For fifteen years my season ticket has landed on the doormat with a satisfying thud.
A plastic-bound wallet a whole centimetre thick, with a big wodge of paper vouchers – one to be torn out at every game by the cheery turnstile man, plus a few optimistic spares in the back in case we embark on a cup run (we never do).
But not this year. Now we’ve been given a credit card-style piece of plastic, far better suited to these times of limitless spending in the run-up to football’s financial doomsday.
It seems somehow inadequate, for a full season of ups and downs, tears and laughter.
It’s not substantial enough…if it put it in my wallet, it’ll get bent like the rest of my cards. If I don’t, I’ll lose it.
Once a ticket was a thing of unique beauty, a piece of artwork that could summon up memories or images of a lost Golden Era, shot through with colours and a Wembley watermark if not a rainbow hologram.
Paper tickets worked quite perfectly. But of course, we must bow to technology and progress…
First game of the season, and there is CTM still in place, waving me straight through the turnstile. No, he isn’t able to read the barcode at a glance: “The new system’s not working yet!” he explains, cheerily.