independent

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Sponsors not letting grass grow under their feet

INSIDE RIGHT

DAVE DEVEREUX

SOME PECULIAR things have arrived on 'Inside Right's' desk from time to time, but something the postman delivered during the week really took the biscuit in the strange stakes.

Our good friends at the insurance firm Aviva sent us in a bag of grass, no less.

Now before you get on the blower to the drugs squad, it isn't illegal contraband we're talking about here.

Instead what we uncovered in the envelope was the self same grass seed that was used to plant the spanking new pitch at the Aviva Stadium.

Apparently we can now all create our own piece of history (that's what it says in the accompanying blurb) by growing a miniature pitch in our own home.

And you too can nurture your own mini mecca to the home of Irish rugby and soccer if you call into your local Aviva office and ask for a bag of grass seed.

Who knows, if you're willing to trudge into enough branches you might be able to replicate a full-size pitch in your own back yard.

Definitely a strange publicity campaign but even 'Inside Right' will admit that it did grab the attention and is a bit of a break from the the usual mundane press releases that wing their way into these parts.

Unfortunately after reading the fixture list for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers, the pea-sized pitch might be as close to the Aviva Stadium as 'Inside Right' is going to get for a while.

It was to our horror that we discovered that the majority of matches are fixed for Tuesday and Friday nights, not at all good for this writer's schedule.

Wednesday night matches were always ideal for yours truly thanks to having that day off work, but a full shift in the office on Tuesdays makes it pretty much impossible to make the 100-mile journey in time for kickoff.

Admittedly that's a pretty selfish view as for most punters Tuesdays and Wednesdays would be much of a muchness.

However, it's the Friday fixtures that could create a few more problems for the supporters en-masse, with the practicalities for fans not looking too rosy.

Okay, it's probably not a gargantuan inconvenience for most, particularly Dublin-based supporters, to make a home game on a Friday evening, and for those further away leaving work a few hours early for the weekend could be achievable provided the boss isn't in the mould of Genghis Khan or Cruella de Vil.

However, it's the soccer die-hards that make the away trips that have been dealt the worst hand. Having to jet off to an away match that's kicking off on a Friday night means even more time off work, for anyone that's still lucky enough to have a job that is.

Obviously the reason for the switch to Fridays and Tuesdays is because the bully-boy big clubs want their players back a day earlier, but in this writer's humble opinion it stinks and things should have been left as they were.

You'll have to excuse yours truly now. 'Inside Right' has a bit of seed sowing to do.

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