Monday, 15 April 2013

8,000 renew early

News from Charlton Athletic that season tickets are back on sale at increased prices for anyone who failed to take advantage of the early-bird offer. The club are saying that 8,000 people have bought early compared to 9,200 at the same time last year and the more precise sounding 6,253 in the year before that. 

I am slightly surprised once again that our numbers are holding up, especially after the Valley pain this season. A 13% year on year drop thus far is not as bad as it might have been although my guess is the actually number might start with a 7 but, hey, who's splitting hairs. The big question now is just how may more will we sell before the season kicks off? The 8,000 early-birds clearly include the mass who will renew pretty much come-what-may, certainly as long as pricing is competitive, and, let's face it, Championship football for under £500 in the best seats is competitive.

The discontented, and there are plenty, will account for the majority of the 1200 who failed to renew early this time around. Many, like me, will almost inevitably renew but performances at home and the experiences of Selhurst Park and Millwall at the Valley will deter several hundred at least in my view as well as the Board's continuing arrogance when it comes to communicating with it's customers. 

We then need to consider if we are likely to attract many new buyers on top of that and there I have far less confidence. I reckon we will do well to start the season with 9,000 season ticket holders which would represent an overall  reduction closer to 18%. That is probably better than most feared (me included), so once again you have to say that the club have called the pricing and the policy just about right in the circumstances, even without the mercurial skills of Rick Everitt.

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