Tickets continue to sell well
By David VincentIpswich Town fans have posted a massive vote of confidence in Joe Royle and his team ahead of the new football season.By Saturday around 14,000 of them had committed to renew their season tickets for next season and, of those, several hundred have bought debentures – effectively 10-year or 20-year seats – in the Portman Road ground.
By David Vincent
Ipswich Town fans have posted a massive vote of confidence in Joe Royle and his team ahead of the new football season.
By Saturday around 14,000 of them had committed to renew their season tickets for next season and, of those, several hundred have bought debentures – effectively 10-year or 20-year seats – in the Portman Road ground.
And with unopened post from Saturday and another bumper postbag expected today, the final figure is expected to rise significantly.
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By the end of last season the Town season ticket total was more than 19,000 as fans snapped up deals during the season.
Even if the new season does not reach that total it will be a remarkable one following a season of much disappointment in missing the play-offs, and the departure of popular players like Hermann Hreidarsson, Jamie Clapham and Darren Ambrose, as well as the club going into administration.
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Even though Ipswich exited administration on Friday, having offered creditors an initial 5p in the pound, the financial problems remain and more stars could depart in the summer.
The big plus for Joe Royle, even before he wheels and deals in a summer transfer market when there will be a lot of released players looking for clubs, is the young talent being produced by Town's academy.
Players like Matt Richards, Darren Bent, Dean Bowditch, Antonio Murray, Ian Westlake and Matt Bloomfield will aim to push on for more regular first-team appearances. Behind them are the likes of Chris Hogg, Gerard Nash and Aidan Collins.
Town ticket office manager John Ford and his staff concentrated on dealing with personal callers on Saturday morning, and phone queries, and put the post aside.
"We have processed 7,000 season ticket applications and have about the same again in various stages of being processed.
"The phones were a bit quieter than we have had up to Friday and the queues have been steady.
He stressed: "We will hold the discount prices for all the post that comes in over the weekend.
"I expect a bumper postbag on Monday morning, between 700 and 1,000 letters.
"It has been steady all week but you give people a deadline and they will stick to it, and many people will have been paid this week, at the end of the month, which is understandable.
"By comparison with last year it is not much different at this stage."
Once they had dealt with all the straightforward renewals, same person for the same seat, they would go on to try and accommodate requests for moves.
"We have already processed about 7,000 in the system. There are a lot of people who want to move.
"Until we have been through everything, and put it on to our computer system, we won't know where the spaces are.
"Although this is one deadline the next one is the first game of the season, August 9, and we will still be picking up a lot of people through June and July.
"It galvanises people when the first game comes along."
The football club had sold a limited number of the 10-year and 20-year debentures, he added, with many of those who applied for details following it through.
The fixture list for the new season is announced on Thursday, June 19.
As in previous years, when they have both been playing in the same division, Ipswich Town and Norwich City league home games will be on different dates so as not to clash.