It looks like I ain’t going.
Hey kids, and a very sunny Spring afternoon to you. The weather is warm, the birds are singing, lambs are gamboling and, I’m sure, I can probably hear an Arsenal fan bleating about the rough justice they receive from referees in the distance.
Yes, Spring has truly arrived.
As expected, Joey O’Brien and Jlloyd Samuel completed their loan deals to Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City respectively before the loan deadline yesterday. And that, you would expect, is the last that we will see of them. As you all know, Jlloyd has had his house up for sale for a while, whilst Joey has had his leg up for a while (hey-hey!). We’re paying JOB’s wages, showing that, at board level at least, relations with our former manager have thawed a little. Good luck to them and thanks for the time they gave T’Wanderers.
Tickets for the Semi-Final have been going like the proverbial hot cakes as Bolton fans look forward to their first Wembley visit since 2000. As a non season ticket holder with a job that means I sometimes have to work weekends and a move from, ironically, London to the north to plan, it is looking more and more likely that I will be having to view the game from the comfort of The Prince of Wales in Gatley. This state of affairs has put me in such a melancholy mood I’ve started to listen to Smiths records to lighten myself up.
There appears to be some sort of split in how good the club have been/how rubbish the club have been in selling the tickets. Let me take you back to 2004, when I had a season ticket and lived in the north.
You will recall that season ticket holders were allowed two tickets per person for the Carling Cup Final. This meant that there were not enough tickets to go round. Myself and Mrs X Snr. were amongst the lucky ones and, as a result, took my two nephews, who were about as far removed from being Bolton Wanderers fans as Dara Ó Briain. Other fans who were season ticket holders weren’t so lucky and missed Bolton’s first major final since 1958.
For the FA Cup Semi Final, the club have again given two tickets per person, but this time we have been given more tickets, as a result of no one caring about the semi final other than the fans of the club. HOWEVER, they have decided that you cannot go and buy tickets face to face until, and only on, March 27th. They will, however, have catering and toilet facilities, for which we can only be thankful.
Instead you can phone or buy online. If you phone you, I would guess, get that muzak version of Dion’s ‘The Wanderer’ until one of the staff at Bolton Central becomes available. Good luck on that at 5p per minute.
Alternatively, you can sit in a queue online while an egg timer goes round and, in some cases, crashes and throws you out. This then starts what my good friend Dr Johnston of Sheffield Hallam University calls ‘The Rage’, wherein you stare at the screen in apoplexy for a couple of seconds, before screaming at it in words that would make Eddie Murphy flinch, before starting all over again.
How about we just go back to queuing up for tickets? Sure, it may be uncomfortable, but we’ve all been there, either lining up for play off tickets or, more recently, Take That. If you really, really, really, really want a ticket, you won’t mind queuing up for six hours, thermos and sleeping bag to the ready. This, it would appear, is the only fool proof way of doing it and would stop people moaning all the way down the M40 of how they were in line for a £60 ticket, but have had to do with one up in the gods where you can just make out Tony Pulis’s nose. Somewhere along the line, they may be grateful of that.
Right, here’s an advertisment. There is a new podcast about Bolton Wanderers, done by the good men over at The Men in White. They sing, they dance and they purposefully misunderstand what the other is talking about. Comedy gold. Go here, listen to it and then go onto Twitter and tell them how good they are. I just have. And it made me feel good.
Right, here’s a photo of Mike Tyson in a Bolton shirt. Mike Tyson. In a Bolton shirt. Good work, heavyweight champion of the world sent inside for rape has problems getting a visa to get into this country please don’t give him my address as he will probably kill me type fella.
Sportstastic this weekend, footie, cricket and The Boat Race. And somewhere in the middle, another one of these. Until then.