Coventry City chairman Tim Fisher has responded to concerns from fans to yesterday’s season ticket launch.
As we reported, many fans are unhappy that prices have been frozen – and risen in some categories – even though the club is highly likely to be relegated to League Two.
A statement on the club’s website reads: “Firstly, I’m very pleased to welcome Tommy Widdrington to Coventry City this week, to head up our player recruitment programme.
“The manager and I feel this appointment is the cornerstone of the football department; Tommy is tasked with finding and securing the right playing talent for the football club going forward.
“The club also announced details and prices for next year’s Season Tickets yesterday. Understandably, this has been met with some concerns from fans.
“We are unlike most other football clubs, in that we do not benefit from non-ticketing revenue. The club does not get either matchday non-ticketing revenues or non-matchday revenues. We are therefore pushed to generate most income via ticketing means, and this puts pressure on the current Season Ticket pricing structure.
“As a club, we are fully aware that other League One clubs have ongoing ticket promotions and offers. Unfortunately, Coventry City FC are not in a position to replicate these, despite wanting to reward our loyal supporters.
“Our Season Ticket prices are still in keeping with most clubs in League One and Two and we are especially pleased to be able to continue to offer JSB’s U13 a FREE Season Ticket – and hope this helps with the cost of a family visit to the Ricoh Arena.
“The club also wanted to reward its returning early bird Season Ticket holders, and new purchasers, with a FREE ticket to the club’s first cup game of the upcoming season. Hopefully we can replicate the fantastic cup success of this season!
“We’re also absorbing the £6.00 processing charge in the early bird period.
“The manager wrote about togetherness and unity in his address, and I’d like to echo the same sentiment. Whilst the club simply aren’t able to underwrite any reduction in ticket prices, we are supporting Mark Robins with as much financial backing as is feasibly possible.
“All available spend will be allocated to the team. We want to enjoy a successful year on the pitch in 2017/18 and we need the fanbase, where possible, to support the manager during this rebuilding process!”
Sky Blues manager Mark Robins yesterday called for ‘unity’ as the season tickets for 2017/8 went on sale for the first time – amid concern about a drop in attendances after an expected relegation and a poor season.
Adult season tickets, with discounts for buying early, start at £299, while under-13s can get a season ticket entirely free.
Some fans’ ‘leaders’ at The Sky Blue Trust said it was a missed opportunity to lower prices after heightened interest in the club from the Wembley victory.
Others pointed out the best adult prices amount to £13 per ticket and are mid-range for League Two.
Coventry City have four League One games left this season, and are all but mathematically certain to go down.
Fans’ group The Sky Blue Trust, hostile to the club’s ‘owners’ Sisu, last week published a survey of 360 season ticket holders, which claimed around 80 per cent of them claimed they may not be renewing their season ticket under Sisu.
It comes with the club mired in off-field politics and ongoing multi-party disputes, with hostility from some campaigners and groups to Sisu. Other fans on internet forums have been critical of the five-year agenda which has failed to deliver a takeover, while seemingly exonerating other parties in the dispute.
The club, currently a tenant at the Ricoh Arena, has consistently said it is denied 24/7 matchday revenues from a stadium and can only spend on the team a percentage of its other revenues – so ticket income is important.
For more information on how to buy season tickets, go to www.ccfc.co.uk