Wee Red Book 2005-06

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Wee Red Book 2005-06

Post by Scottish » Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:06 am

I can't make the same claim as one member of this forum who has bought the 'Wee Red Book' every year for the past 49 years (maybe he'll get a free one next season to mark the 50th anniversary). The oldest one in my possession is the 1965-66 edition so I thought I'd compare it with the 2005-06 one.

First thing to be said is that the WRB makes the admission price into a football match seem a bargain. Forty years ago it cost 6d in old money (2.5p). The new edition costs £2-50. That's a hundredfold increase in forty years. Over the same period season tickets at Rugby Park have gone from £6 to a top price of £290 - just under a fiftyfold increase.

So, is it fitba - what great value? Or the WRB - what a rip-off?

First off the modern WRB isn't as wee as its predecessor. It's about three times the size. It's also got almost twice as many pages - 264 to 144.

Oddly enough despite that increase the Sixties version has features missing in the 21st century one. There's no longer a couple of pages to fill in your team's record over the coming season and the laws of the game are missing too.

Of course Inter-League games and the likes of the Glasgow Charity Cup are no longer around and these matches played a prominent part in the old WRB. Gone too are the Amateur internationals and records of all capped at league level.

The quaintly named 'Overseas Games' (shouldn't Northern Ireland have been included in that section?) has been replaced by 'Scotland's International Record.'

Details of venues and results of the Junior Cup semis and full line-ups for the Final as well as past title winners in the Central region have vanished but the modern annual includes junior league tables (for the west of Scotland anyway) and still has a list of Junior Cup Finals and contact details for the western clubs.

The modern version has more pictures and in colour (but with no explanation as to why it has one of Kenny Burns with the European Cup in 1979!). Full details of our clubs European records are included and the Club Fact File which accounts for 80 pages is something the old book didn't have. Nor was there a diary of the previous season. English and European details are greater in the modern book too.

There's a lot more advertising in the new WRB. The old one (in keeping with the stereotype of the Scottish fan) was more or less limited to bookies, pubs & fags with the occasional 'exotic' ad for a restaurant, cars or Irn Bru.

The 21st century one has a 'quit smoking' ad instead of a double page spread for Senior Service.

But the modern fitba fan eschews the stereotype which is why the WRB now includes adverts for lapdancing clubs and funeral parlours (just be sure to visit the former before the latter)

Advertisers like to be precise in their targeting and it's intriguing to see whether the WRB comes up to the mark in this respect.

There's an advert opposite the Airdrie page for a company that provides 'professional licenced door stewards.' which seems quite apt as that's a profession always in demand in the Monklands area.

Albion Rovers sit beside double glazing repairs and I suppose Coatbridge has its fair share of broken windows. But I can't quite fathom out why 'Paisley's premier St Mirren bar' should be advertised opposite Ayr United.

I think they've got it spot on with an ad for digital, satellite and cable TV opposite Livingston - a town not exactly noted for turning out to support the local side in great numbers, suggesting they may prefer the telly to live fitba.

But as to why the Lesbian & Gay Switchboard shares space with Berwick Rangers, you'd have to ask a Shielfield regular!

Overall, it's like comparing apples with pears. Times change and the WRB must reflect those changes. But the WRB of 65-66 has one thing, sadly missing from the 05-06 version and that's a small black-and-white pic captioned 'Kilmarnock FC - Scottish League Champions.'

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