Tag Archives: Benham

Sub-standard stats mask the true price of football

15 Oct

I can only imagine the Brentford media team are standing by to swing into action on Thursday morning after the Evening Standard published a bonkers report late last night, claiming it was cheaper to watch Arsenal than the Bees. In a clearly sensationalist bit of headline grabbing (presumably meant to lure people to their website, and yes – I bit) they have made this incredible statement. All of which is a shame for no other reason than it will now distract from yesterday’s genuine read – Beesotted’s summary of Matthew Benham and his presentation to the Matchbook Traders Conference.

But I need to start with the Arsenal ‘story’ where, I suppose, we should be glad that the Standard actually remembered Brentford exist with their latest story on the cost of football. The column by Tom Dutton (@TomDutty on twitter) ignores the fact that a Brentford season ticket is still cheaper than attending four ‘top category’ Arsenal games. Instead they have focused (incorrectly – and we’ll get there) on a twist of circumstances as the lead for their whole column.

Gunners fan can, theoretically, pick up a ticket for the home game with Bournemouth for £27. That being the cheapest price band for the only league game they have declared in their lowest pricing category.

I’ve taken a look at the Arsenal website this morning and it is true. Should you want to go to their Emirates stadium on a Monday night immediately after Christmas, (December 28) and sit in the bottom corner then there may well be a £27 ticket available to ‘Joe Public’.

That is, should any remain. Even the club’s home page notes that this is: “Subject to availability should any tickets remain after sales to Members”.

The Standard’s report fails to note that this membership is a cheapest price £25 whilst, incidentally, you have to pay £15 just for the privilege of getting on the waiting list for a season ticket. That said, they do also highlight the £97 category A seat for a single game and the over £1,000 cheapest season ticket price.

The Standard have never had a particular good relationship with Brentford, preferring to concentrate more on the Premier League than the clubs in London who have made up their traditional target audience. And when we have been mentioned, it is more a cheap shot at our expense for their own means – headline grabbing.

Good luck to them. It must be sad to be so desperate for readers. Moreso, and as supporter Thomas Knight had noted, given that supporters can get into Saturday’s league game against Rotherham for just £10, applying the same logic their article is already fatally holed below the waterline.

Griffin Park - watch an entire season for less than four Arsenal tickets

Griffin Park – watch an entire season for less than four Arsenal tickets

The other much more pertinent piece of Brentford related news was the aforementioned appearance by Matthew Benham. Billy Grant’s article is a fascinating one and, whilst not able to put any questions direct to our owner, does raise several interesting thoughts.

Specifically the observation on Marinus Dijkhuizen that, “They pulled in all the necessary references. But he also admitted that the club had also received one bad reference.

This reference they ignored – a fatal mistake – as they were so sure that Dijkhuizen was their man.”

Whilst the full reasons behind Marinus departure still remain muddied (anyone?), it does beg the question why such a potentially critical piece of information wasn’t investigated further?

I’m not going to steal Billy’s thunder any further. I thoroughly recommend that, if you haven’t already, then do take a look at the full article on the Beesotted website.

I’d love the chance to put these sorts of questions to Matthew. It takes a brave man to admit he’s made a mistake so fairplay for doing so. And so decisively.

It would be intriguing to find out why.

Matthew and Beesotted always make a good team

Matthew and Beesotted always make a good team

Nick Bruzon

An open letter to Matthew Benham…and Banksy

10 Dec

Could the ‘post-Uwe’ Brentford revolution be starting already?

Since the announcement was made about Herr Rösler joining Wigan, club owner Matthew Benham has been on prolific ‘social media’ form.

Firstly, with the return of a ‘cryptic clue’ that, as before, had me flummoxed. A ‘YouTube’ video link to ‘Coutances – Soundtrack (The Science of Sleep)’, performed by Dick Annegarn has left me no wiser as to what Matthew is trying to imply. Quite how this ties in to Mark Warburton (assuming it is him named as our manager this morning) I have no idea. However, this was merely the tip of the Benham inspired twitter frenzy.

Not surprisingly, given the current stories about Sam Sodje and DJ Campbell being involved in alleged betting offences, Matthew has had more than a few things to say on the subject. As the owner of smartodds.co.uk he, if anyone, should have an opinion on this subject and his comments make very interesting reading. There can’t be many Brentford supporters on twitter who don’t follow him but just incase, you can find these on @matthew_benham.

So far so good but what really piqued my curiosity were his comments in regards to the music at home games. The catalyst for this being the request from @tinpotgamer, asking, “Also, please don’t have two home ends. It’s on a par with goal music and giant flags.”

The response was almost immediate and as direct as you could hope “there will never, ever, ever be goal music”.

This was, pun alert, ‘music to my ears’. I love watching the Bees and there can be very little, Keith Stroud aside, to ruin my enjoyment. That said – win, lose or draw the one thing to consistently upset me is our tired selection of full time ‘exit music’. I’ve ranted about ‘Guaglione’ and ‘Celebrate’ before – tired dirges that are on a par with Robbie Williams and his ‘Let me entertain you’ for the songs most likely to be heard in a football stadium (see also: Queen: We are the champions – although never after a Brentford play off campaign).

So, with Matthew on a rich vein of public interaction, this was the time to put the point directly to the man at the top. “On that note, could we also retire the awful ‘Guaglione/Celebrate’ as our ‘sad/happy’ post game walk out music?”, I asked.

The resulting reply was a joy to behold. A positive. To quote: “yep, music needs a shake up for sure, before the game, when players walk out, ht, ft, only ‘hey jude’ sacrosanct

Could we have heard the last of (not so) Kool and the gang? Has Guaglione parped its last moribund farewell? One can only hope. Come Oldham on Saturday I’ll be paying extra attention to the Ealing Road P.A. – and not just, for once, because it is largely unintelligible.

The other discussion I had on Monday night was one regarding the roof on the Bill Axbey stand. Talking in the pub to fellow supporter Colin Campbell we came up with a couple of suggestions as to what could be done with the ‘Fly Qatar Airlines’ advert that still, presumably now rent free, occupies Europe’s largest advertising board. If they won’t stump up the cash to extend the lease (and, to be fair, why would they) then rather than repaint the entire roof, why not just add our own ‘DON’T’ (possibly at a jaunty angle) at the front end of their slogan? Given the amount of airline traffic that passes overhead, it might get somebody’s attention.

Alternatively, I lay down a challenge to the street artist, Banksy. Whilst, normally, there is nothing big or clever about graffiti, I’d happily see if he could sneak in under cover of darkness to decorate this space in his own unique style. It’s a win-win scenario. He gets the chance to decorate the largest ‘canvas’ possible; we inherit a piece of art, possibly worth more than Griffin Park itself.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.