As tempting offers go, it’s right up there with the revolutionary “fork for your soup” innovation – or perhaps the indispensable head-mounted toilet roll dispenser, for those of an out-and-about nature who happen to suffer from a runny nose. The decision of Leeds United’s Online Superstore to offer us lucky people a DVD of the ill-fated 1975 European Cup Final match against Bayern Munich is pretty much as inspired as that of Decca to turn down the Beatles, on the grounds that “guitar groups are on the way out”. At £2.00, this product is over-priced by about a fiver. Why on earth would any Leeds fan wish to own it? It’s like wanting to pay hard cash for the privilege of picking scabs in intimate locations, or perhaps hiring someone to punch you in the kidneys at intervals throughout the day. It’s not, in short, a commercially viable offer – at least, not in my opinion.
It’s strange, though, what people will buy. Perhaps Leeds United have identified a gap in the market here, and there really are those out there who wish to relive an occasion of acute pain over and over again, at their leisure. At £2 a shot, it would appear that they are not targeting the discerning, nor yet those who demand pleasurable entertainment for their hard-earned coin. This would appear, on the face of it, to be a promotion aimed at what might charitably be termed mugs – those who are not that thoughtful or choosy about the disposition of their two quid. What other explanation can there be?
It’s tempting to wonder whether our beloved club should instead have aimed at the export market, and flogged these undesirable items in Bavaria, Germany – where they might perhaps be better appreciated. The novelty of watching their favourites triumph to an English commentary highlighting the injustice of Lorimer’s disallowed goal, the scandal of two obvious penalties not given to England’s Champions, the craven performance of a French referee in thrall to der Kaiser Franz Beckenbauer – all of these unique selling points might go down better in the vicinity of München rather than Beeston. After all, Schadenfreude has a piquant appeal to the otherwise humourless inhabitants of the Fatherland – much more so than masochism around LS11.
Perhaps there are those that are willing to fork out a coupe of quid to be able to appreciate the beauty of Lorimer’s disallowed volley, which left a keeper of the quality of Sepp Maier helpless and was actually voted into a high position in one poll of Leeds United goals of the century – despite the technical flaw of it not actually counting (by order of der Kaiser).
All in all though, I have to call this particular commercial promotion a failure. It’s on a par with Germany themselves flogging copies of their effortless 1-5 defeat against England at the start of this century. That was a defeat that left teutonic jaws sagging across the whole of Deutschland, and – as you might expect – there has not been a high demand in Germany for the privilege of owning that particular debacle.
A few weeks ago, Leeds United were offering a tasteful scarf for sale at about this price. That’s more the sort of thing we’re after, chaps – particularly while there’s still a nasty north-easterly nip in the air. It might be a good idea to consign that batch of Bayern DVDs to a convenient landfill site somewhere and come up with something the average Leeds fan might actually want to own. And before some bright spark suggests the 1973 FA Cup Final – forget it, eh?