As much as I love football I always find the start of the new football season slightly depressing. Rather than looking forward to the excitement of the drive for promotion or a good run in the cup, it signifies to me the end of the summer holidays, clocks changing and the run in to the cold winter nights.
As a Grimsby Town fan I have had to endure a lot over the years and my thoughts turn quickly to a cold wet Tuesday night at Blundell Park where watching the shipping in the Humber has sometimes been more exciting than the football; whilst the memories of watching the Mariners at Wembley twice in the same season (and winning on both occasions) have faded into the distant past.
Being from Grimsby I’ve always allowed myself a “home team” and a “glory team”. As glory teams go I chose wisely when I was 10 years old. That said, the end of the Ferguson era brought a certain amount of misery last year. Hopefully my “glory team” will perform this season and give me something to smile about.
So, for the summer holidays we’ve been blessed with reasonably good weather, a decent camping trip with friends, days out on the bikes and a family trip to France. The trip to France was particularly special. We’d planned well in advance and this summer we managed to watch the first day and last day of the Tour De France. The atmosphere in both Leeds and Paris was superb and to see the pro-riders racing at full speed in Paris was a sight to behold. A real adrenalin rush as a spectator; a far cry from my Sunday morning meanders around East Yorkshires’ beautiful countryside. But watching Le Tour in Paris gave me a huge sense of pride. Before the race there is a procession, Le Caravanne, a marketing push from sponsors. Amongst it all was The Welcome to Yorkshire vehicles. A big yellow Y driving through the centre of Paris as part of the world’s biggest sporting event.
Chatting to a Frenchman on the Champs Elysees he said that he had watched the opening days of the tour on TV and thought Yorkshire looked spectacular and that the race should start there every year!
So, what has all this got to do with commercial property? Simple really, sport can be our shop window. The Tour de France in Leeds, Hull City in the Premier League, FA Cup Final and now in Europe. Scunthorpe United winning promotion. Grimsby Town and North Ferriby United nearly getting promoted. The Tour de France helped promote this region to a word wide audience. Our local football teams can reach out to millions of people via TV coverage. If our clubs do well they feature on the back pages of the press, Sky Sports News, Match of the Day. It can put the names Hull and Grimsby (OK to a lesser extent) in peoples minds.
If visiting fans come here and visit our area they can see that there are so many positives. The FA Cup run in Hull last season created a real buzz around the city, a feel good factor, something to be proud of; this rubs off on local businesses. If local businesses are doing well it will increase the demand for commercial property. The market will improve and everyone benefits.
So, instead of feeling slightly depressed at the start of the football season I should see it as an opportunity to spread the word of how great the Humber region is. To welcome visitors to our area and hope that they share my belief and enthusiasm in this region and see it as a great place to live, do business and enjoy quality leisure time.
And before I offend the vast number of people that prefer a more egg shaped ball, the importance of our local League and Union sides is not lost on me. In fact I can often be found at Brantingham Park on a Saturday afternoon. The rugby is entertaining and they sell a decent pint, which I’m allowed to sit and drink whilst watching the game – unlike at football.