Monday, February 11, 2008

Manchester United and programmes....

I don't think I've explicitly stated this before, but I have the good fortune to have season tickets for Manchester United (*).

Yesterday therefore I had the great fortune to attend the Manchester Derby, which for those of you who have been living in a cave with no connections to football news, was also of course the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster. Credit must go to the fans and supporters of both sides, who paid a proper and respectful tribute - particularly moving was the chorus of "Frank Swift - there's only one Frank Swift" from the away end, which was met with huge applause from the Stretford End.

Infuriatingly, despite queuing for 15 minutes, I was unable to get a programme. I was so annoyed at the fact that they are now appearing on Ebay at starting prices of up to £20 - with one seller claiming he had bought 36 of the things - I wrote an irritated email to the Manchester United membership services - politely suggesting that in future they should ration the programmes on big occassions, or stick to selling them inside the ticket gates to stop people without tickets buying large quantities of programmes.

To my surprise, despite sending the mail at 4:30 this afternoon, I got two replies sent after seven pm. The first one seemed to be a bit of a thank you for your mail response, the second one however was much better (and stronger):

Secondly I would like to apologise and also
express my disgust that people have been buying multiple programmes and
are now selling these programmes on eBay. Here at Man United we are
completely shocked at those doing this and are making money from such a
terrible disaster.

That's pretty much my reaction. We have two beautiful scarves from the match, which I am going to treasure.

I was however keen enough to get a copy of the program on the day that I held my nose and placed a reasonable bid for a copy of the programme on Ebay (four pounds, as opposed to a normal price of three). I have however just received this email:

Please be aware that the following auction-style listing:

230221962474 - Man United v Man City. Munich Remembered programme

has been removed by eBay for breaching of one or more of our policies. Any offers or bids placed on this are now null and void. We advise you not to finalise this transaction with the seller. As stated in the eBay User Agreement, neither seller nor buyer should engage in transactions that breach the law or eBay policy.
Looks like there might even be pressure on Ebay to drop the listings - a quick search shows that a lot of the listings that were there earlier have now been dropped - most of the Munich related programmes relate to programmes printed in the 1950s.

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