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Thursday 30 September 2010
From the Cambridge United programme

From time to time we reproduce articles which appear in the programme but which have not been covered on this site. The following is an extract from Erik Samuelson's page for the Cambridge United game.

SCOUTING FROM THE TERRACES

Good evening and welcome to the fans, officials and players of Cambridge United.

Over the last week or two I’ve been interviewed by the Guardian, the Daily Express, Reuters, Talksport, Sky News and others. The reason for this sudden re-emergence of interest in us is our great start to the season – they sense that we are approaching the endgame of a story which will see us in the Football League, despite, in the now infamous words of the FA Commission, the creation of our club “not being in the wider interests of football”.

Whatever happens this season, and I am definitely not forecasting that we will be promoted, this resurgence of interest is a mixed blessing. One way it manifests itself is in the large number of scouts who have started to appear at our games.

There is a convention that scouts are given access to games and, in return, we can send our scouts to their clubs (I can’t wait for our first visit from Manchester United so that I can send them a scouting request in return!). But we are now getting so many requests that they are a real drain on the small number of seats we have for sale. For the Crawley game we reintroduced a policy of offering seats only to scouts from clubs who are due to play us or our opposition in the near future. This is a policy we may need to apply for every home game as the numbers of scouts continue to rise.

This goes against the grain, as we are a friendly and welcoming club, but I don’t see why we should give free seats to people who are coming with the intention of trying to nick our best players, leaving some of our own fans without a seat. So if you are a scout and you’re reading this while standing on the terraces, I’m sorry, but we look after our own first.