SPL Family Fortunes

Last updated : 19 October 2009 By Firparkcorner

This group of mystery shoppers will visit our grounds unannounced and report their findings to a firm of customer services consultants. At the end of the season one club will be hailed as 'SPL Family Champions' - an award which will no doubt earn a picture in the tabloids before being deposited in the nearest rubbish bin.

A guide will be published highlighting some of the best practice across the league while the clubs will get a detailed report, no doubt unpublished, which will presumably list the deficiencies.

While the trumpeting of best practice is to be encouraged the majority of fans will be more interested in the correction of some of the glaring faults that are all to obvious to those who know the game.

Will mention be made of the location of the 'away' section at Parkhead where visitors are charged £22 for a restricted view, will the outrageous £8 parking fee at the official away car park at Ibrox be highlighted and will the overpriced and low quality catering common to all SPL grounds be exposed? Will the families question why it is that they can choose to stand along with thousands at Hampden to watch Scotland but they are forced to sit - frequently surrounded by dozens of empty seats - at SPL grounds?

Will there be cost comparisons to alternative entertainments for a family on a Saturday afternoon? A trip to a cinema for a couple of hours will be a fraction of the ticket demanded to watch any SPL game.

Neil Doncaster is quoted on Scotprem.com saying, "The beauty of this initiative is that it will allow the clubs to see things through their existing and potential fans' eyes and use this picture as a catalyst for change".

It should not take six months to identify the pros and cons of the fans' experience at SPL games. Maybe Neil should turn up unannounced at a few SPL grounds with a family in tow and find out first hand. He'll know the answers before Christmas but instead this project appears to be a desperate attempt for the new man to be seen to be doing something.

Bigotry, ridiculous prices and the Old Firm leaving the league could all have been subjects worth tackling - but clearly they are being saved for another day...