story by Alex Horsburgh
Ronaldo had hardly put down the European Championship trophy on the Sunday evening of July 10th 2016 and the SFA released their ticket prices ahead of the next qualifying campaign for World Cup 2018.
A season ticket for the five matches costs a minimum of £125 for adults and £50 for kids, with the most expensive costing £180 for adults and £75 for kids.
Season tickets are exclusive to Scotland Supporters Club members.
Single match tickets for the mouth-watering clash with England on Saturday 10th June 2017 will cost a minimum of £45 for the public with the most expensive ticket costing £60.
Kids will be able to watch the home match with Malta at Hampden for as little as £5.
But fans aren’t happy with the pricing structure as they took to Twitter and facebook to express their disappointment with SFA bosses with many unhappy foot soldiers pointing out that a junior season ticket doesn’t save any money for fans while a day off work will have to be negotiated for the.Wembley clash which is costing some 57 quid a ticket for a Friday night encounter which will be live on SKY SPORTS.
Gordon Strachan’s World Cup campaign kicks off with a trip to Malta on September 4 this year, with the first home match taking place a month later against Lithuania at Hampden.
Scotland National Team Social Media also marketed the ticket prices, announced just hours after Portugal won Euro 2016 which the Scots failed to qualify for, with the Hash Tag and Logo THIS TIME as the drive to get the Scottish public behind the team for the next campaign began in earnest.
Many fans on the Scotland National Team Facebook page were unimpressed with the moniker with ” Aye..maybe next time ” and ” more like no chance ” amongst some of the milder responses to the two word rallying cry in yellow set on a dark blue background.
It may have slipped the SFA media teams notice that ” This Time ” was also the title of the England World Cup song for World Cup Espana ’82 when the Three Lions made the finals for the first time since 1970 and actually qualified not as hosts or holders for the first time since 1962.
The song is a catchy ditty in the style of the time and has shades of previous efforts Back Home [ England 1970 ] and Blue Is The Colour [ Chelsea 1972 ]in the lyrics and tune but whether Scotland 2016/17 will be re- recording it with Rod Stewart and Bagpipes added is doubtful. The Scotland badge has also been reinvented for the next campaign with the words Scotland 1873 on it in a more minimal version of the crest that featured on the Scottish shirt in the 1970’s when we qualified for two of the three World Cups played in that decade.
Marketing campaigns are all very well but never has there been less optimism ahead of a Scotland qualifying campaign since we were first invited to play in the World Cup in 1950 in Brazil. The SFA said we would not go unless we were British Champions but England won the Championship in 1950 so we stayed at home despite another FIFA invite shortly after we lost the deciding Home Internationals match to the English 1-0 at Hampden.
1962 saw us lose our place in the Chile World Cup in a play off against eventual finalists Czechoslovakia and it would seem second in the group and a play off for Russia is the most Scots fans are expecting ” this time ” although social media comments on the National Team f book page had us finishing 3rd and 4th mostly amongst those who dared to predict our qualifying group which also features Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and England.
Aye, this is not a good time to be supporting the One Lion but we will mostly do our duty when the Russia qualifying campaign gets underway although Wembley and the fourth qualifier could be the make or break game for our World Cup hopes and indeed under pressure Gordon Strachan. A defeat in London following a lack lustre opening hat trick of matches [ two of which are away from home ] would surely see the end for the national head coach. Two wins from three going into the Wembley fixture are a must if we are not to depend on the Auld Enemy game for three points and despite England’s recent troubles we have only beaten them twice in 10 games between 1984 and 2014 and both times by a solitary goal.
Scotland hope to progress from a group that features two teams from Euro 2016 and a tricky Lithuanian side who never lie down to us, and remember too we once drew with Malta, but qualification is a big ask more than any other time this time…to quote that old England song from1982