Season ticket prices announced..

Some months after other clubs get their pricing tied up, Forest announced their season ticket prices today.  Modest rises all round seem to be the order of the day, which is most definitely tolerable.  Unless you happen to be in the Under 21 age bracket then you’re looking at a heftier rise.  That said, I always struggled to see why Under 18 and Under 21 were so close in price before the massive jump to adult prices.

So I’m quite content with that really.  You have until June 26th to renew your seat after which they become available presumably for ‘transferring’ season ticket holders to move to.  Forest are offering the usual short-term loan option to pay by instalments, and seem to have finally done away with the ludicrous % surcharge for using Visa-backed debit cards to pay up front for your ticket.  All in all, a grumble free zone for this writer!

I will grumble a little bit about the away membership scheme – which is a complete and utter con, but one those of us who travel away a bit must be party to because it’s basically a glorified queue-jumping mechanism.  A slight rise in this, £32 for those of us renewing, £37 to new entrants to the scheme.  As Forest have already demonstrated their ability to prioritise tickets based on away attendance records, I don’t see why this system is in place other than as a cynical cash-raising exercise.

But still, that’s a relatively small gripe mostly in an announcement full of positivity – to get over the idea I tend to consider the away membership as part of my season ticket cost.  It still doesn’t see me paying the most expensive regular season ticket cost, and gives me peace of mind that – combined with my ‘games attended’ list, I’m unlikely to not be able to attend a game I would like to go to.  All the information you need should be at the end of this link.

Billy: Should I stay or should I go?

"Whoa! Calm down! I only said I'd consider other jobs!"

I must admit that come the end of the football season I’m ready for a ‘rest’ from it.  I like switching off and not worrying about Forest for a while, I don’t check news feeds nearly as often and don’t check out the forums with nearly as much regularity.  But it’s hard to ignore the continued speculation surrounding Billy Davies.

If you remember back to last time we were without a manager I was dead against Billy, and I’m delighted to eat humble pie and say he proved me wrong completely.  I’d be very disappointed if he sought pastures new after affecting a remarkable turnaround in our fortunes – elevating us from 19th to 3rd inside a season is no mean achievement, and if he’d had his way in January arguably we might’ve pushed automatic further.

Having said that, I can’t quite subscribe to the anger some fans are feeling regarding his recent comments in the press.  As far as I can make out, all he’s done is said that he’d consider other jobs – he’s also said he relishes the challenge at Forest.  Sounds like a perfectly healthy and ambitious attitude for a manager to have to me.

When I pick up publications at work or the Evening Post I tend to have a check on the job pages – not because I’m unhappy in my current role, but it would be folly not to consider there might be something better out there.  I don’t see why Billy shouldn’t do the same, particularly in an industry where very little security nor loyalty is forthcoming to him from above.  It would be churlish to expect him to reciprocate it.

That’s no reflection on what he feels towards the fans or the ‘club’ as an organisation.  Time and again he’s praised the Forest fans for the backing we’ve given him, he appreciates us – of course he does – but for some fans to expect him to come out with unequivocal commitment to Forest and no other team are being a bit on the naïve side.  His attitude towards his employers (the board) is totally separate.

I really hope that Billy isn’t considering seeking new pastures – but I’m not churlish enough to plead he stays for the fans.  He should stay for his own ambitions, to improve his own achievements – and I truly hope that he feels they can be fulfilled here.  Let’s not forget the greatest manager we’ve had was an ambitious man, he wanted the England job, and constantly bitched and moaned at the boards he worked under.

Whatever happens, I would certainly wish Billy well wherever he ends up (within reason).  If he leaves he leaves us in a better place than when he took over – and certainly I think the acquisition policy deserves some credit for this too.  Sensible acquisition has given us a talented, young side on a modest budget – with a talented manager to get them working together.  That’s the model I like to see Forest operating – within our means.

Let’s hope we can continue with Billy still at the helm – but to expect him to show some kind of outlandish show of loyalty seems a bit unrealistic, it’s certainly not something that he is likely to get from the powers-that-be at any football club.  If it’s not to be, then Billy isn’t irreplaceable either – although I wouldn’t want to have the job of trying to find that replacement.  For a little man, he’d leave big shoes to fill.