Catch 22


It goes without saying that watching Pools via the streaming service is a poor second to actually being at the game itself - stood on the terraces or on the seats, a tad tipsy and having a bit of banter with your mates.

Prior to Covid one thing I liked to do after a weekend's football was to read the Sunday newspaper, analyse all the results, view the teams and their goal scorers and see if any ex-Pools players were getting a game or had even got their names on the scoresheet for their current club. What was also of great interest to me was the crowd attendances around the country.

You look at the likes of clubs such as Morecambe or Stevenage for example and for a home game you see how few fans passed through their turnstiles and give your head a shake in wonder at how on earth they manage to afford the team's half-time oranges, let alone their wages.

I find it strange that very few clubs publish or announce the numbers of virtual crowds who tune in on-line to watch a match. I have heard that Pools have a decent streaming following and that away clubs are delighted to have Pools fans tune in to their service, such are the numbers that subscribe.
"I find it strange that very few clubs publish or announce the numbers of virtual crowds who tune in on-line to watch a match."

Away to Kings Lynn the commentators made mention that as many as 650 Poolies had tuned in, which was more than the number of home fans viewing the broadcast. At £12.99 to watch this particular match the Linnets made themselves in the region of £8.5k.from the Hartlepool fans alone.

Should Pools meet Stockport County in the second stage of the play-offs and, provided that it is not being televised by BT* and given that away fans would not be allowed into Edgeley Park, County would make a pretty penny from Pools fans watching the game via the stream.

Regrettably the reverse won't be the case when Pools play Bromley, who are one of the worst supported clubs in the National League so they can only expect a few dozen Bromley fans accessing Pools' streaming service. Pity that Pools aren't playing Chesterfield instead, as they could have made a bob or two on the strength of the Spireites' fan base.

Talking of income both gained and lost, should Pools go all the way to the play-off final itself, they should pick up some some very welcome BT television revenue. There again, if one takes into account the promotion form that Pools have been in, they would have seen a lot more bodies than usual pass through their turnstiles, resulting in a substantial increase in gate receipts which, sadly, because of Covid, the club will not have seen or benefitted from.

Sometimes you just can't win ...both on and off the pitch.

[* The above was written before it was confimed that BT would be showing all the play off games and not just the final]

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