‘Never have I felt so disillusioned’ – Ipswich Town fans’ anger at season ticket price hike

Ipswich owner Marcus Evans has come under fire for the season ticket price rise.

Ipswich owner Marcus Evans has come under fire for the season ticket price rise. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town supporters have reacted angrily to the news that season ticket prices are going up for the fourth successive year.

The Blues take on Cardiff, in South Wales tomorrow, still not safe from Championship relegation with nine games to play. Certainly the club is in danger of its lowest league finish since 1959 – 16th in the second-tier.

With so much forgettable footballing fare dished up at Portman Road over the last 12 to 18 months, Town owner Marcus Evans has taken a huge risk in raising all adult season ticket prices by 1.5%, ditching their £10 Under-11 season ticket and changing the senior concession band from Over-60s to Over-65s.

A series of online polls run by this newspaper have had more than 600 responses, with 97% of participants saying they did not feel valued by the football club.

Those who said they would not be renewing were asked what the main reason for that was – 32% said ‘lack of entertainment’, 8% said ‘prices’, 7% said ‘want to see a change of manager’ with the remaining 53% saying ‘all of the above’.

Karl Fuller, who writes a column on Town for this newspaper, said: “Yet again the lifeblood of the club – the fans – has been overlooked. After a bad season on the pitch how are we rewarded? With an increase in prices! How can they justify that? My ticket has gone up by £6, that’s not much, but it’s the principle of it.

“Never in my 38 years of being a supporter have I felt so disillusioned. The marketing material says about ‘noise, passion and belonging’, well I don’t feel a sense of belonging. We will be lucky to sell 10,000 season tickets.”

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He added: “Many, like me, will be back for more though because it’s an addiction, a drug in our veins. If you get bad service in a restaurant then you don’t go back, but supporting a football club is different.

“I don’t expect us to win every week, I don’t even expect us to play great every week, but I just want to feel proud of my club and have some to feel positive about. This season I have been heading to matches thinking ‘what the hell am I doing this for?’ It’s so sad.”

Stephen Skeet, who writes for fanzine Turnstile Blues, said: “I have had many issues with ticket pricing over the last decade, but a shining beacon of value and common sense has been the £10 child season ticket. It allows adults to continue to support the club, bringing their children and introducing them to Portman Road. Some of those children may only be able to coming 30/40% of the time now, but 100% of the time when they become a teen.

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“The outlay for me of £100 for two children, one of which will only go towards the end of the season and the other to only Saturday games, is a preclusive amount.

“This was a day I had looked forward to for most of my adult life; finding out about the first season tickets I would be buying for myself and my two children. Instead, I’m left with a feeling of refusing to enter into such an act with a club I am becoming more than just disillusioned with.”

Liz Edwards, chair of the Ipswich Town Official Supporters’ Club, said: “There has been a huge response to the season ticket announcement. Of course I will pass all comments received by the Supporters Club straight through to ITFC, as it is important that they get a sense of the balance of opinion.”

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