The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

If you can't get two weeks in the Caribbean, Grimsby is better than nothing

23 October 2020

Football is not a TV show. We all know that. If it was, Tuesday night against Harrogate would have been Some Mothers do ‘Ave ‘Em, with James McKeown as Frank Spencer and the punchline "ooh Betty’s".

Football is played live to be watched live, with all of the social and community benefits attached. Of course, as the game has evolved (got greedier) so has the amount of football on 'normal' pay television. This week alone has 56 games from Monday to Friday, taking in first and second division and those all-important European games.

This is then increased to 80 if you include the 24 games played at division three and four level which were not on actual TV but, with the right connection, you can still watch on an actual TV.

IFollow streaming has been ongoing for three seasons now, and this year has seen the largest exploitation of the service that allows football league clubs to stream their games. Normally this practice would jeopardize the crowds at actual games but as the attendances are officially zero, it seems, unlike Kyle Bennett the other night, a sensible substitution.

Thunderdiary has always been sceptical of football on TV. Having grown up with a videotape paused and ready to record 90 seconds of black and white magic at around 12.42pm every Sunday, I'm happy for goal highlights. However, in the covid-enforced absence of the real thing, I'm happy with the product.

Sure, only one camera is frustrating but replays are welcome and the stats are interesting at half and full time. As has already been discussed on these pages, commentary provided by the BBC on a home game is fascinating because JT is on the other side of the ground and sees things we can't (and vice versa).

I've enjoyed away commentaries to see what they say about us; the Cheltenham people were particularly ebullient about our front three.

The most important facet of iFollow is the money. Town get £8.60 for every home pass and every away fan virtually attending BP up to 500. This means they received at least £8,700 on Tuesday night. Chuck in 150 Harrogate subscribers and thats’s £10k. That's the equivalent of selling maybe 650 tickets on a matchday, not far off the home numbers during the Jolley reign.

Extrapolate across twenty-three home games and that's a healthy £230k, with Town hitting the 500 away passes for visits from the likes of Bradford and Bolton.

Away games have seen us average just shy of 1,000 per game, so let's say 500 per game as per the rules. That's £4,300 extra revenue which would be knocking on for £100k over a season. £350k over the next seven months would come in very handy, with fans hopefully being let in before the season ends.

Of course, those numbers will depend on how well Town do. If we're successful, we will earn more cash so it's important to get back to winning ways tomorrow against Carlisle.

Holloway is sure to change things again, with Rose, Williams and Windsor all likely starters. For me we need to play the same team as often as possible; familiarity breeds a style of play, systems and confidence in what each player is doing. We have the germs of a great team, we now need, on TV at present, to be able to see it.