The FOX 197 – the February edition – is in the shops now…
Our third all-colour issue is now in the shops, or you can buy it online.
Featuring: our latest Fox Gallery caricature – N’Golo Kante; an interview with Alan Bennett – the club secretary from 1979 to 1994 takes us behind the scenes at Filbert Street; Fully Programmed from Christmas 1994; Fox Diary – the Premier League adventure continues; the latest from the Foxes Trust; What’s happening on #lcfc Twitter, mostly starring Christian Fuchs; Rewind goes back to April 2015; Foxed in the Head – on pies, love and Revolver bags; former Chairman Andrew Taylor is our guest columnist; John Hutchinson continues his series on City and World War II; our new series The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects continues; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month; and the latest doings of Fanatical Frank…
all for considerably less than a pint…
Extract from the Alan Bennett Interview…
FOX: How did you go about deciding on ticket prices? Did you compare with what the rest of the division was charging?
AB: To a large extent. You were always torn between making as much revenue as you could to keep the club going and maybe even get a transfer kitty going, because the TV money wasn’t flying around in those days – and putting prices beyond what people could afford, or wanted to pay. I think we probably got ours about right, near that happy medium.
FOX: We have a vision of matchdays where the turnstiles are closed about ten past three and huge bags of money are taken into a room where someone spends the rest of the game counting it out. Is that about right?
AB: Well, nearly. You’d keep a stile open in each stand for the late comers up to half-time. Most of the turnstiles took cash. Each one had a meter which would be read by the turnstile supervisor before they opened so they knew what the starting number was. You were only allowed one price for each turnstile, which could cause some confusion with families trying to get in together. The turnstile reader would then take a closing number. Say, to keep it easy, 500 people had gone in and paid a pound we needed £500 from the turnstile operator. Now, the turnstile operator doesn’t know his starting and closing numbers, he just counts it, bags it and hands it in to the cash office in the Main Stand. We know he should have £500 so when we count it and it is £497 then we say, ‘Okay, thanks!’
If someone comes in with £450 then he gets sent away to count it again. I mean, sometime sthey came in with £505, errors can happen. With 40 stiles, 37 or 38 of them were near enough. The other two or three, 9 times out of 10 they’d come back with the right money. Nearly always they were honest mistakes, if the same chap did it a few times then you got a bit suspicious.
By about half-time everything would be bagged up along with the programme money and, it used to be a taxi but ended up with Securicor, it would be sent off to the bank which would be opened up specially. By the end of the game it would be safe in the bank. They’d count it on Monday morning and send us a statement, which we had to accept, but usually it would be within ten quid, which wasn’t bad for tens of thousands.
FOX: Was there any reason it changed from a taxi to securiocor!?
AB: Erm.. it got a bit dicey once, I think!
Chelsea also used a taxi, even if was a 60,000 crowd. The only difference at Chelsea was we had a couple of bank clerks who would watch the first half. Then we would use one of two branches in London and only the clerks knew which one we were going to use on any given afternoon.
FOX: So the official attendance was based on the meter figures?
AB: Yes. These days I think they base the attendances on tickets sold, but back then it was the actual number in the ground. Apart from anyone who had jumped over. There wasn’t much we could do about that.
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