Manchester United – first time VIP

When I was in my second year at university I worked for a while in the executive lounges at Old Trafford. I remembered wondering why people spent so much money to get fed a meal and watch a Manchester United game, when I though the real atmosphere and excitement of going to a game was going like a regular, true fan – dressed up, drunk, cold, singing and without having to worry about leaving ten minutes before the games finishes just to miss the traffic.

Last night I was fortunate enough to get invited to go to the game, for free, VIP style. I think I now have a better understanding, for the most part, why people fork out over £3,000 per person for a season at the suites instead of the £600 or so needed to get a Stretford End season ticket.

Captain’s Lounge – Old Trafford

The decision is, for most people, purely a business one. Get a table of four for £15,000, and you get:

  • To watch the game, with tasty food, a free programme and gift, entertainment, great seats and a place to chill out afterwards if you are driving and want to wait for the traffic to pass.
  • A place to host potential clients
  • Incentives you can offer to employees who perform well
  • A great way to develop or sustain good relationships with suppliers, key clients or important contacts in your network.
  • The cost is probably tax-deductable while I doubt you can pull that off with standard season tickets.

I think for any mid-sized company with owners that are Manchester United fans, executive tickets for every United game is well-worth the money.

One thing I would do though, no matter what, I will have a system in place to make sure that there is always someone at my table if I can’t make it – too many seats are paid for and empty. Even if its just a little thank you for your business (clients) or hard work (employees), I am sure there are people in your network that would appreciate the gesture – after all, its all already paid for, and for goodness sake, its tickets to a Manchester United game, the greatest team in the world.

The World Stops When You’re Ill

I have never experienced the highs and lows of life in such quick succession as I have this week.

There I was on Sunday, singing United songs in the rain as the Bulgarian assassin single-handedly destroyed Liverpool.

Emotions were high as my friends came over for a wonderful reunion of house mates. I enjoyed feeding everyone and I welcomed a new week like I had never done before.

Then Monday came and I was feeling rough. On Tuesday I was ill but not as bad as on Wednesday and Thursday when I couldn’t even get to work. As I started to feel better today, I dragged my ass to the office and am glad I did, somehow feeling sorry for myself at home wasn’t doing me much good.

This just makes me think, is it better to ride a massive wave; success after success, happy moment after another, long periods of good health, with a massive failure to humble us to ground level every now and then? Or, is it better to be constantly reminded of mortality, of failure, of the dreams we failed to achieve? As a gambling enthusiast, I can’t help but think of life as a game of roulette; you can win many times in a row just to suffer a large loss at the end, or you can win once, lose once, over and over, never truly reaching that euphoria that a streak of wins provides; or the total emptiness of loosing it all at the end.

It makes you wonder, is happiness all about the experience we have or the memory of that experience? Daniel Kahneman tries to answer this…