The £163+ decision facing Ipswich Town fans still unsure over season ticket purchase

Ipswich Town fans must decide whether to take advantage of discounted season ticket prices before Mo

Ipswich Town fans must decide whether to take advantage of discounted season ticket prices before Monday or wait and see who is appointed as the next manager towards the end of next month. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town fans still considering whether to buy a season ticket for 2018/19 face a £163+ decision over the next three days.

The club have extended their initial early bird deadline for the last three years in a row – by a week in 2015, until the middle of July in 2016 and right up until the start of the season in 2017.

However, the club has made it clear that this year’s early bird deadline – this coming Monday – is set in stone.

Not only will supporters see the early bird discount expire after then, but also the 10% price drop which has been applied across all areas of the ground. To use the most popular example, an adult seat in the lower tiers will jump up from £381 (£16.57 per game) to £544 (£23.65 per game). Other tickets will rise in price by even more.

The Blues have two games left of the Championship season under the caretaker management of Bryan Klug – away to Reading today and home to Middlesbrough next Sunday.

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Owner Marcus Evans says he will not rush picking the successor to Mick McCarthy and anticipates making an appointment in late May to early June.

Speaking in his first-ever on-camera interview this week, he said: “The disenchantment that has built up over the last two seasons, which is built on years of frustration, is something I am really determined to turn around.

“It’s going to be a new era with a new manager. We are going to try something different. It’s going to be calculated but it’s going to be different.

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“What we needed six years ago from a manager is quite different to what we need today. Round holes and round pegs come to mind.

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“I’m not going to prejudge a manager. They could be young, they could be older, they could be experienced at winning promotion to the Premier League or not, but overall I want someone who buys into the club’s plans.

“That includes bringing players through the academy, developing a team playing to play attractive and exciting football and achieving this within a competitive wage budget.

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“Let’s hope it works. Let’s hope it brings a greater togetherness for the fans.”

After a boost in season ticket sales following the play-off campaign of 2014/15, Town saw a drop off of around 1,000 in the summer of 2016 and a further 2,000 last summer.

Evans has this week admitted that he made a ‘clear mistake’ when increasing season ticket prices by 1.5% last summer following the club’s lowest finish in 58 years (16th).

MORE: Read full transcript of Marcus Evans’ first on-camera interview

Attendances at Portman Road have dropped to near 20-year lows of little more than 13,000 on several occasions in 2018. When you take into account the stayaway season ticket holders – who are automatically counted in official crowd figures – the real number has been nearer 9,000 on occasions.

It’s understood that the number of season ticket holders who have contacted the club to cancel their automatic renewal has decreased by 80% compared to this time last year and the number of new season ticket sales has increased.