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Kingsmills

Crowds.

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We were widely ridiculed by Central Belt commentators and pundits for our small crowds when we were at Pittodrie.

However, the fact that Hamilton v Livingston in the Premiership on Saturday attracted only 1,135 seems to have passed without comment, even with Hamilton having everything to play for.

Had that been us in the Premiership there would, without doubt, comments about how worthy we are of our place in the top tier. Our fans have somewhat deserted us this season but I can't imagine us getting just over a thousand for a Saturday afternoon league game in the Championship far less the Premiership.

Double standards yet again. It would be great to  shake up those Central Belt dinosaurs by, once more, having two Highland clubs in the top tier. We would certainly bring more to the party than Hamilton Accies.

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I've said before that we certainly were not the worst supported club to grace the SPL,  Even St Johnstone could only 1900 vs Livvy a couple of months ago.

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county having 900 season ticket holders in inverness cant help. there must be a reason why people are going to see county and not us. they have more season ticket holders than we have attendance most games, including away fans and as much as it pains me to say it Mcgregor is doing things the right way for the club as a whole and the community aspect they have is a lot better than ours has been in a long time. i understand he has a lot of money but it feels as though we just can't get the basics right, and that is an issue.

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11 minutes ago, northstandfan said:

county having 900 season ticket holders in inverness cant help. there must be a reason why people are going to see county and not us. they have more season ticket holders than we have attendance most games, including away fans and as much as it pains me to say it Mcgregor is doing things the right way for the club as a whole and the community aspect they have is a lot better than ours has been in a long time. i understand he has a lot of money but it feels as though we just can't get the basics right, and that is an issue.

I agree. County have successfully engaged with the whole county from Cromarty and Invergordon in the east to Ullapool and Gairloch in the West and a huge presence in Inverness as well.

By contrast, while we have a very loyal core, we have really made no progress in engaging with the wider Inverness community in quarter of a century.

That is not a random fact but reflects the efforts that County and their management have made that we have failed to learn from and it's not all about money even if that does help.

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56 minutes ago, northstandfan said:

county having 900 season ticket holders in inverness cant help. there must be a reason why people are going to see county and not us. they have more season ticket holders than we have attendance most games, including away fans and as much as it pains me to say it Mcgregor is doing things the right way for the club as a whole and the community aspect they have is a lot better than ours has been in a long time. i understand he has a lot of money but it feels as though we just can't get the basics right, and that is an issue.

It's because countys fan base is the whole of the North of Scotland and the only big place they can move to for decent j9bs housing education etc is Inverness. We as a town based club have only the city to draw our fans from. Remember ictfc are only 25 years old county were formed how long ago a more established club. 

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3 minutes ago, MorayJaggie said:

It's because countys fan base is the whole of the North of Scotland and the only big place they can move to for decent j9bs housing education etc is Inverness. We as a town based club have only the city to draw our fans from. Remember ictfc are only 25 years old county were formed how long ago a more established club. 

Twenty five years is a whole generation. That excuse is wearing a bit thin.

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31 minutes ago, Kingsmills said:

 

By contrast, while we have a very loyal core, we have really made no progress in engaging with the wider Inverness community in quarter of a century.

 

Utter nonsense ICT as a club need to engage with Invernessians first and foremost before they even attempt to dip into the wider community.

The loyal core you speak off are mainly incomers.

County indeed have as many fans in Inverness as they do in Ross-shire but what’s even more alarming is the growing generation of Inverness based born and bred County fans that have no affiliation to Ross-shire whatsoever.

Im not for one moment saying the franchised highland experiment has failed but there are sizeable cracks developing.

A solution would be starting to target primary schools within Inverness with free tickets this could be done by selecting one school per home game even if it was say a mini bus full using ICT transport.

dougal

 

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County have buses coming from likes of Ullapool etc fcuk nos what the attraction is for years we were by far the better team think they're seen as more of a family friendly club and tbh they're ground is a lot better than ours right on top of the "action" easy parking for the fair weather type they attract as well ! And apparently it's seen as a top away venue coz of the mallard! Wer screwed even under yogi and butcher when we were playing some blinding football the crowds were small all that free tickets etc has been tried no avail I'm afraid! Should do a Netflix type Sunderland doc on BBC alba get a bit of publicity or sign some controversial ageing big name even bad publicitys good!

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25 minutes ago, Alan Simpson said:

County have buses coming from likes of Ullapool etc fcuk nos what the attraction is for years we were by far the better team think they're seen as more of a family friendly club and tbh they're ground is a lot better than ours right on top of the "action" easy parking for the fair weather type they attract as well ! And apparently it's seen as a top away venue coz of the mallard! Wer screwed even under yogi and butcher when we were playing some blinding football the crowds were small all that free tickets etc has been tried no avail I'm afraid! Should do a Netflix type Sunderland doc on BBC alba get a bit of publicity or sign some controversial ageing big name even bad publicitys good!

No they dont...lol 

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4 minutes ago, old caley girl said:

No they dont...lol 

They do trust me girl there's a pub in Ullapool it leaves from seen it when I bought my loopalu tickets couple of yrs ago far fetched I no but even County memerobilia on the walls shocking stuff

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16 minutes ago, old caley girl said:

No they dont...lol 

I meant bus obvs probs a mini bus can't imagine fleets of west coasters bouncing down to Dingwall but still a mini bus more than we get!

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The stalwarts that I sit beside are mostly from outside Inverness (Invermoriston, Nethybridge, Ardersier, Tomatin, Gollanfield) plus a couple of Invernessians, myself included. 

While it's key that we engage with Inverness itself (businesses and individuals) it's clear that there's interest from further afield that would be folly to ignore. We just don't seem to have ever really become part of the fabric of the city. You could walk through the town on a match day and barely realise that there was a game happening. 

It is disappointing that we have not expanded our fan base more given the population boom that we've had since the late 90s. 

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29 minutes ago, TopSix said:

Sort the catering out, and get a bouncy castle for the kids. 

Just the kids?

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Bring on the dancing girls; in a marching band atmosphere. Sigh!  No?????

Sight for sore eyes and something completely different..  Yes !!!!:music02:

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The club is heading for exactly the level it should be at based on the attendance figures it gets compared to others in Scotland. Its a fact we should all get used to. Until some bluesky thinking is shown and something to engage the people then we will end up stalling at our natural level. The 'novelty' factor that once came with a charge up the leagues and fist foray into the Premiership is gone, there's been no 'bounce' from the various on pitch successes over the last 5 to 10 years (LC final, SC win, Top 6 finishes etc). The club through various administrations seems to successively get further away from the community each time, the matchday experience is getting less fulfilling each season and the catering and overall facilities are dropping in quality.

There's little buzz, excitement or feel good factor its all so turgid and a malaise - we have a club that seems to struggle with the concept of social media and realising that football now is very different to the 1990s/2000s and fans expect more.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, bdu98196 said:

The club is heading for exactly the level it should be at based on the attendance figures it gets compared to others in Scotland. Its a fact we should all get used to. Until some bluesky thinking is shown and something to engage the people then we will end up stalling at our natural level. The 'novelty' factor that once came with a charge up the leagues and fist foray into the Premiership is gone, there's been no 'bounce' from the various on pitch successes over the last 5 to 10 years (LC final, SC win, Top 6 finishes etc). The club through various administrations seems to successively get further away from the community each time, the matchday experience is getting less fulfilling each season and the catering and overall facilities are dropping in quality.

There's little buzz, excitement or feel good factor its all so turgid and a malaise - we have a club that seems to struggle with the concept of social media and realising that football now is very different to the 1990s/2000s and fans expect more.

 

 

Well said!!! 

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46 minutes ago, bdu98196 said:

The club is heading for exactly the level it should be at based on the attendance figures it gets compared to others in Scotland. Its a fact we should all get used to. Until some bluesky thinking is shown and something to engage the people then we will end up stalling at our natural level. ... The club through various administrations seems to successively get further away from the community each time, the matchday experience is getting less fulfilling each season and the catering and overall facilities are dropping in quality. 

So the obvious thing - I'm teaching Grandma to suck eggs here - is to look at what other clubs do.  I've just returned from a visit to Scotland, where my wife's relatives regaled me with tales of how wonderful the new chairman at Stenhousemuir is, and what he has done for the club. Making a small profit, 6 or 7 of the first team squad already signed up for next season even though they may well go down, lucrative advertising around the pitch, shirt sponsors for the next four seasons, and so on.  (I'm leaving the artificial pitch out of this, since it's so controversial. It's not new anyway - but it has brought in money for them over the years.)

Our new CEO, if he still stays in Edinburgh, is ideally placed to see what Central Belt clubs like Stenny - who have local rivals, just like we do with Ross County - do to keep going.  In fact, thanks to geographical distance and also the difference in league positions, the likes of Stenny shouldn't see ICT as direct competition.  So I don't see why we can't actually approach the Chairmen of clubs like that and say "Can we come and talk to you?".

In addition, the ICT fans who live in the Central Belt may see things that our Board in the Highlands don't.  If you see any ideas that might work for ICT, feed them in to the club.  (Or to the Supporters' Trust, although I see no sign of what it is doing at the moment.)

Some of the things are obvious - bdu98196 mentions some above - but some might not be so obvious.  And I think there is a difference between keeping the club financially viable - a problem to be solved every day - and establishing the club within the community, which is a much longer term activity.  I hope the Board recognises that and is planning for both.

Edited by snorbens_caleyman
spelling

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14 hours ago, Kingsmills said:

Twenty five years is a whole generation. That excuse is wearing a bit thin.

It's not really. Children learn from their peers and family and if that family don't have a support for the club they then won't want to engage. We need to accept our crowds are our crowds. We will always loose out to the ugly sisters when the bus loads leave every weekend down the a9. Unless the club really get active in the community, schools on a regular and sustained basis. This won't change. Adding to that. Now living in Angus and Montrose FC are heavily involved in all the local primary schools in their are to the point every game like has been  suggested free tickets have been issued, free Easter eggs for kids at the last home game. Social media advertised well in advance well priced sportsman dinners, family end of season get togethers in the afternoon to allow families to attend and balls. They use social media for everything raffle results, lottery results man of the match presentation bybthe sponsor. After school football clubs rather than just the weekend which as a working parent is cheaper than other childcare and my boys are kept fit healthy. There just isn't this same engagement from ICTFC.

Edited by MorayJaggie

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13 hours ago, Alan Simpson said:

I meant bus obvs probs a mini bus can't imagine fleets of west coasters bouncing down to Dingwall but still a mini bus more than we get!

Alan when I worked on the trains on a Saturday the train from Kyle by the time it got to dingwall would have in excess of 30+ fans from Kyle strathcarron Garve etc all going to the match so I can completely agree with you there.

Edited by MorayJaggie
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1 minute ago, MorayJaggie said:

It's not really. Children learn from their peers and family and if that family don't have a support for the club they then won't want to engage. We need to accept our crowds are our crowds. We will always loose out to the ugly sisters when the bus loads leave every weekend down the a9. Unless the club really get active in the community, schools on a regular and sustained basis. This won't change.

I dont think its a totally lost cause but families do influence there is no doubt about it. Not a reason to give up though as peer pressure has an effect too. We need to go back to school/youth group tickets and encouraging teenagers to come as they are more likely to return? Id let all u16s in free but I do realise that has implications financially. 

 

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6 minutes ago, old caley girl said:

I dont think its a totally lost cause but families do influence there is no doubt about it. Not a reason to give up though as peer pressure has an effect too. We need to go back to school/youth group tickets and encouraging teenagers to come as they are more likely to return? Id let all u16s in free but I do realise that has implications financially. 

 

Yes i totally agree with you. There needs to be that grass route engagement. This is where it seems to fall apart. 

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25 minutes ago, old caley girl said:

I dont think its a totally lost cause but families do influence there is no doubt about it. Not a reason to give up though as peer pressure has an effect too. We need to go back to school/youth group tickets and encouraging teenagers to come as they are more likely to return? Id let all u16s in free but I do realise that has implications financially. 

 

Totally agree OCG. It would be interesting to find out how many u16s actually pay at the moment?

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The club give away a load of tickets to schools but I don't think the uptake is as great as it once was.

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While I agree on all the above and also to an extent that our crowds are our crowds so get used to it, that doesn't stop the club from trying to bring in new fans and bulk up the fan base.

The fact of the matter is the club as a whole seems to severely lack on the basic fundamental skills to engage with existing fans, prospective fans, existing sponsors, prospective sponsors and the local and wider community as a whole. With every new and passing comment I read on here it is very apparent that the new CEO has a huge job to do and a lot of changes to make in order to change that culture.

It needs brought back to basics, the club need to look at what we do or more so what we don't do and go from there. If we want to engage with the younger generation then we need to start with social media as the club lacks hugely in this area. They need to engage more with schools and local community groups and I don't mean with free tickets; invite schools and community groups to the club for youngsters to meet the players, have open days, host events etc. Yes it costs money but make use of the facilities and staff they have around them to negate a lot of cost. 

In terms of sponsorship, even though I have no business experience in the Inverness and shire area, I would say that the club are in the enviable position where they are far enough away from the central belt to not be competing with too many others clubs and businesses for money/sponsorship. Make use of the fact that we are almost removed from other clubs and promote that for the better, businesses want to know what they are getting for their money, give them more tickets (we've got enough empty seats), give them better hospitality, start advertising them better on the website, social media platforms and around the ground. 

Promote the club as a family club as businesses love this and want to be affiliated with other businesses that promote themselves in this way.

More importantly start engaging with the current fan base better and a lot more effectively, even when it comes to season ticket renewal it would appear that we are poor at this. Yes we know that it comes around every year but it still should be advertised better. Listen to people's genuine fears and gripes they have and take on board all comments as making people feel like they are being listened to goes a long way than just taking their money.

It seems like there are just too many people at the club doing just enough or the minimum or it could quite simply be that the resources just aren't there to implement any of the basics and people are stretched. For me if this is the case then that's a huge problem. It needs a fundamental review of all operations within the club and firm plans put in place to change it all. It's not insurmountable and just needs someone who is far more progressive than those that are currently there.

 

PS: excuse the long post, it could have been a lot longer

Edited by MrCaleyjag
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