Well, it came in a blaze of publicity, carrying a ‘guaranteed, even if only three people enter’ £50k first prize and now ABC Fishing Club, aka Willis Worms match has died on its behind.
The money is: ‘ring fenced and guaranteed by someone who spends more than that on his kids’ school fees each year.’
The club itself was as good as dead before it even started because one thing I know about anglers in general, and match anglers in particular, is getting them to stump up any money, never mind £50, is unlikely to happen. They, quite rightly, believe that the bigger the purse, the bigger the names that will enter and, whatever way the rules of the event are tweaked, the top anglers get through.
Having to fish through three events to get there makes that even more likely. Ultimately only 71 brave souls paid up and the man with the expensive school habits, did a runner, taking his £50k, and the fence that ringed it, with him.
What concerns me almost as much is the initial stance of the company - that membership of the ‘club’ and paying £50 to join would save them 33 per cent on bait purchased online. There is a tiny fragment of truth in as much that it would for anglers already buying their bait from the firm by post but for new customers, used to buying at the same price from their local shop, the addition of a carriage charge make it virtually impossible to buy sufficient bait to cover the carriage costs - never mind the £50 upfront. I might not be a mathematician but, as the saying goes, I know how many beans make five!
As many people have said many times, if something looks to good to be true it probably is. Although Willis Worms has said it will refund any unhappy ‘members’ - and those refunds have gone out to my knowledge - that isn’t the point. They couldn’t put up what they guaranteed and that is bad for any business.