The club have finally launched their new deal for season tickets in League One and I, for one, am relatively disappointed. The offer is pretty simple - discounts of c 10-15% on most adult seats, although the Lower North remains flat at £290. The good news is that U18 and U11 prices fall by up to 50%.
I hope I am wrong, but I suspect this won't be enough to persuade the majority of the waiverers to renew. The discounts aren't attractive enough and it lacks imagination and creativity. The club website is also listing the "saving" of the new pricing against the "minimum cost of 23 equivalent match tickets" next season. These savings look better at face value but this is pretty disingenious. Those who move to match-to-match ticketing are unlikely to attend every game (with less attractive opposition, they will attend fewer) , and the savings listed assume every game will be charged at £17 for the cheapest seats or £22 or £25 for the more expensive. Interestingly, seats in Lower North will be £25 per game, on a par with centre East or West. Who is really going to believe that there will be no discounting on a match-to-match basis next year?
The deal does nothing to compensate the loss of the "free season" ticket deal and doesn't reflect the current economic reality for fans, although I guess the Board would argue it reflects reality for the club. I can't help thinking that an offer with twice the value here would have attracted sufficiently greater numbers to make it viable. In addition to the additional matchday sales of programmes, food and souvenirs, it would also have helped make the Valley a more intimidating venue and helped maintain supporter morale.
In summary, I think they have chosen the safe option of maximising the return from the most loyal fans by offering modest discounts (in the circumstances). We are going to need a flying start and a season spent competing at the top if we aren't to risk losing many of those who choose not to renew permanently.