Statement on the recent ITFC season ticket announcement
Ipswich Town 1st, the independent supporters’ trust of Ipswich Town Football Club, is very disappointed at the increase in prices for season tickets for the 2017/18 season after what has been a very poor season on the pitch.
While there are a couple of areas of improvement within the new pricing structure, such as the lower costs for U23 year olds, these are lost in the detail of the overall price rise for all other season ticket holders.
We believe that the increase in price for U11s from £10 to £50 is a very poor move for a Season Ticket campaign which claims to focus on the next generation – especially when as part of the 2016/17 season ticket launch these £10 tickets were billed as the key highlight. What has changed in a year to justify this 400% increase? Some of the language used with regards to fans ‘abusing’ these tickets is insulting to season ticket holders and the club does not appear to understand that a season ticket for an U11 is the gateway to supporting ITFC, and at a time when there are 15,000 empty seats on a regular basis, these fans are the future and need to be enticed to the club, not to have unnecessary barriers put in their way. Punishing all U11s for the alleged behaviour of a few seems at odds with the message of ‘One Of Our Own’ and the headline when the season tickets were announced on the official website of ‘TOWN TARGET YOUNG BLUES’
With regards to the increase in the Senior concession age from 60 to 65, we understand the club’s reasoning for this, but feel that the transition could have been managed far better – and that nobody over 60 should be paying significantly more for their season ticket next season. Anything that has the effect of turning long-term fans away from the club cannot be right.
Also, in a town with a new university which has a large percentage of mature students, their concession rate has been lost – as attendances dwindle the club needs to ensure that we are in a position to attract new fans, which includes mature students at the university. This change in policy again adversely affects current season ticket holders who in many cases will not be able to afford to renew.
The overall price increase of 1.5% seems to be an unwise decision when a number of Season Ticket holders are currently not attending due to the poor season on the pitch, and many more are in two minds about renewing. The club must be well aware of this as it has been from the reaction voiced on all forms of social media since the new prices were announced.
Other clubs in the Championship are keeping Season Ticket prices at lower levels than ours, and there is even the example of Huddersfield who are offering adult season tickets for £199 next season across the whole ground when they currently sit 3rd in the table.
We urge the club to reconsider the changes to the U11 season ticket, the transition for those aged between 60 and 65 and the case for mature students to ensure that no ST holders will be paying significantly more than they are this season if they renew. This is an opportunity for ITFC to show that they really believe all fans are valued as “One Of Their Own,” and not just those aged between 12 and 23.
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