AFC Rushden & Diamonds, after careful consideration, have decided to move matchday programmes online for the forthcoming 2023/24 season, starting with the fixture against Sporting Khalsa on Saturday 12th August.
As part of a comprehensive review of all areas of the business, which has been ongoing since the current Board formed last November, there has been a particular focus on loss-making areas of the Football Club and how we can counteract these issues to strive for sustainability and profitability.
A heavy loss-making exercise last season, Vice Chairman and Commercial Director Alex Raspin explained the decision to dispense with a printed programme: “I fully appreciate that in a time where we are building positivity and momentum as we head into the new season, this news will be disappointing to those who still consider the purchase of a programme to be part of the matchday ritual.”
“However, when deep-diving the financials around this issue I was staggered by how few programmes we actually sell on a matchday. Approximately 10% of those that pass through the turnstiles for our home games at Hayden Road purchase a programme, which falls well below the minimum print quantities, leaving us with a colossal amount of wasted paper and ultimately, wasted money. It’s not something we can continue to swallow.”
“In the interest of complete transparency, over the course of the 2022/23 season the Club spent close to £4,200 on design and print services relating to the production of programmes, recouping around £2,400 in programme sales. There wasn’t a single game last season where the Club made a profit on them. A loss, every time, without exception.”
“Our programmes will now be produced by the new volunteer graphic design working group – the same group that produced the Legends Day programme – and will be made FREE to read on www.afcdiamonds.com approximately 24 hours before home matches are due to take place. They will include exclusive content from Chris Nunn and at least one member of the Club Board. We expect this to increase readership and make programme advertisements a viable commercial opportunity once again.”