Town confirm 10% season ticket price cut as Evans admits he made a mistake – but there will be no news on McCarthy
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have cut season ticket prices for 2018/19 by 10% – as owner Marcus Evans admits he made a mistake last year.
Town fans were sent into overdrive on Twitter when they realised that season ticket prices for the next campaign were already online last night, with a 10% cut revealed.
Now owner Marcus Evans has admitted he made a mistake last year in increasing prices.
He told the club’s website: “I made a mistake last year in increasing prices on the back of a tough season.
“This year we have performed better on the pitch in what is an increasingly challenging division but I feel it’s the right thing to do by dropping season ticket prices substantially.
“I hope this encourages current season ticket holders to renew again for next year and acts as an incentive for those who perhaps have not been regulars at Portman Road this year.
He added: “Results on the pitch are the most important aspect of any football club and from talking to the manager and the players, I know supporters have a part to play in that.
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“If we are together and united behind the team, it gives the club the best platform to move forward.”
That means prices will be cut for the first time during Marcus Evans’ decade as owner – but there will be no news on the future of manager Mick McCarthy in the coming days.
Evans raised season ticket prices by 1.5% last year, sparking an angry reaction from supporters following the club’s lowest place finish in 58 years.
Season ticket sales subsequently dropped by around 2,000, following on from a decrease of around 1,000 the previous summer.
Average league attendances at Portman Road have been on a slow decline throughout Town’s 16-year stay in the Championship – dropping from 25,455 in 2002/03 to the current figure of 16,110 for the 19 league games played this term.
Recently, crowds have hit a near 20-year low for league games with gates of 13,031, 13,205 and 13,815 logged for the visits of Hull, Cardiff and Burton respectively since the start of February.
And those figures are based on tickets sold for the game, thus not taking into account the growing number of season ticket holders currently staying away. It’s believed that the actual crowd for the Hull game – a 3-0 defeat in which the atmosphere turned toxic – was nearer 9,000.
With that in mind, Evans has listened to the advice of club staff and reduced prices in an attempt to halt an alarming trend.
However, while that cut is likely to be well-received, it is news of McCarthy’s future that could well shape a large number of supporters’ decision whether to commit next season or not.
Since being appointed in November 2012, McCarthy has overseen second-tier finishes of 14th, ninth, sixth, seventh and 16th. The Blues are currently 12th in the table heading into their final eight games of the campaign.
Despite league positions often belying the small budget he has worked on and the key injuries he has had to deal with, McCarthy has faced increased criticism this term regarding a lack of entertainment value and a series of dismissive comments towards supporters.
He is set to be out of contract this summer, recently said he was ‘sick’ of talking about his future and has warned his critics to ‘be careful what you wish for’.