Town fail to pass on VAT cut

IPSWICH Town plan to use the reduction in VAT on season ticket prices to pay back to fans once they are promoted to the Premier League.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town plan to use the reduction in VAT on season ticket prices to pay back to fans once they are promoted to the Premier League.

The Blues did not deduct the 2.5% VAT reduction the Government introduced last year from season ticket prices when they were launched last week, leaving some fans to question whether or not it was a genuine price freeze.

Town fan Terry Brown from Felixstowe asked: “If they are not passing the VAT reduction to the supporters then how can they claim it is a price freeze when effectively it is a 2.5% increase? And if it is not coming off prices then where is it going?”

With the club haemorrhaging around �5m a year, which is being subsidised by owner Marcus Evans, every bit saved helps

Sales and marketing director, Andrew Goulborn explained: “The cost reduction that would have resulted from adjusting VAT to 15% on Season Tickets would have equated to an average saving of just 30p a game.

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“Rather than reducing prices by this relatively small amount (and increasing them again next season) we took the decision to invest in freezing all season ticket prices, extending the interest-free credit period from four to eight months

and extending our �2.5 million Premiership Cashback rebate offer for another season.

“We continue to offer VAT buster promotions in our retail shops and on the most popular stadium kiosk meals and we will review this for next season.”

Blues supporters have until April 4 to take advantage of the 'early bird' discount scheme and the club are hoping to get as close as it can to last year's total take-up of 15,350.

East Anglian rivals Norwich City have already sold 17,000 season tickets for next season, despite there being a good chance they will be watching League One football.

The Canaries are second-bottom of the Championship, three points behind fourth-bottom Blackpool who they play on Saturday, but are still getting around 25,000 for each home game.

Liz Edwards, chair of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, admitted she was somewhat envious and last night said: “It looks like a really solid vote of loyalty to their club, despite them having had the most dreadful of seasons.

“I can't honestly wish them all the best, but on the other hand I am a bit jealous of the loyalty their fans are showing”

City chief executive Neil Doncaster has hailed the 'Gunn factor' as the primary reason behind so many renewals, even though they are down by more than 1,000 from the same point last year.

City stalwart Bryan Gunn was appointed full-time boss last month after taking over from the unpopular Glenn Roeder, who was sacked in January, before their season ticket campaign was launched.

Doncaster said: “I have no doubt the change of manager contributed greatly to the change of mood.

“It certainly did internally but I also think externally there are an awful lot of people right behind Bryan and they desperately want him to succeed as manager.

“Just as there were an awful lot of people who felt under previous managements they may not have been given the respect they deserved - everyone is right behind Bryan and the numbers reflect that.

“It is really a tremendous show of support in the current climate and unbelievable loyalty that proves people feel part of this club.”

Ipswich take on City at home in the East Anglian derby match on April 19 and could be the side that sends the Canaries down to League One.