Bees fans this morning will wake up buzzing after one of the best performances for a long while. The team were skilful, competitive and persistent throughout the whole 90 minutes hardly giving QPR a real scoring chance. Two superb goals and a well deserved 2-0 victory that in reality should have been 4-0 on chances not taken. We also saw one of the goals of the season in any league from Romaine Sawyers who had an excellent game and thought the goal will get the headlines, the tracking back and workmate was what is needed at this level and either he or Ryan Woods would be my man of the match. Was it my imagination or did the workrate and tempo double from last weeks sorry performance against Barnsley? QPR fans will wake up knowing that there are real clouds over their club and any chances of a rapid return to the premiership are non-existent.
QPR however were totally a disappointment. They seem to want to set their club up as a major club with ” serious” stewarding, high prices and advocate a match day experience. The reality is that they are seemingly throwing money away that they can surely ill afford to lose. The numbers of stewards were excessive, almost to the point of being irritating, they did not know basics like where to direct people to their seats and sometimes got in the way of visibility in the goalmouth. Walking down South Africa Road past the entrance stewards were exhalting to turn this way or that way to get to the correct turnstile. If in fact I had followed their advice I would be watching the game from Hammersmith. Arriving at the Upper Tier entrance one entered what can only be desribed as a cage where three sets of stewards searched me ( no bag nor in fact anything on me), one steward having to ask his supervisor how to frisk someone. The searching clearly did not work with a large flare being set off after a Bees goal. A further search at the turnstile and then three more sets of stewards ” directing” fans. Totally unnecessary. The Bees fans were well behaved and despite banter ( that has gone on for 50 years) most fans have little dislike of QPR other than an intense rivalry. Put simply, would we engage in violence with them, other than no doubt the occasional drunken episode, probably not. The stewards then directed me to the wrong seat, wrong direction, but more importantly a disabled couple were made to climb up and down steps a couple of times before being correctly directed. The food offerings were beyond abysmal. Mary Berry and her soggy bottom would have had a field day. The Chicken ( almost absent in fact) balti pie was totally soggy after its microwaving efforts at heating it. The person serving had no idea how to operate the till, nor the price, nor could calculate the change from a £5 note, the pie was £3.50. No alcohol was served to away fans suggesting that QPR still live in the dark ages.
My seat in Row C in the upper tier and labelled a gold seat, presumably gold relates to the money QPR made from me £34 for this seat with restricted visibility . The restriction was being unable to view the goalline and much of the goalmouth. On the positive side an excellent sound system, playing real music. Pete Doherty as an example.
The area around the ground is a residential area and one wonders about the joys of living there on match days. The local roads were strewn with rubbish, broken glass bottles and other discarded football materials. The roads were gridlocked before the game and generally having a football ground in this area seems now a poor choice.
In terms of the experience it was a poor one and QPR should look at the reality and effectiveness of their ” customer experience”. I would rate it at maybe 3/10.