Who fancies a night out at the theatre?

28 Jan

It’s almost February and the latest batch of match tickets are going on sale. Green cards are being obtained from Mrs. B to ensure I can see the likes of Derby County, Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday. At month end, is the big one – Wolves at home on February 23rd. It’s a fixture I’ve loved over recent seasons given our divisional rivalry with the men from Molineux. And, of course, two days later there’s Manchester United v FC Midtjylland.

What’s this got to do with me, Nick?” you may ask . Well, on paper we’ve obviously got some link with the Danish Champions. Specifically that Matthew Benham owns both teams, our chairman Cliff Crown serves as a director for FCM whilst their chairman, Rasmus Ankersen, also acts as one of our co-director’s of football.

I’m sorry to bring this up again. We should still be talking about Sammy Saunders and his goal against Leeds United. But the half time lap of honour and request for applause afforded to the Danes as we were capitulating against Walsall still feels fresh. I’m not going to overly regurgitate my thoughts on that one – they’re here if you want.

Then, yesterday, ‘official’ twitter published a link selling tickets for the Manchester United v FCM Europa League game that takes place two days after our own fixture with Wolves. Just to be clear, that’s Brentford’s ‘official’ twitter. Not Man U or Midtylland’s.

They might have also done so, to be fair. I haven’t checked – not being a supporter of either team.

Good luck to Matthew. Genuinely. He’s done incredible things for Brentford and I certainly wouldn’t wish him or his other business interests – whether Matchbook, Smartodds or FCM – any ill will. Being blunt, it is in our interests that they flourish.

But, for the millionth time, I support Brentford. I don’t give a monkey about Manchester United (the comedy element of watching them race Chelsea to see who can fail to qualify for the Champions League first). I certainly don’t follow FC Midtjylland and, can honestly say, unless our paths crossed on the pitch, I’d never go and watch them play.

Going to watch ‘neutral’ football when you are bored one evening and in the vicinity is one thing. I’ve done it before. At Old Trafford of all places when I was working in Manchester for a year and borrowed a season ticket from a London based friend. Being honest, I struggled to engage. It wasn’t my team and the atmosphere was somewhat muted – moreso for a stadium that holds over 70,000. But for the sake of a ten minute tram ride it was something to do rather than spend another night in the pub – football tourism, I guess.

Yet our own club hawking tickets for a neutral game 163 miles away seems a really odd one. Maybe people will want to go. Maybe people will want a night out at the theatre? Of ‘dreams’ ™ , that is. Maybe people will want to jump on the football tourism bandwagon – that same one we were so scathing of at Stamford Bridge when the Bees took on Chelsea three years ago in the FA Cup

I don’t. I support Brentford. I’m not going to go out of my way to watch anybody else. Let alone on a school night. Let alone that far away. Let alone two days after I’ve been cheering on my team to victory over Wolves *.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but very few Brentford fans care about FCM. At least, on the pitch. Certainly, the response to the club’s tweet suggests that is still the case.

Comments included:

“Oh dear………..”

“couldn’t care less”

“Why would #brentfordfc fans want to go to that game? I don’t get it?”

“how much are tickets for @SupermarineFC v @MarlowFC ? Much more attractive game”

Please Brentford. I’m not a (total) idiot. I know Matthew has huge interests in the Danes . I realise that. Is it too much to ask you could just stop shoving them in our face?

Nick Bruzon

* please note: Other results are possible

28 Responses to “Who fancies a night out at the theatre?”

  1. tfalbb January 28, 2016 at 8:12 am #

    I’m sure most BFC supporters aren’t interested in MUFC v FCM, but if some are, the game doesn’t clash with a BFC game and BFC can earn some commission from selling some tickets then I don’t see the problem.

  2. nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    Thanks Dave. It just feels to me like another bit of FCM promotion being done out of our club. We’re Brentford. Not Midtylland. If some people want to go then I hope they enjoy it – really.

    I write a column and these are my thoughts on what is a topic that splits opinion. For Matthew’s sake I want his other club to do well. That’s as far as my interest goes.

    I’m not sure we’ll make huge amounts of commission on this game but, equally, why not take it to the next level? Perhaps an ‘all club’ ticketing strategy for ‘off nights’ is the way forward for those supporters who want to take in other games. Centralised through the club as a means of working with other teams to try and distribute tickets for games that haven’t sold out. Stranger things have happened.

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. It’s always appreciated.

  3. Mick Stone January 28, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    You say – ‘Correct me if I’m wrong, but very few Brentford fans care about FCM’. However, given that they are run using the same philosophy that is being applied at Brentford I think their progress is of great interest to us, irrespective of the potential financial implications of MB’s involvement.

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks Mick

      actually, I agree with you in part.What I actually said was: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but very few Brentford fans care about FCM. At least, on the pitch.”

      The whole model is one that has very key implications for us. I maintain, absolutely, no interest in another team or the suggestion I should when it comes to watching them, following them or even going to see them. That’s my personal choice.
      However, I have also noted:Being blunt, it is in our interests that they flourish.

      my point remains one of being unable, unwilling and uninterested in following the playing fortunes of two teams. More so when mine is being used to promote them.

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to articulate your comments. It has given some genuinely interesting food for thought

  4. Bees_Bhoy January 28, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Of course some could argue that by blogging about this you are giving it “the oxygen of publicity”. In the grand scheme of things it’s pretty easy to gloss over a solitary tweet from the club about tickets for this game. I seem to recall that a handful of Brentford fans were interested in FCM earlier this season and bought tickets to see them play at Southampton. The TV broadcasters picked up on this (in a positive way). Maybe a handful (doubt it will be more) fancy a trip to Old Trafford and this is one way to do it.

    You could have chosen to focus on something more positive. Perhaps the renaissance of Sam Saunders (and a look back at his key moments for BFC) or expanded on your enjoyment of our games versus Wolves…instead it feels like another negative post about the club…

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi Bees_Bhoy.

      Thanks very much for taking the time to read and respond. Firstly, apologies for my own delay to updating comments on this subject today. It’s nothing more than due to an inability to review whilst doing my ‘day job’ .

      Fully agree that the catalyst for this was ‘one solitary tweet’. And if that’s all it was then, of course, it probably would have passed by.

      However, I’m really possessive about our club and our team – certainly in terms of my own loyalty. We’ve all been through so much together yet this season has seen more and more promotion of FCM through our club.

      This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the tickets talked about, we’ve had their bizarre parade/applause during the Walsall cup debacle whilst even the official site refers to them as ‘our sister club’ in previous comms.

      My words aren’t going to stop anybody that wants to from going to Old Trafford. Good luck to them – genuinely – if they’d like to.

      As I’ve made clear in this, and previous articles, I support Matthew and hope his other interests do well. We’d be made to think our fortunes weren’t tied up in these. If nothing else, he is deserving of so much more than our support given the amount invested in this club in recent years.

      but that doesn’t mean I can blindly stand by and, if there is something happening where perhaps I don’t agree with the methods being employed, say nothing.

      I’ve written over 700 blogs on this site and, I’d like to think, the vast majority are pro-Bees. “another negative post about the club” is, in my humble opinion, slightly harsh but just as i have my view, you have yours.

      I’ll be the first to admit I’ve taken a more questioning line this last week or so. Likewsie, I can see it hasn’t always been well received. That’s the beauty of football – we ALL have an opinion and people care passionately about their team. Quite rightly, they are going to leap into action if they feel her being harshly treated.

      Which, I guess, brings us back full circle. I’m all about Brentford. I don’t want us courting FCM so publicly – at least from a playing perspective.

      That said, this is just one fan’s opinion and the beauty of being able to write a column. Some will agree with me; others will think I’m being OTT or ‘disloyal’.

      I digress, though. Suffice to say that all responses and observations are welcome. Really appreciate your talking the time to read the column and respond.

      Sometimes people agree with me. Other times they think I’m being a moron. Usually it’s smewhere in the middle.

      I’m just glad we’ve still got supporters so prepared to take the time to still voice their feelings.

      Cheers. And up the Bees !!


  5. Alec Ball January 28, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    Nick i always read and enjoy your column. Here is another perspective on the FCM issue. Some grounds such as Old Trafford, Anfield and the old Highbury are so iconic that any football supporter would be delighted to visit. Sadly tickets for those are not easily available. The FCM ticket offer gives some people an opportunity to visit the Theatre of Dreams that they might not otherwise get. Whilst that may not be MB’s only reason perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    In a season where we are not hitting the heights of last season – compounded by poor football club decisions and communication – it is human nature to seize on relatively minor issues to levy further criticism. Our football glass is still half full rather than half empty!

    Alec -Brentford for 53 years

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

      Hi Alec – many thanks indeed and I’m really grateful for your comments.
      Genuinely – I’ve been intrigued by the various feedback and different perspectives.

      As noted myself in the column, I have been afforded the opportunity to go to a game at Old Trafford previously. Whatever my thoughts on the occasion, one can’t deny it is an impressive looking ampitheatre. If people welcome the chance to go and visit themselves then that is thier decision as to how they spend their spare time / money.

      My point remains, and is predominantly, that we are slowly being drip fed a diet of FCM. To me it almost feels like they are ‘muscling in’. Perhaps I’m being silly but I can’t help my feelings. I can’t follow two teams and I don’t particularly like it.
      As I say though, this is just one opinion from one fan.

      The response and cross section of pro/anti has been refreshing. All welcome on these pages.
      Apologies for the delay in replying – can’t really get to these when doing ‘the day job’

  6. Steve FoxBee January 28, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    I would have thought that the clubs interest in promoting FCWalter Mittyland is not designed for one to switch allegiances but to see a product of Benham’s prototypical ideas on how to achieve the Premiership.Any insight on the future progression and prospects for Brentford is welcomed by me but I must admit I treated the ticket Twitter as I would any other Twitter that doesn’t affect me directly and promptly disregarded it.
    I didn’t see the half time parade, as I was queuing for the toilets and should they ever do it again, unless they put screens over the urinals, I’ll probably miss it that time as well.
    Hope you got all your green cards (I didn’t).

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

      thanks Steve .
      I just wanted to chuck an opinion and my, personal, feelings out there.
      Actually, there’s been some really interesting comments in return.

      As for green cards, Hillsborough looking iffy. But if not, at least I miss ‘that band’ . Scant consolation but I still live in hope.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and reply

  7. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    I think you are spot on Nick. I too was pretty annoyed with the FCM spectacle against Walsall. Is it any wonder that players want to leave Brentford when we hand over our ground and supporters to another football club, and dont play in our proper kit (Birmingham). Some people may think me mad, and they are probably right, but theres something in psychology called ‘attachment theory’, and these actions can contribute to a player’s sense of belonging.

    By the way the kind people at Swindon Supermarine informed me it is only £5 for adults to get in against Marlow. Now that I would do rather than spend £40 to see Man United.

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi Bernard. Thanks very much for your response.
      I don’t think you mad. We’ve all got an emotional bond with this team and this club. It’s not so much a fear of change but more a feeling that somebody else is ‘muscling in’. That I’ve been told it’s ok to play the field and take an interest in another ‘love’.
      I’m sorry but that’s not my style. I’m a one woman man and a one club man.

      Do the player’s feel this too? Who knows. But things start slowly, almost unnoticed, until one day you wake up and they are changed irreperably. We’ve lost our individuality.

      Extreme? Perhaps. But just my way of saying I know my club and I know how I like it.

      Thanks, as ever, for taking the time to respond

  8. Steve FoxBee January 28, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    Just as a point re attachment theory, I don’t like the blue away kit at all because I think I’m watching someone else, whereas the black I love and could get very attached to. All in all though nothing stirs the emotions as much as the red and white. Any chance of getting a coach together for Swindon?

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

      Steve – I love that black kit 🙂

  9. Roderic January 28, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    I hate the gambler; he made his money in the corrupt city and then went on to exploit those addicted to gambling, with all the social costs to their families, which is often , devastating.
    i find it distasteful, that such a creature is owning BFC.
    I hope, that, along the journey, Evie can throw off his yoke.
    Like you Nick, my first serious game was 1979, home v Newport, so,I feel things are going wrong, with this bunch of manipulator of the club.

    • Mick Stone January 28, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

      His main involvement with gambling has been in taking money off bookmakers rather than off hapless punters. ‘Smartodds is a privately owned company providing statistical research and sports modelling services to pro gamblers’.

      • hobbo January 29, 2016 at 8:52 am #

        Don’t bother Mick ,hes a complete and utter ranter

    • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

      Harsh terms and unfair generalisations ‘corrupt city’ ‘such a creature’ .

      Far be it for me to belittle the effects that gambling, like any addiction, can have – that would never be my intention. But you are tarring Matthew with a brush that doesn’t sit well. At least with what I know of him.
      I’m just grateful we haven’t got the ‘loan sharks’, Newcastle United style, sponsoring us

      • Roderic January 28, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

        Any involvement with the gambling structure, involves the gambler in the social outcomes; it is immoral and vile money. It is on the same level, as the revolting money, that subsidised a marvellous old team , Blackpool FC, ; the old timers would have died to see such scum finance their club.
        “Harsh”, corrupt city; 2008 collapse and the disgusting corruptions in the financial system, you are joking Nick; Methinks you are being silly!
        I remember a respected figure , Greg Dyke, being the head of BFC, before this manipulator bought his way in.

      • nickbruzon January 28, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

        Rodi – I work in the ,so called, ‘corrupt city’. I’m not one of the ‘fat cats’ we read about but I’m not so blinkered as to accept everything the tabloids tell us as Gospel. Believe me, I’ve seen how hard my colleagues work for such little reward

    • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

      Whenever I see the name Roderic I cant help but have an image in my head of Michael Palin in a toga. Sorry, thought Id share that.

      • thetwerp January 29, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

        You will incur the wrath of woderwic BQ.

  10. Roderic January 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    The twerp , aka the hobo, aka the gambler’s boot boy and general lickspittle to the Danish ham clan; nothing to say, as usual, except to disguise his identity, yet again, to have its pathetic little bleat at me.

    • nickbruzon January 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Hi Rodi – enough of the insults now. It’s getting boring and pathetic. Post your observations – absolutely. But if you are going to carry on with your poisonous claptrap about individuals then I’d suggest you move over to the GPG.

      Out of interest, what powers of clairvoyance do you posess to determine that the poster you are responding to has three alter egos ? I don’t recall any comments from the last two names but there definitely is a ‘hobo’. Are you 100% sure they are the same? No – you aren’t and you can’t be because only I can see the backend static data

      • Roderic January 30, 2016 at 12:49 am #

        So, are you saying that I am a free fire zone, from the character that started the bad feeling; check back on your records , where he stated that fans who expressed views contrary to his, should find another club; that’s not provocative!. What he says, about me, or mocking serious comment, which he never contributes, never gets your censure, I notice.
        The same hieroglyph, the same style of childish digs; I accept that I will try to restrain myself from retaliating in future, but I think you should be even handed.

      • nickbruzon January 30, 2016 at 6:07 am #

        Rodi – passionate opinion is one thing. And is welcome.

        Being derogatory and insulting me, your fellow readers and the club owners is another.

        All I ask is that all contriubutors conduct themselves with a modicum of respect.
        I’ve got no issue if anyone questions or criticises – that’s one of the reasons I write this myself. For a public voice. let’s be clear on that front.

        It would just be appreciated if readers could lay off the heavy handed personal insults

  11. hobo January 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Derogatory and insulting Nick,that’s exactly why iv’e had a problem with him, and the strangely quiet Rodi , you seem to have confirmed that they are one and the same, who seemingly want to destroy the best period in my 50 years of supporting the Bees.
    All brought about thanks to one man, that’s a fact, like him or not, and long may it continue.

    • nickbruzon January 31, 2016 at 7:15 am #

      No problem hobo. Comments and criticism are fine.
      The pathetic insults and name calling are not.
      I’ve had enough now and ,whilst I’m all for freedom of speech, will be using the ‘trash’ button from this point onwards if people can’t act decently

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