Sunday, July 27, 2008

Man U vs Portsmouth

Two Prem clubs played each other in Abuja this evening, not that anyone noticed. There was zero publicity - no newspaper ads, nothing on telly, and of course nothing online. The Abuja expats were left scrabbling round cobbling information together - how much, where to pay etc? I glanced at a TV in a bar this evening that was showing the match. The ground (capacity 60,000) looked like there was just a few thousand in, with acres of empty seats. There are probably at least 60,000 Man U fans (and a few die-hard Portsmouth-don't-minds) in FCT. At least half-filling the ground wouldn't have been that difficult. A 7.45pm kick-off was an exceptionally silly idea as well.

Null points for the company/people that organised the whole thing.


nosa101 1:26 am  

Are you serious?

I thought this was going to really major

Goy 7:45 am  

that's odd. I read about it on the BBC a month ago - Man U's commercial thingymabob was waxing eloquently about the number of replica strips they hoped to sell, whilst dressing the jamboree up as a 'thank you' to their Nigerian friends.

I wonder how much the tickets cost?

Lolade 10:13 am  

Too bad they could have made more money from the gate if they had done better publicity. But then I'm sure they made enough from sponsorship and TV.

It was a great showpiece knowing that the whole world followed Europe's greatest to Nigeria. Hopefully Arsenal will be here next year.

Anonymous,  11:57 am  

What a jokes. There was a lot of talk about this before it happened then as you say deafening silence. I was amazed that there was nothing in the papers advertising it. The fact that so few people were there was very sad.

Anyway lets hope this can be the start of more fixtures like this, maybe they can get it right next time around.

Anonymous,  5:02 pm  

Jeremy you are such a liar. Pls pick up thisday for thurs, fri and I think sat. I am certain those had the ads.Ads have been in newspapers for the last two wks or even longer. There were also ads in Guardian and Punch.

Secondly, the kick off was chosen by the teams.It was one of the conditions for coming as they said an earlier kick off would be too hot for them in Nigeria's tropical heat.

There was also a website in the ads.Cant remember its name but will check when i get home. Also, you can easily google Tinapa Internation Football Fiesta or Tinapa Football fiesta and see how many online links it brings.

I take your point on attendance.

Jeremy 5:13 pm  

Last anonymous.

1. No one reads newspapers in Nigeria. Most papers are lucky to get 20-30,000 readers spread across the country. Newspaper ads are not the way to go.
2. The best medium is radio, which is listened to by millions of ordinary people. I wonder if there were radio ads?
3. The other thing to do would have been to have a billboard/poster campaign in town. That didn't happen.
4. The kick-off was at 7.45pm apparently to give Portsmouth time for enough rest from their day-time game against the Kano pillars the day before - NOT because of the heat. The past few days its been hotter in the UK than in Abuja.

If you really feel like defending this Tinapa company for doing good work you are delusional. They did a crap job.

Anonymous,  5:32 pm  

I take some of your points and I am not completely defending Tinapa but only saying you are exaggerating/lying in trying to prove your point. At first you said there was nothing in the newspapers. If you know the newspapers arent effective tools of communication, why complain that there was nothing in them?

Your pompey story is a lie. I presume you were at the stadium. Fergie stated clearly in the press conference shown there that the Man U team arrived in Nigeria from South Africa at 1.30am on Sunday morning. He was also asked a question about the kickoff? He was the one that disclosed why they had chosen the time and why it was given as a condition for coming.

This press conference was shown on supersport as well. I hope to God they repeat it or I can find clips on youtube and then it would be interesting to hear from you whether Fergie is also lying and your Kano Pillars story is the truth.

Controversial Anon 5:49 pm  

@ Anon 5.32

Ha ha ha.

I love the way you called Jeremy a liar (twice). lol. You shouldn't do that though, calling someone a liar is a serious accusation.

Anyway, your point is valid. And 30,000 people were at the stadium to see that game, that's a lot of people, to put that in perspective - Portsmouth average 19,000 spectators per game in the Premiership, their highest turn out last season was 20,000. 30thousand people in the middle of West Africa for an exhibition match is very very good in my opinion, you may argue that if could have been better, but it was good enough.

The organisers maybe shit, but you haven't given any good reason why you think they did a bad job.

Kola,  5:59 pm  

@ anon 5.32pm - Be easy on Jeremiah. This isnt a law court so no need to prove. I saw the press conference myself, it was after the Manchester United and Kaizer Chief match on Saturday. jeremiah might not have realised that Man U played a match in South Africa on saturday afternoon.Also,I saw billboards advertising the match wit pictures of Rio Ferdinand and Kanu but maybe jeremiah wanted the billboards to be round the whole of abuja.

Jeremy 6:03 pm  

No way was there 30,000 spectators. Most of the ground - including most of the upper tier - was empty. As the ground's capacity is 60,000 and as the lower tier had huge areas of empty seats, 30,000 is a fabrication.

However many spectators there really were, the fact is, a good media campaign based on affordable tickets should have been able to fill the stadium..

Controversial Anon 6:11 pm  

Well Jeremy, I was not there but I did not pluck a figure from out of space.

Please read the check the link below for the attendance as reported by the BBC

Unless you choose to challenge the figure from the BBC and come up with yours - we will require that you figure be accompanied by some sort of concrete reference or evidence.

he he he. I love this.

Jeremy 6:14 pm  

I already saw the BBC article. I didn't believe it when I read it and I still don't believe it. Anyone who saw the match could see the ground was less than half full..

Controversial Anon 6:17 pm  

Ok Jeremy. I believe you.


Like I said, I wasn't there.

Anonymous,  7:00 pm  

and this wasn't organized by a tinapa company. it was to benefit tinapa then the organizers decided at the last minute to go to abuja because they thought they could make more. good to see they got egg on their faces

Waffarian 12:44 am  

Hissssssssss. Dem for do am for warri...our youths kukuma no get anything to do...dem for full stadium remain...hehehehehe...hissssssssssssss...una think say ajebutters dey go stadium to watch match? fa fa fowl! dem prefer to sit for their soft cushions dem dey drink five only aje kpakos dey go stadium.

Too bad, next time make una target una audience.

P.S: I am happy it fucked up, I think Nigerians being such die hard fans for clubs not based in Nigeria sucks big time. I have never understood it...I don't even know when it all started. Last time I was in Lagos, people were asking me which "club" I was rooting for...Manchester or dat one take concern me?...Of course I follow sports generally...but those clubs are in England...I don't live there...its like me following clubs in Azerbaijan...what the hell do I gain from it?

Okay, people would argue for entertainment value, good football,quality, etc...and again, I shall say, there are many really good football clubs in Europe(since thats their continent of choice), why these two English clubs especially?

Then, others will argue its because we have African players in them, etc etc.

Whatever the reasons...I just don't get it. It is just too ridiculous to me.

Anonymous,  4:06 am  

I love this blog post, and jeremy's response to the comments. Typical stuff, really - he harps on and on about something he has no data on, all with no reference to reality or more credible sources. Adopting the 'broken-record' stance does not make it any more true. Repeating over and over again that there were fewer than 30,000 people in the stadium does not mean it's true, or that anyone will buy that.

Jeremiah Right, try again.

Goy 7:10 am  

'The attendance was higher than for many games between local teams and while the popularity of the Premier League grows in Nigeria, it seems to be at the expense of the domestic league' - the BBC report.

I still wonder how much the tickets cost, and whether they were affordable. Any ideas, anyone? 'If the ting cost too much, how man go take buy am, even if dem talk am for radio from morning to nite?'

Jeremy 9:03 am  

Here are the ticket prices:

Premium / Standard 2500 NGN

Bronze 5000 NGN

Silver 10000 NGN

Gold VIP 25000 NGN

Akin,  9:35 am  

I actually heard the ads on radio(cool fm at least) so I dont know where Jeremy got his no publicity point from. However, I did not go to watch the match because I did not believe Man U would bring their 1st team to Nigeria. I thought it would be their reserves.

However, I was hating myself when I saw Major Man U stars coming out of the ABC Coach. I should have been there and I suspect most people are like me.

Anonymous,  9:51 am  

ok i was there, crowd sizes are incredibly difficult to guage unless you have statistics from the turnstiles.
but it looked around half full to me, but it could easily have been less.
one thnig though all the people who tunrned up without tickets forced the gates open before the match and flooded into the stadium. i thought there was going to be a crush and people were giong to die, but then they all just disappeared into the seats and everything calmed down.
at half time the police (who had taken over gate duty after the civil defence corps ran away fromthe stone throwning mob) were letting people in for N1000.

it was a really boring game anyway

Tayo,  2:39 pm  

O dear! On this occassion, Jeremy does not believe the BBC...the BBC spouting untruths? The thought of it!

Jeremy 5:00 pm  

Check this story out:

There were several problems this event pointed to that are more significant about how many bums were on seats (I notice that the article above suggests between 20 and 25,000). From visual evidence of the stadium, I would go along with this 'just below half-full' estimate:

1. The pricing structure was wrong. N2500 for a basic seat is effectively almost a week's wage for many people in the FCT. Imagine having to spend 800 quid on a football match in the UK (roughly the equivalent)...

2. The pricing structure was defeated anyway. This is the pattern at events at the National Stadium: many people turn up without tickets, then scramble over the walls or 'pay' their way in.

3. The event was aimed at the elite, the 'ajebutters'. This purpose was however defeated by the crush.

4. As the Daily Mail article suggests, its hardly likely that organised in this way, the event is worth repeating.

Controversial Anon 5:34 pm  


Jeremy is quoting The Daily Mail!

ha ha ha ha ha

ha ha ha ha ha

I'm never gonna stop laughing.

ha ha ha ha ha

Only goes to show that when it suits you, you give up the very core of your principles.

A left leaning, mac using (I assume), Guardian reading, open-minded, African marrying, latte sipping, San Fransico loving liberal like Jeremy, quoting the daily mail to get his point across? surely not.

Pinch myself, is the world coming to an end?

ha ha ha ha.

you and I know that the daily mail will highlight all the bad things about this sort of event, so please stop.


Congratulations Jeremy, you are now a NIGERIAN. lol

Jeremy 5:46 pm  

Slam dunk CA: you made me laugh out loud.

How did you know I am a MAC person?

I've been to frisco once - and indeed I had a thoroughly good time (my first encounter with the Whole Foods phenomenon - in 2000).

One point of correction - I don't like lattes. Being a vegan, I do espresso (preferably from ethically-traded coffee).

Back to the point. Of course, one has to wash one's mouth out before and after relying on the Daily Mail for information, let alone wisdom. However, in this one rare case, the paper is a beacon of glowering truth shining forth from the hill tops..

Or something.

I take it that when you are calling me 'now a Nigerian' that is the highest compliment available in your arsenal? It is graciously received, as I put on my metaphorical agbada and prostrate myself beneath you...

Controversial Anon 6:15 pm  

The best compliment you'll receive from me ever, and I mean mean it - Welcome to our country. In my book, you've earned it.

That's my Peacemaker back in the holster now. :-)

A Mac user can spot a fellow Mac user from outer space.


Patrice,  7:03 am  

Attendance here in North America is measured accurately at the box office and at the turnstile and they can vary considerably. In fact, it is not uncommon for a game to be "sold out" and yet the stadium is only half full. I suspect Jeremy is right about the stadium attendance for the friendly in Abuja, despite what any of the papers say to the contrary.

Beneath my feet 4:07 pm  

Think I too will agree with Jeremy.

Anonymous,  5:46 pm  

@waffarian, you should know by now that only folks who are desperate willingly go to the Niger Delta. From media reports, the place is full of jobless criminals and kidnappers.

Anonymous,  5:48 pm  

@ akin, how many Nigerians listen to Cool FM? The wealthy elite, yes, but who else?

@tayo, Jeeremy is a big fan of the Biased-Brainwashing-Corporation when it suits him.

Goy 8:14 pm  

Changing the subject altogether, how on earth do vegans survive in Nigeria?

Anonymous,  5:11 am  

@goy, there are less than 1000 vegans in Nigeria. Take that to the bank.

I heard that a man went to Mr. Biggs, ordered a vegetarian burger and got the bun with some Hausa onion and tomato in the middle. Na Naija-style vegetarianism be dat o!

simeoneomobaba 9:07 pm  

i actually decided to go thru the comments when i read jeremy's post to see how many people would counter his claims..and there's no doubt he had made up his mind to paint a certain picture.

trae_z 5:30 pm  

to all those who've contributed to this block of knowledge, thanks. you gave much fodder for my write up

Jeff 8:32 am  

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