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Would nicely tie in some bits of SAFC heritage, Matthew – who fancies taking on that one?!

Dear Roker Report

What’s wrong with the badge we’ve got?

Ian Gaweda

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I think some people think it’s time for a change, Ian – and I agree. The current badge is similar to a lot of stuff out there, particularly our friends up the road, and has been on our shirts as we’ve sunk down the leagues. If this is the new dawn we all hope it is, it could be nice to have a new visual identity, too.

Dear Roker Report

That badge redesign is brilliant!

Peter Guthrie

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Peter – I’m sure Matthew will appreciate the positive feedback!


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