Reduction in TV money makes season ticket income next season vital for Ipswich

EARLY interest in Ipswich Town season ticket sales for next season has been encouraging, which is just as well with chief executive Simon Clegg warning of a �750,000 drop in television income from 2012/13

This reduction in TV money will lead to the Blues having less scope in the transfer market after next season increasing the importance of the 2011/12 campaign for a club like Ipswich desperate to reach the Premier League.

The more money Town manager Paul Jewell has at his disposal the stronger his hand will be as he looks to strengthen his squad and formulate a promotion-chasing side next term.

The Blues, who have put their season prices up for the first time for four years, will be looking to at least match the 14,000 figure of sales for this season.

Much might depend on how results go in the final seven games of the Championship season although John Ford the Ipswich ticket office and call centre manager is optimistic.

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“Sales have gathered some pace so there are plenty coming in,” said Ford.

“It is too early to forecast, but from the atmosphere generated by supporters renewing their tickets there seems to be optimism for the season ahead with Paul Jewell in charge.”

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Ipswich’s home game against Norwich City is the most equally awaited remaining fixture with the Canaries seeking to gain automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The game takes place on Maundy Thursday evening with the Blues, and their fans, loving nothing more than to put a spoke in the wheel of the Norfolk side.

Gates are currently down on last season, but the visit of Norwich could well make a difference to this with tickets available to Ipswich supporters online, by telephoning 0845 80 11 555 or from Planet Blue stores.

The new Sky Sports TV Football League deal will run from 2012 to 2015 and is worth �195 million in total, a drop of �69 million from the previous terms.

BBC’s TV coverage of the Football League will come to an end.

Clegg says that with around 80% of the revenue going to Championship clubs it’s the second tier which will be hit the most by the reduction.

He warned: “It will affect us all, but it will be in the Championship that it will be felt the most.

“In the current climate this looks a good deal for the Football League. But the fact is it represents a 26% drop from the last deal.

“The market place has changed substantially, and it is a very different economy for clubs.

“With the consequent loss of tension in the market place, without having BBC, ITV and Setanta bidding, the bottom line is we will get �766,000 per annum less and so we need to cut our cloth accordingly.”

The Blues chief executive says clubs will certainly notice the shortfall: “I cannot believe �750,000 plus per annum will not have an impact on how people run their businesses.

“And much of our outgoings relate to players’ wages and transfers.

“Clubs will not be willing to give out large contracts and this could impact on players.

“People will act accordingly but I cannot believe that 24 clubs in the Championship will collectively be able to accept a loss of �18 million.

“Clubs will have to focus their minds even more on their finances.”

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