Wick Academy Trial Out New Match Day Team Lines

Match Programme Annnouncement

The power of the published press has been under severe challenges since the creation of the love it or hate it internet, with all the digital, online and virtual space that people go to these days to access everything from daily news, to booking holidays ontheir smart phones and laptops etc. The advent of Twitter, Facebook and websites has changed beyond parallel the speed of which news can be announced and shared and after many years of a paper programme being printed, we have had to make the hard decision of how much time we spend on duties to benefit the Club as a whole, and more importantly committee volunteers time, work life balance and health.

The match day programme has a certain niche interest and lots of Highland League Clubs either don't do one or provide an online edition. John Briskham, who puts literally hundreds of hours a year in behind the scenes doing our Club Licencing Audit, Child Protection and Welfare documentation, to name a few of his thankless but essential tasks, also keeps fans abreast with Twitter and Club Website updates. Ultimately we felt that something had to give and his tireless involvement with every aspect of the programme was becoming more and more time consuming and deserved be put to better use in the regulation heavy and online era we live in.  Last season a monthly programme was suggested as an alternative which would still satisfy the home and away fans who still desired a paper memento of their visit to Harmsworth Park and would mean there was no ‘deadline' to meet every other weekend in an already hectic working week. The traditionalist and passionate match day programme stalwart at the helm, Ken Wood, was not in favour of that idea and with respect to the massive input he made to the programme we agreed to continue as per, until we ultimately had to make the full committee decision to only do match day programmes on special days such as Scottish Cup or derby games.

Programmes are absolutely a tradition of football matches, but the harsh reality is more fans ask us for a Wi-Fi code at Harmsworth Park than they do a programme, nostalgia unfortunately isn't a reason to continue with something. The main driver behind the decision was not about profit albeit the figures quoted online by those not pleased at the decision do not show the whole picture. Valued Sponsors and advertisers are keen to support the club in different ways and a programme advert was seen as a convenient way to thank them for their generosity, in truth the programme viability has been propped up by figures that were attributed to programme advertising, when in reality the financial donation had already been received by the Club. On a few occasions we had received our usual 70-80 programmes that had been printed only for the game to be called off on the Saturday morning. On days matches went ahead, of the 70-80 printed, roughly only 40 were sold as the others went to hospitality guests, visiting committee, officials and a few people who over the years  had earned a well-earned freebie!  The bitter irony of the decision being justified, it could be argued, is that the disquiet expressed online by a few people about the demise of the paper programme, they only knew about, because they read the news online, despite the information being printed in the two previous programmes! When you add in that the other modern day reality is that it's just about impossible to keep everyone up to date with everything that's happening with a printed booklet, it was obvious that more time was required on the way the vast majority of people both locally and globally receive news about Wick Academy FC. Five or six programmes were sent to expats/collectors each game, whereas we have over three thousand twitter followers and over a million ‘hits' on the Club website. 

However, as was always planned, we think we have come up with an attractive compromise and will be rolling it out shortly. We will be providing a colour double-sided match day team lines at both gates that will allow fans to see both starting ‘elevens' and subs bench listings, of which current team line sponsors are quite happy to support and on the reverse will be the pen pics of our players and staff along with their sponsors details of which we have secured fans and businesses who have never sponsored or advertised with us before. This will enable us to give the most up to date information to everyone whether connected to the World Wide Web or not. It also does away with the periodic problem of do we print or not print, in the depths of winter on a Friday afternoon while we struggle with plastic sheeting and scaffold boards to try and get the next days game on! Basically if the games on we hit the print button in the secretaries hut as soon as we get the line-ups from both managers at 2.30pm and then dispatch the said paperwork to the gates! And at the same time all the news fans need will be on the website for ever, for anyone to access anytime, this year, next year or in ten years.  

We hope you understand that our reasoning behind the decision is for the overall good and progress of the Club and while we know we cannot please everyone, the only way we will know if a new concept works, is if we try it, knocking something before it's trialled won't get anyone anywhere.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the programme over the years thus far.