I remember a few years ago when my eldest went to the Aberdeen Football Club Dons Day out back then. They got special treatment, a few players came out and the kids got a group photograph, with a few players in the front. Maybe that was the players in a slightly better place and the T-Shirts seemed not to shoddy either, although they came in one size – HUGE. It was a positive memory, and one that stayed with eldest for the last few years as something special..
Fast forward a few years later, and the opportunity to go to a Dons Day out came again.
Buoyed by his last experience, eldest was all for it, and so I paid for 2 adult tickets and 1 child. Having to pay an adult price for a child of 12 is bad enough, but the lack of anything special means that I’ll never let my kids go to one again. Yes, 50% of the proceeds go back to a non-profit, group, school or charity, but come on, people still want value for money for something “different.”
Where’s the customer service, or are football fans so die-hard that they’re willing to forgo customer experience for the sake of just getting in the door and parking their bums on a seat?
The whole group has to arrive before they can all go in, so heaven help any group in the dilemma of someone who can’t make it in time, I have no idea what happens to them. I suspect the Dons Day Out was just a way to fill the stadium for the Celtic V Aberdeen match last week, and the boys reported back on many groups arriving with their paper-thin T-Shirts proudly on display.
Rather than a blow up hand, I suspect the kids would prefer a new scarf, pen, or slightly longer lasting momento, but c’est la vie, I can live with that.
Once their whole group were there, the promised group photo with the cheque being presented for the school funds for half the proceeds was shortened to a quick usher in the doors, and the first few through hurriedly being in a photo before the rest of the group got to their seats.
Far from being the posed photo that eldest remembered and still treasures, the closest to Angus the Bull they got was their dad taking his own photographs on his mobile camera.
The promised photo of a group shot with Angus the Bull at their stand didn’t seem to happen. If it did, they didn’t even know about it, and part of me hopes that it did happen and will materialise somewhere down the line.
The Dons Day Out might be a good day out at a smaller match, but on the big matches, I’d give it a miss and just go as a regular supporter. Littlest had nothing to gauge it against, so he thought it was great, though he was disappointed as he was expecting to see a player or two.
So, really, how much would it have cost to have a couple of players out on parade and get some photos with the kids?