GLF 72: Tommy has found the answer to boosting attendences...religion!
Strategies for Boosting Attendances
A new season dawns and the same old faces trudge to the Ark.Neither pricing initiatives nor success on the pitch have boosted support beyond the four to five thousand core who attend weekly.In order to address this problem radical new solutions are needed.I've looked at the two best supported clubs in this country and found a common denominator: religion
Every street in Scotland, no matter the proximity to Glasgow, has kids wearing the colours of Rangers and Celtic.They each get about ten times the weekly gate as Well and enjoy a global following.Religion is a major factor in this, in my opinion.Everyone knows, generally, if you're a Catholic (defined by the school you went to being called "St. Someone's") you will support Celtic, and if you're a Protestant (going to a non-denominational school) you will support Rangers.Such rules reap rich rewards for the Old Firm - however there is no reason why our club can't get a slice of this ecclesiastical pie.
The more discerning will point out, rightly, that it isn't religion, per se, that the Old Firm have embraced, more a brand of religious hatred.For examples sake you might say that Rangers are more anti-Catholic than pro-Protestant.This rivalry (sectarianism, prejudice, bigotry - call it what you will) is endemic in the West of Scotland and is very successful for both clubs.To get in on the act, clearly Motherwell must not only align ourselves with a creed, we must allow (nay cultivate!) religious hatred at our club.The Catholic/Protestant market is currently saturated in Scotland but by broadening our horizons we can find our niche.
My thoughts initially turned to Islamic fundamentalism.The world's fastest growing faith has a ready-made hatred of all things Western and thus can be easily exploited for divisiveness in the SPL.Hard-line Muslims make great football fans;praying all the time and being prepared to die for the cause.I can almost hear the cries of "INFADELS!" as we declare jihad on whomever we're playing that particular week.Alas there are stumbling blocks.As Muslims we'd have to stay clear of the alcohol, and consequently change the words of our best songs.If that's not enough the traditional colour of Islam is green.Yes that's right, green.(OK let's just quietly cross Islam off the list).
The Church of Scientology is another option, almost daft enough to succeed.They believe science fiction is actually real memories of how the world used to be-the "Space Opera".No really they do.Put the absurdity aside for a minute, remember we want a religion that is contentious and factious.We could have tonnes of celebrity fans of the calibre of Tom Cruise, John Travolta and South Park's Chef.And their conspiracy theories could put the most paranoid of Celtic fans to shame.The only problem is you need to pay barrel-loads of money to become a scientologist.As we haven't yet gained the financial rewards of associating our club with scientology, we don't have barrel-loads of money.You can see it's a predicament.
For a bit of magic we could turn to Wicca. Christians have persecuted witches for centuries so it wouldn't be difficult to utilise the victim status and instantly fall out with the rest of the country. It's also a great religion to get younger fans through the door. If Harry Potter has taught us anything it's that witchcraft and wizardry is popular. Kids lap up all the spells and potion mumbo-jumbo. They'll be easily lured with our Gryffindoresque scarves. Cursing referees could become literal and by flying on broomsticks to away games we'd save on petrol money.
It's high time we ditched our family club persona. In truth it doesn't matter what faith we choose, so long as we engrain spite, resentment and intolerance into the fabric of our club.The Old Firm have shown us the way.To become more like these two great Scottish institutions always bear in mind that football is about religion, division and spewing bile with like-minded morons.It is not about supporting your local team and
sticking with them through thick and thin.
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