Fuller Flavour: It feels like Ipswich Town fans are being treated with contempt
What a time to be an Ipswich fan.
Only we can end a rut of six successive draws with a defeat. Two wins from 16 would have you believing that things could not get any worse.
Yet somehow, the club still manages to find a way to rub salt into a very deep wound to cause further anguish. At least being an Ipswich fan helps condition you for other moments of sporting misery – the disappointment of England losing to Ireland in the rugby on Saturday was water off a duck’s back!
The announcement of prices for 2017/18 season tickets can at least provide me with an alternative focal point this week rather than finding more words to offer about another nondescript performance and a winless result.
What more can I say that hasn’t already been said in the last day or two? As I said on Friday, never have I felt so disillusioned with my stance being that the lifeblood of the club, the long-suffering fans, have not been considered at all in the increase of prices.
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I care not for the monetary amount, it’s simply the principle of asking for more money to continue to watch rubbish that bores one to the point of feeling anaesthetised for much of our games.
The pricing structure has good and bad points. Some are considerably worse off, some are very happy with their cost – namely those under 23, and some are marginally worse off, that includes myself having to pay an extra £6.
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Ian Milne struck a chord with me with his comment about the average age of the football fan being 41. Pricing is not the real issue for me – as I’ve said, it’s the principle of an increase at all.
Being a season ticket holder and paying around £17 a game is better than not being a season ticket holder paying £27.50 a game. But that only works if you’re planning on going to every game.
There are those fans that can say enough is enough and not renew and then there’s the rest of us who will probably renew which might equate to about 8,000–10,000 in sales.
We’re clinically addicted, we know that we will go to as many games as possible, the drug is in our veins and we’re the ones that are on one hand sticking by the club in these darkest of times but on the other hand, we’re the ones allowing the one man that matters in all this to dictate proceedings on his terms.
Like it or lump it is not an option for us and it is the contempt for us aged forty-plus, the lifeblood that has me irritated. We’re the ones that were around before Sky TV and the birth of the Premier League that made football quite literally into a very different ball game.
Look at where that has left clubs like Town, Villa, Forest, Derby and Wolves to name a few - clubs that when I was a kid could and actually did do things in the game.
Those of us around the 41 years of age group have kept these clubs alive. Now the club worry about attracting more young fans. Fair enough, but this should not be at either the expense or detriment of the very fans that are required to bring the youngsters to games.
I hope that our many years of loyalty does not put the club off valuing our support. 1.5% or 15% increases don’t matter in the great scheme of things.
I’m a man of principles, not money and as for the season ticket advert on Thursday claiming the noise, the passion and the feeling of belonging for fans.... well I see no passion, I hear no noise and I sense a real lack of belonging amongst fans.