GET THE PRODUCT RIGHT IF YOU WANT TO SELL SEASON TICKETS
The 2011/2012 season ticket prices that have been officially announced over the last couple of days have offered a mixed bag for Coventry City supporters.
Like a Governmental budget, every single supporter is affected differently with regards to their age and in what stand they frequent as to what price they will pay for a season ticket and it is clear that there are winners and losers in a number of categories.
Whilst Coventry City Diamond Club Committee member & SCG Rep Ray Stephens makes plenty of valid points in the CT that those on less money such as pensioners are paying more thanks to the rate of discount being 47% (up from the 40% that some in the club wanted) rather than half-price, our Over 60’s plus the disabled and youngsters have by and large been reasonably well treated by CCFC over the last few years.
The biggest section of supporters who have not been so well treated are those aged 18-59. For too long, they have been seen as mere cash cows and expected to pay through the nose as season tickets and match day prices have steadily risen over the years.
So news that they for once are at least being thought about with the reduction of price for around 17,000 seats according to the Ticket Office manager is a welcome sign.
All this has been done to try and attract more season ticket holders back to the club who need to understand that their main priority has to be getting the product right on the pitch.
Despite what Daniel Gidney and his ACL associates might think, supporters don’t buy season tickets just to be at the Ricoh Arena. The ground, that getting to and from incurs more costs and associated hassles which some supporters have found off-putting, is merely a venue where the team play and if it was not for the Sky Blues, the Ricoh Arena would not have been built.
Supporters go to see the match and the reason that only 7,200 ordinary season tickets were sold for this season is that, the product on the pitch last season was not good enough to convince them to part with their cash.
Attendances this season have proved that it has been the same this season and City supporters are tired of seeing Sky Blues teams not able to compete with the divisional front-runners.
Failing to get results against the likes of Leeds where it was imperative that City impressed those who had packed into the ground, if they were to have any hope of getting them back on a regular basis, Norwich, Cardiff where City supporters left Cardiff happy at only losing 2-0 and QPR, all showed that Aidy Boothroyd, who is accused of reducing the gate at his previous club Colchester by his critics, is some way off having a team that could be promoted from what is a poor division.
Many City supporters are openly not happy with the style of football that the manager is getting his team to play. Supporters don’t want hoofball tactics and trying to grind out a 1-0 win, relying on Keiren Westwood to save us at the other end.
They want to watch a team that plays to the strengths of its players, a team that constantly looks to attack and a team that does not know when it is beaten.
As City supporters, we have had our fill of “Operation Premiership” and other such pipe dreams, which have raised expectation levels only to come to nothing and cost us more supporters.
We need something to get us watching the team in our thousands and tangible evidence that money spent on a season ticket will be money well spent.
In this day and age of financial uncertainty when shops and businesses that have inferior products are floundering, Coventry City FC, have no right to our money and have to compete with every other attraction, hobby and interest for our support.
It is up to the manager and the players he sends out to prove on behalf of the club, to the current season ticket holders and those who have lost patience with the lack of success, fed up with empty promises and false dawns that better days are to come and that our support in terms of buying a season ticket will be rewarded.
But if this cannot be achieved then it won’t matter what the prices are as the club will not get the number of season ticket holders it desperately wants.