Have your say: Ipswich Town announce season ticket price rise

IPSWICH Town fans will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets, if they want to continue watching games at Portman Road next season.

IPSWICH Town fans will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets, if they want to continue watching games at Portman Road next season.

Chief Executive Simon Clegg has announced a price hike of between �1 and �1.50 per game for most adult season ticket holders for the 2011-12 campaign, equating to a rise of about six per cent on the overall total. Under-16s will pay an extra 50 pence per game.

Although this is the first clear-cut rise in season ticket prices for five years, following a four-year freeze, it is still a big blow to supporters already struggling to make ends meet in the current testing financial climate.

Town at present have 14,000 season ticket holders, and that figure could well be reduced next season, given both the news of price rises and another disappointing campaign in the Championship.

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Clegg highlighted spiralling costs as the prime reason for taking the tough decision to increase season ticket prices, especially the remarkable 743% increase in rent from the Borough Council.

“To the best of my knowledge, we are the only club in the Championship to have been able to hold our ticket prices for the last few years,” explained Clegg.

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“And during that time we have had to absorb increasing costs.

“Over those last five years our electricity costs have increased by 25%, our water by 26%, our rates by 44% and our police bill has doubled over that period time. We expect the policing rates for the following season to be a further 100% increase.

“And on top of that, last year we were hit with a 743% increase in our rent from the (Borough) Council, increasing our rent from �15,000 a year to �111,000 a year.

“Over-and-above that, we are all acutely aware that the government, through the tax man, has hit us with a further 2.5% on VAT, increasing VAT from 17.5% to 20%.

“Therefore, reluctantly we have decided that we have to increase ticket prices for next season.

“We are going to increase ticket prices in the main by around 6%. What that means in real terms is that we are looking at about an additional �1 to �1.50 for most adult season ticket holders per game, and 50 pence for under-16s.

“For under-11 season ticket holders, their price will be frozen at �10 because we continue to believe that we need to try and encourage young people coming through our gates,” added Clegg.

The Club have yet to announce match-day ticket prices for next season, for those wanting to pick and choose their games.

Clegg admitted that the introduction of a price hike had been a tough decision.

“We are all operating in a difficult financial environment,” confirmed Clegg.

“But I have a responsibility to ensure the financial robustness of this football club, particularly bearing in mind the history we have been through (in administration) only a decade ago.

“It is important for us that we do run this football club on sound financial grounds. We cannot continue absorbing those kind of increases that are being placed on us by those third parties, particularly an additional �100,000 a year from the Council.

“I am sure the Council would argue that we have benefited from having our rent stuck at level pegging for a number of years.

“But obviously the quantum of the increase was a major concern to us, and a surprise.”

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