Fans to pay less to watch the U's

COLCHESTER United fans will pay less for their tickets next season after the club unveiled a credit-crunching range of offers.

Elliot Furniss

COLCHESTER United fans will pay less for their tickets next season after the club unveiled a credit-crunching range of offers.

The news was announced during a “fan forum” held at the club's new Weston Homes Community Stadium on Wednesday evening and the head of the supporters' association welcomed the move.

The family enclosure at the ground is set to be increased by a third for the coming season and a ticket for the section for under eights will be just �3.

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With a number of family bundles also on offer and a new concessionary rate for 17 to 21-year-olds being introduced, the U's are hoping to attract a younger core fan base.

Club chief executive Steve Bradshaw said: “There are certain things going on in the economy, but season ticket holders are the lifeblood of any club.

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“We have been keen to introduce a number of family incentives. Going to the game as a family can be expensive, and that is the case at all levels of the game.

“As a result, we have spent a lot of time working this out. We want the next generation here to be supporting their local team. The fans are really the twelfth man and it's important to us that we get it right.”

He said there would also be possible initiatives based around family credit to make games accessible to those on a lower income.

John Burns, chairman of the Colchester United Supporters' Association, said there were more than 100 fans at the forum and the new measures were “pretty well received” by most.

Mr Burns said: “It's a big, bold and brilliant move by the football club and (club owner) Robbie Cowling is putting his hand even further into his pocket and subsidising the fans.

“I really hope that it encourages a lot of Colchester football fans - and not just U's fans - to come and give it a look.

“I'm delighted and I just hope the people in Colchester will come.”

Under the new plans, season ticket renewals will all be cheaper and a forces concession will be reintroduced in recognition of the efforts of the many soldiers who call Colchester “home”.

nDuring the fan forum it also emerged that some sections normally used for U's fans at the community stadium would be designated for Leeds United fans at the upcoming home fixture.

The match, on April 4, is expected to be a sell-out and Leeds have already requested 3,000 seats, with many more expected to make the journey to Essex from Yorkshire.

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