This week I finally opened the Arsenal Members pack that all Gold, Silver & Red members get from the club as part of the membership scheme. And what a disappointment it was;
- A small red and white scarf
- A fixture list which was already out of date due to TV changes
- Cheap tin badges
- A membership book
- An Arsenal Foundation book
- A buy one get one free voucher for an audio tour
My first thought was ‘what a load of crap.’ My second thought was ‘where is the bin.’
Now I know why the packs are relevant. It is to make it look as if the club is giving something back to the fans. To appear as if the membership cost is not just a tax on buying tickets. But at the end of the day, I pay £1000+ for my season ticket. This year I will spend around £4000 on tickets (home and away), transport (over land and sea), booze and hotels following The Arsenal. A pack which cost less than a fiver to put together is not exactly the club giving back.
Now sending me a pack is a waste of money, as I am sure it is for many fan of a similar age who does not buy programmes, shirt or any other of the crap merchandise the club pedals. The club could save money by having an ‘opt out of members pack’ box that you can tick when renewing your membership.
I would not even ask for money off my season ticket or membership. The pack costs sweet FA so it would be a saving of a fiver. Not much of a saving when I am willing to spend £4000 following The Arsenal.
And the club would not exactly make an earner from it. The money saved from the packs would probably be less than the cost of a weeks wages for Nicklas Bendtner.
So my theory is this. On your season ticket renewal form, there should be a ‘donate to charity’ box that one can tick. Then, rather than me getting the pack ,it go’s to someone who would potentially appreciate it more. Add to the Christmas gifts the players take to a local hospital. Send them to Great Ormond Street. Distribute it to those living abroad who a little bit of Arsenal would brighten their day.
It would cost me nothing. It would cost the club nothing. But it could make the day of someone less fortunate.
So Arsenal, if you are reading this, allow me to donate my membership pack to someone who would actually like it, rather than send it to me to chuck in the bin.