SOMERSET members have voiced their displeasure at the decision to make the club’s almanac digital only.

The printed yearbook, a round-up of the previous summer’s cricket across the county, has traditionally been included as part of the membership package and a digital edition will remain so.

This appears to have alienated a section of the membership who are not ‘online’, while the County Gazette has heard from members who have been critical of the decision to remove the hard copy of the almanac from the membership benefits.

Peter Lane, from Wellington, said: “I think it is a crying shame.

“I have been going to the ground for nearly 70 years and I have most of the yearbooks from that time.

“This news came out of the blue with no consultation with members.

“There are plenty of older supporters, like myself, who don’t have computers or use the internet.

“A lot of hard work goes into collating these yearbooks and I was looking forward to adding to my collection.”

Phil Oram, from Yeovil, added: “I think it is the wrong thing to do.

“There was no consultation whatsoever - I am a Long Room member and many of the people up there wouldn’t have computers or regularly use them.”

Another member, who did not wish to be named, said the decision made them “very sad”, while a letter to this week’s ‘Postbag’ section says: “We are continually told that Somerset is a members club yet this decision to take away a part of a membership benefit has been taken without any consultation or explanation.”

One suggestion has been that a certain number of almanacs will be printed and made available in reception on a first come, first served basis.

This may suit local members but could make it difficult for those living further afield to pick up a copy.

One of those is Nick Slade, who hails from South Somerset but now lives in Birmingham.

“No-one was informed about this - it was sprung on us,” Slade said.

“Aside from a short period, there has always been a yearbook.

“Minor Counties still produce them. For me, it just feels as though the traditions of the game and the club are being ebbed away.

“I have been going since 1965 and still attend most, or part of, all home Championship matches as well as quite a few away games.

“Not everyone has access to a computer and I still find the yearbooks the best way of looking things up or finding things out.”

There could yet be a chance for supporters to own a hard copy of the yearbook through an opt-in option within the membership pack, though this may come at a cost rather than being included in the package.

Somerset CCC have said all the necessary information will be contained within the membership packs, which are set to arrive with supporters soon, and reiterated they will be happy to assist members who contact the club directly with any queries.