On the Albion and the League Cup

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WELL, a win is a win, and rewind 12 months and the Albion exited the League Cup at the first hurdle at the hands of Welsh minnows Newport County.

While the mode of the victory was questioned by supporters in certain quarters, the crowd figure of just over 6,500 was more of a concern. Three years ago Albion played Gillingham at the same stage of the competition and got 16,295.

Clearly, to a degree, the Amex honeymoon period is over. With first round attendances down around the country, perhaps the competition sponsors, Capital One, could bring in an inducement to reverse the trend?

While there is a set sum of prize money at this stage, why don’t the league instruct all the home teams to let all under-16s in free of charge.

Then, Capital One could put an additional £1 per youngster into a prize pot and split it 60-40 between the winners and the losers, so the away team, even if they lose, get something.

Had this been in place on Tuesday, I’m sure the Albion could have mustered a crowd approaching 12,000.

And how many of those 5,500 or so youngsters would have bought a programme, a burger or a drink?

I believe it would be cost effective for all concerned, so food for thought perhaps for the League Cup organisers?

n Who would be a steward?

Down the years, I’ve many friends who did the job at both the Goldstone and the Withdean and it was always a way of getting a few quid and watching the Albion free of charge.

Times have moved on and clearly at the Amex it’s now not the job it used to be. On Saturday, there was an incident at the final whistle when in the wake of their, in my opinion, fortunate victory, a Sheffield Wednesday supporter ran on to the pitch in celebration.

Down the years, I’ve run on a few pitches myself, but whether we like it or not, times have changed.

The Albion stewards did what was in their remit.

The abuse they received as a result of their actions, including me witnessing an unconnected steward outside the ground being verbally abused by two, quality female Wednesday supporters, was totally unjustified.

The fan who ran on broke the rules and, unfortunately, will have to accept any punishment metered out to him

The real upshot of this is the fall-out rate of stewards at the Albion.

Perhaps all of us, as supporters, should remember they are acting under orders and, with all due respect, not getting paid fortunes.

But, perhaps most importantly, if the club don’t have sufficient stewarding levels, the games won’t go ahead.