Patronised

It was gratifying to see there was a modest spike in hits yesterday evening as people came looking for information on the postponement of the Waterford-Clare Minor match in Dungarvan. Or maybe they were looking for a cure for insomnia. Either way, I wasn’t at the game so can’t give any peculiar insight. I spoke to a work colleague this morning who goes to all the games and usually gets there in plenty of time for a good seat. As it happened, she was delayed by the stop-go system just before the junction for the Military Road which meant she arrived at the entrance to Fraher Field at 6.35pm as they were taking down those ratty signs with the price. It came as no surprise to hear that the evil weather in Tramore (see above) was replicated 25 miles down the coast so nobody was complaining that the match was called off. The only surprise was that took so long for the penny to drop, which meant some patrons – is the GAA the only sporting organisation to use this figure of speech for supporters? – had already paid to gain access and have now lost their money.

Should they have called the game off earlier to avoid this fiasco? Yes. Could they have done anything to repay these ‘patrons’? No, or at least not given the fact that none of the patrons would be able to produce a ticket. You could argue, as several contributors on the subject on boards.ie have done, that a receipt of some description should be given on entry to the ground. But this strikes me as being an unnecessary level of complication to the match-going process. People want to get in and get out for matches like the one last night, and if someone were to propose lengthening that process by even a handful of seconds in preparation for the rare event that is a match being postponed after the gates have opened, you can be sure people would vote on that proposal with words of the blue variety. This is galling for those who paid to gain admittance. Even if you get to the rescheduled game there’ll be a kernel of grievance that everyone else is getting in for free. But the fact that no-one in the Munster Council didn’t see anything worthy of concern about 100km per hour winds doesn’t mean the GAA must now introduce an extra layer of bureaucracy to the match-going experience.

As an aside, the rescheduled game will give us the results to an experiment I’ve being dying to stage. You always hear complaints about the price of every GAA match, and underage games at €10 a pop are no exception. I’ve said in the past that prices are too high because it is too great a burden on the regular matchgoer who is meant to at the at the heart of the Association (along with everyone else), but that no-one should expect a boost in attendances. I expect that there will be a bigger crowd at the rescheduled game, but not so large as to demonstrate that there is a hunger for hurling that would be sated if only it were much better value. And you can’t say there’s better value than free. Speaking of which, I’m going to commence charging for this blog. Cures for insomnia don’t come cheap.