Billy Cooper



Temp0101

Midfield
I have no idea why he's decided now is the time to 'retire' but I hope it's in protest at what the 'Barmy Army' have become. A clique of people that look down on you unless you did the Madagascar tour of 1997 and are now only interested in making money and selling tour packages. I noticed at the first Test the pool area was reserved only for people who'd booked through the BA. Pretty shabby that but a reflection of what they have become, they've sold out to everything they stood against and why they started in the first place.
 

Eggman

Midfield
I have no idea why he's decided now is the time to 'retire' but I hope it's in protest at what the 'Barmy Army' have become. A clique of people that look down on you unless you did the Madagascar tour of 1997 and are now only interested in making money and selling tour packages. I noticed at the first Test the pool area was reserved only for people who'd booked through the BA. Pretty shabby that but a reflection of what they have become, they've sold out to everything they stood against and why they started in the first place.
I agree.

The whole 'Barmy Army' thing was initiated by like minded individuals who travelled independently but liked a few beers and had a sing song while watching the cricket.

The fact they organise their own tours (for profit) is just wrong.

In places like Australia they organise designated pubs/ hotels just to sell their merchandise.
 

Up the BR

Reserve Squad
Met him during the 2006/7 ashes in Melbourne and he was the only redeeming feature of the whole tour.
 
I agree.

The whole 'Barmy Army' thing was initiated by like minded individuals who travelled independently but liked a few beers and had a sing song while watching the cricket.

The fact they organise their own tours (for profit) is just wrong.

In places like Australia they organise designated pubs/ hotels just to sell their merchandise.
Organising a trip doesn’t stop others going independently though.

I’m nothing to do with them but think some of the bashing is unfair. The people ‘in it’ have always been friendly and welcoming when my paths have crossed with them. I also don’t see it as that cliquey, just matey, albeit most of the time I’m commenting from afar.

The Trumpeter really adds to the England test occasion for me and it’ll be sad when he goes.
 

El Oso

Full Back
Organising a trip doesn’t stop others going independently though.

I’m nothing to do with them but think some of the bashing is unfair. The people ‘in it’ have always been friendly and welcoming when my paths have crossed with them. I also don’t see it as that cliquey, just matey, albeit most of the time I’m commenting from afar.

The Trumpeter really adds to the England test occasion for me and it’ll be sad when he goes.
Aye, Billy does add to the atmosphere.

And will be missed for that.

Almost anyone you speak to abroad just considers any England fan as part of the"Barmy Army" and is totally unaware of any distinction of the registered trademark TM brand.
I explained this to a couple last week in PE who were astonished at this

As you say, generally England fans themselves are generally not too bothered about who they travel with and we are generally considered to be the same.

But the BA brand are a bit annoying, someone told me (dunno if true) that the BA forum was stopped because TUI bought a part of the company and didn't want independent advice to interfere with their part of the business.
Again, don't know if true.

As you told me, the BA actually have parts of the ground available only to BA members, where bottles of wine could be bought.
The only part the ground, other than corporate where it was possible.

Anyway, I digress, Billy will be sorely missed, he really does bring atmosphere to the ground.
 
Aye, Billy does add to the atmosphere.

And will be missed for that.

Almost anyone you speak to abroad just considers any England fan as part of the"Barmy Army" and is totally unaware of any distinction of the registered trademark TM brand.
I explained this to a couple last week in PE who were astonished at this

As you say, generally England fans themselves are generally not too bothered about who they travel with and we are generally considered to be the same.

But the BA brand are a bit annoying, someone told me (dunno if true) that the BA forum was stopped because TUI bought a part of the company and didn't want independent advice to interfere with their part of the business.
Again, don't know if true.

As you told me, the BA actually have parts of the ground available only to BA members, where bottles of wine could be bought.
The only part the ground, other than corporate where it was possible.

Anyway, I digress, Billy will be sorely missed, he really does bring atmosphere to the ground.
I was one of the ones suspicious about their lack of forum and the lack of info for independents but it’s back up TBF.

Sky showed a good feature on them this lunchtime btw.

 

Paddy O'Dors

Striker
I've nowt against them selling their overpriced packages etc (you pay your money, it's up to you) and they do add to the atmosphere in the ground, I just wish the media would stop going OTT about them. How many other tour operators get the same free advertising that they do?

IMHO I think they've become a bit of a cult. Go abroad and you have to get a souvenir t-shirt pretty much like you did from Linekers Bars in Europe in the early 90's!

The only concern for me in the future is more tour operators grabbing more overseas tickets, especially at smaller grounds, to sell as part of a package and leaving less for us independent travellers to fight over. I saw someone selling a ticket for day one in CT 1.5 times face value and they said that's what they'd paid for it through the BA package. I can't verify that obviously but if true it's terrible.

With the possible exception of Barbados there'll always be a means to get and stay there cheaply so travel and accommodation would never be a problem.
And enjoy the retirement Billy!
 
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El Oso

Full Back
Just spoken to someone today who used to help a lot years ago in the running of the BA forum.
At the time that the BA wasn't the trademark travel agent that it is now.

Anyway, he reckons that Billy will still be going to games abroad, but independently.

Hope so.
@Paddy O'Dors
I'd be surprised if that was all they paid. It's part of a package, flights, buses, tours, hotels etc, with tickets included.
The profit margin will be way higher than £5 on a £10 ticket.

Was talking to another Sunlun fan who we both met in CT, he was happy to pay £30 for his £10 seat, knows someone who paid £2,000 for 2 five day tickets in the members pavillion, but seat only, nee food or drink.

CT residents spitting blood cos seats went to UK travel agents who obviously would pay over the odds for block bookings and pass it on.

It was in the CT papers about a SA fan paying £370 for a day 1 ticket.

I know a Sunlun fan who wouldn't pay the £100 asking price for day 1 and went into the Springbok pub.
Eventually it filled up with fans in the same boat.
 

Paddy O'Dors

Striker
Just spoken to someone today who used to help a lot years ago in the running of the BA forum.
At the time that the BA wasn't the trademark travel agent that it is now.

Anyway, he reckons that Billy will still be going to games abroad, but independently.

Hope so.
@Paddy O'Dors
I'd be surprised if that was all they paid. It's part of a package, flights, buses, tours, hotels etc, with tickets included.
The profit margin will be way higher than £5 on a £10 ticket.

Was talking to another Sunlun fan who we both met in CT, he was happy to pay £30 for his £10 seat, knows someone who paid £2,000 for 2 five day tickets in the members pavillion, but seat only, nee food or drink.

CT residents spitting blood cos seats went to UK travel agents who obviously would pay over the odds for block bookings and pass it on.

It was in the CT papers about a SA fan paying £370 for a day 1 ticket.

I know a Sunlun fan who wouldn't pay the £100 asking price for day 1 and went into the Springbok pub.
Eventually it filled up with fans in the same boat.
The more that organised tours take the worse it's going to get. Hats off to you for getting us our tickets mate. I gave my spare ones away which is the way it should be.
 

El Oso

Full Back
The more that organised tours take the worse it's going to get. Hats off to you for getting us our tickets mate. I gave my spare ones away which is the way it should be.
Cheers, marra, but the way I see it, with the relative unpopularity of Test cricket worldwide, it is almost impossible to be without face value tickets overseas anywhere in the world.
CT was a glaring exception to this.

If people want to have everything laid on for them, it's up to them, they pay more but each to their own.

The other possible problem is their own cricket associations profiteering selling overpriced tickets to England fans because of our following.

Bangladesh tried to sell 10 p tickets to England fans for £5.

Sri Lanka upped the price from £2.50 to £25 when we were coming in 2012.
 
Cheers, marra, but the way I see it, with the relative unpopularity of Test cricket worldwide, it is almost impossible to be without face value tickets overseas anywhere in the world.
CT was a glaring exception to this.

If people want to have everything laid on for them, it's up to them, they pay more but each to their own.

The other possible problem is their own cricket associations profiteering selling overpriced tickets to England fans because of our following.

Bangladesh tried to sell 10 p tickets to England fans for £5.

Sri Lanka upped the price from £2.50 to £25 when we were coming in 2012.
Unfortunately though in Sri Lanka for everyone who tells them to shove it and watches from The Fort there are three who pay the figure cos it’s cheap compared to the UK.

It’s market forces and it’ll only get worse while they’ve got grounds with 8k capacities
 

Paddy O'Dors

Striker
Cheers, marra, but the way I see it, with the relative unpopularity of Test cricket worldwide, it is almost impossible to be without face value tickets overseas anywhere in the world.
CT was a glaring exception to this.

If people want to have everything laid on for them, it's up to them, they pay more but each to their own.

The other possible problem is their own cricket associations profiteering selling overpriced tickets to England fans because of our following.

Bangladesh tried to sell 10 p tickets to England fans for £5.

Sri Lanka upped the price from £2.50 to £25 when we were coming in 2012.
The England fans shouldn't be seen as a cash cow for tickets cos we travel in good numbers. They make enough from us from the great numbers we travel in. But I might be being a bit naive but I always think England fans should look after England fans rather than look to exploit them. The BA slated the SL cricket authorities off for doing it in 2018 but aren't averse to doing it themselves tbf.

Tbh I wouldn't have minded paying £25 for a ticket before I went, but having experienced the facilities in Sri Lanka I would have felt short changed afterwards.
 

El Oso

Full Back
Unfortunately though in Sri Lanka for everyone who tells them to shove it and watches from The Fort there are three who pay the figure cos it’s cheap compared to the UK.

It’s market forces and it’ll only get worse while they’ve got grounds with 8k capacities
Spot on,
Beach holidays combined with short distances make it an easy cricket holiday.
A capacity of 4,000 in Colombo means that they don't have to worry about local cricket fans or independent traveling ones and can just fleece package ones who don't even know their ticket price anyway.
The England fans shouldn't be seen as a cash cow for tickets cos we travel in good numbers. They make enough from us from the great numbers we travel in. But I might be being a bit naive but I always think England fans should look after England fans rather than look to exploit them. The BA slated the SL cricket authorities off for doing it in 2018 but aren't averse to doing it themselves tbf.

Tbh I wouldn't have minded paying £25 for a ticket before I went, but having experienced the facilities in Sri Lanka I would have felt short changed afterwards.
It would have been nice to have had the choice.
I think that they announced this a week or two before the first Test
with all flights and hotels already booked.
Ticket prices for 2 would have put £500 on the cost.
I didn't pay anything near this, but won't be going back.

Loads at the time felt the same way.
 
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Paddy O'Dors

Striker
Spot on,
Beach holidays combined with short distances make it an easy cricket holiday.
A capacity of 4,000 in Colombo means that they don't have to worry about local cricket fans or independent traveling ones and can just fleece package ones who don't even know their ticket price anyway.

It would have been nice to have had the choice.
I think that they announced this a week or two before the first Test
with all flights and hotels already booked.
Ticket prices for 2 would have put £500 on the cost.
I didn't pay anything near this, but won't be going back.

Loads at the time felt the same way.
What's the ticket price for the forthcoming tests in SL?
 

El Oso

Full Back
Be interesting to see if the BA are fighting for £2.50 tickets or whether £25 is a fair price now they're in the corporate game.
TBF, I think that they had plenty to say last time and did try to get a deal and negotiate with the SL cricket board.
That's what they said anyway.
I think that's how you got your option of a cheap ticket. I could be wrong though.

I don't think that ticket price will affect their packages at all.
People don't even know what the face value of a ticket is.
All they see is "guaranteed ticket".
Nowt to worry about.
 

Rip Van Fish

Striker
Organising a trip doesn’t stop others going independently though.

I’m nothing to do with them but think some of the bashing is unfair. The people ‘in it’ have always been friendly and welcoming when my paths have crossed with them. I also don’t see it as that cliquey, just matey, albeit most of the time I’m commenting from afar.

The Trumpeter really adds to the England test occasion for me and it’ll be sad when he goes.
I was in Australia in 1994/95 when those lads decided to start a fan based group of like minded individuals - seriously, that's all it was.

The popularity of it grew instantly and they scraped together their last few bucks to do a T Shirt run after the Adelaide test victory.

They sold the lot in 15 mins flat outside the WACA and some Aussie firms were there offering them sponsorships.

PB and DP soon had to take advice about trademarks etc and turn it into a corporate body. They have been in the "Corporate Game" Paddy for years.

The lad running it now is just down the road from me and is committed to its longevity and cause.

Merchandise is sold by a good friend of mine who is retired, loves his cricket and just wants to make a few quid for his digs and a beer whilst on month long trips.

I don't travel with them , prefer to do my own trips with friends but every tourist has his or her choice.

Some here are knocking the BA Tour packages. Why can't they offer them? They are only competing in the same space as Owzat travel and Gullivers et al.
 

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