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Season Ticket Prices To Fall* - Williams On Five Live

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This morning on BBC Radio 5 Live, Rovers' chairman John Williams confirmed what had been strongly rumored around the town, that season ticket prices would fall next season.

We will announce our prices later this week – we are committed to making football affordable.” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It is an expensive business assembling a squad. But another part of that equation is the atmosphere, the 12th man and the atmosphere they can generate." added the chairman.

Williams highlighted that the club have taken note when the fans have said it's simply too expensive. “We have seen a steady decline over the last three or four years, it is still a bit expensive for fans to attend matches. Fans are telling us that, we are listening to them.

He also pointed out that whilst the club has been at the forefront of the trend to reduce match day prices to encourage fans back into grounds, the club also needs to look after it's season ticket holders. "Season ticket holders are the lifeblood of the club. It’s important as you go forward that you keep an eye on them.

It is believed the reduction in ticket price is now possible due to the extra income from the new television deal.

Whilst the Rovers chairman stopped short of guaranteeing reductions all round, his comments do back up those made at the fans forum (full minutes available here) where the following was noted.

MH noted the club's recent public commitment to lowering season ticket prices following the increased TV deal for the 2007/08 season and asked for any further details. JW replied that, whilst the club were not expecting turnover to increase as much as press reports they wanted to return some of the increased TV income to fans in lower ticket prices. They were looking to simplify the price structure and therefore not every price would necessarily be reduced – for example children's prices at £99 were unlikely to change. The club did, however, need to balance cheaper ticket prices against the need to remain competitive in the market for the best players and consequently needed to be aware of what was happening in the rest of the market. The club was already seriously disadvantaged in terms of gate income with many of its competitors, taking at least half as much as many clubs and about one seventh of the biggest clubs. Higher crowds are very desirable for the club as atmosphere is improved and they help to attract and keep good players but lower prices do have to drive volume.

A detailed pricing strategy had not yet been finalised. The club were not planning to continue the current loyalty scheme to protect value for season ticket holders but were planning a new points loyalty scheme based on total spend but the introduction was dependent on upgraded technology which may not be immediately available. Details of season ticket prices would be announced early but there would be no repeat of last year's early bird offer. The club wanted to do everything possible to retain season ticket sales and encourage growth. Research had shown that 76% of the fans who did not renew their season tickets had not been to a home match all season. The club were conscious that it was much more difficult to regain regular fans once they did not renew.

We will of course post details of the season ticket and match day prices as soon as we have them.

You can join in our season ticket discussion on the forum here.

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