With the first publishing of Football programmes in the late 1880's, firstly as a scorecard with team names and player positions to what we now know as programmes, the tradition of getting a programme at a match has been around for well over a hundred years, and the original pages are now something of a treasured artefact.
Initially programmes were common and expendable, they were not highly sought after items for collectors, usually left behind along with your pie wrapping and empty pint glass. But from the 1960s onwards, the collecting of programmes gained traction, and serious specialised dealers emerged. These collectors and dealers have been known to pay up to 1000 pounds for a 1920's FA Cup Final programme.
With the modern programme having far more pages than its origins, and also being in full colour and gloss - one can understand where the additional and wasteful costs factor in. The programmes are now also not helpful when it comes to analysing the match and game play for activities like NZ sports betting - so the sale of these is rapidly declining.
The Future EFL Decisions
With the 72 Football League clubs deciding whether to change the rules pertaining to printing traditional match day programmes, these programmes can disappear from production soon, much like programmes for music concerts have long done so.
Past EFL regulations had stated that each club was to have one half page of their programme available to benefit the Football Foundation and a full page of advertising to promote League initiatives. This wording is set to be changed, so that the clubs can fulfil this advertising obligation online and via social media.
Clubs are now making decisions to be more cost effective, and to change with the times and movement of people.
The rise of social media has made a significant impact on peoples actions, with many Football fans checking out line ups and details via online through social media rather then through the old school printed programmes.
Though the clubs might be trying to keep up with modern times and perhaps the publishing costs of the programmes are not cost effectives, some fans are not happy to hear of this latest development - especially those who are collectors of programmes. Many of these fans consider the published programmes part of the traditional game - a requirement for any match day event.
Several clubs have been lobbying the EFL to change or abolish the need for mandatory match programmes, due to them being not viable financial.
Though some clubs are all for abolishing the publishing of the programme, there are clubs who say they will always ensure they publish programmes - no matter which way the EFL decides to vote.
And sad that it may be, perhaps the modern printed programme should fade away - but the old