Football Programmes have been part of the experience on a match day for as long as we remember but with more and more clubs producing online issues only is the printed programme coming to an end?
In 2018 clubs in the Football League voted to change the rules around the compulsory printing of match day programmes with clubs stating that they were making a loss.
Collecting match programmes continues to be a hobby to a lot of fans and a number of specific football programme fairs are held each year in England.
A lot of clubs have been moving their programmes online in a bid to save costs but the new format doesn’t appear to be very popular with non-league fans. whether it’s groundhoppers who just pick up an issue at a new ground or collectors who like to pick up as many different issues as possible most supporters agreed that an online programme isn’t the same and doesn’t have the same sentimental value. For some supporters a programme is just the memories of a game and helps them remember the experience but the online programme doesn’t give them the same comfort.
During recent research conducted online most fans agreed that they didn’t like online issues and that they tried to get a printed copy whenever possible. The supporters spoke about how volunteers spend a lot of time producing programmes for clubs and how they are undervalued and claimed that clubs should use this time and resources on more important and modern content.
As a programme editor myself I see the drop in demand first hand but believe that printed programmes are still the way forward. I often receive many messages about the programme with compliments and asking us not to go online. Whilst this demand and appreciation still exists I can see the printed programme lasting for a long time yet.