Coventry City chairman Tim Fisher has defended the club’s decision to maintain existing season ticket prices despite relegation to League Two, after fans reacted angrily to last week’s announcement
The English League One football club said last week that it would not be reducing the cost for the 2017-18 season despite the Sky Blues dropping into the fourth tier of English football for the first time.
Fisher accepted fans’ concerns, but said pricing was influenced by the fact the club is only a tenant at the Ricoh Arena. It is therefore denied matchday stadium revenues, and can only spend a percentage of its other revenues on the team.
In a statement on the club’s website Fisher said: “The club [has] announced details and prices for next year’s season tickets… Understandably, this has been met with some concerns from fans.
“We are unlike most other football clubs, in that we do not benefit from non-ticketing revenue. The club does not get either matchday non-ticketing revenues or non-matchday revenues. We are therefore pushed to generate most income via ticketing means, and this puts pressure on the current season ticket pricing structure.
“As a club, we are fully aware that other League One clubs have on-going ticket promotions and offers. Unfortunately, Coventry City FC are not in a position to replicate these, despite wanting to reward our loyal supporters.
“Our season ticket prices are still in keeping with most clubs in League One and Two and we are especially pleased to be able to continue to offer JSB’s U13 a FREE season ticket – and hope this helps with the cost of a family visit to the Ricoh Arena.
“All available spend will be allocated to the team. We want to enjoy a successful year on the pitch in 2017/18 and we need the fanbase, where possible, to support the manager during this rebuilding process!”
An early-bird offer is running until the end of May, starting yesterday (Tuesday), which sees a standard season ticket costing supporters £299 (€352/$374) until May 31, and £345 thereafter. Premier zone tickets are available at an early-bird price of £345 and £391 after that.
The Coventry Observer newspaper reported that some leaders at the Sky Blues Trust fan group said it was a missed opportunity to lower prices after the club’s recent success in the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley.
The group also published a survey of 360 season-ticket holders that showed almost 80 per cent are unwilling to renew their season pass under the current owner, Sisu.