Industry News

Wednesday chairman says ticket prices support PL ambition

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri has claimed that the English Championship football club’s ticket prices illustrate Premier League ambitions.

Hillsborough, the club’s home ground, is one of the most expensive in the league to visit, with the Thai businessman saying that success “does not come cheap.”

In the latest from his Ask the Chairman series of questions, Chansiri said: “I understand that not everyone can afford to come to Hillsborough,” although he pointed to “an uplift of 40 per cent” in Sheffield Wednesday season ticket sales.

Chansiri has invested heavily in the transfer market and in player salaries, including twice breaking the transfer record for Adam Reach and then Jordan Rhodes.

“The ticketing policy is something the club has examined at great length over the two-and-a-half years I have been at Sheffield Wednesday,” he replied when asked about criticism over ticket pricing. “It was and remains important to find the right balance between robust pricing structures whilst delivering a major uplift of quality on the pitch.

“The players are better, our ambitions are higher and this has led to two successive seasons in the play-offs. This does not come cheap but for everyone who has supported the team so incredibly well since my arrival, I say thank you.

“We have been in the top six of average attendances in the Championship for the last two years and this season will be similar I’m sure as only five teams have a higher average going into the latest international break.

“I understand that not everyone can afford to come to Hillsborough and I would never ask one single fan to buy a ticket they cannot afford. This is something we recognised with the Community Engagement Scheme, whereby supporters on low incomes can apply for discounted tickets. We were the first club in the country to introduce such a scheme because the last thing we wish to do is price anyone out of Hillsborough.

“We have made clear right from the beginning the value of purchasing a season ticket, the result of which has seen an uplift of 40 per cent, even though we lose money by encouraging supporters to buy a season ticket compared to matchday sales.

“Also, initiatives such as the Advance Saver greatly enhanced the value of a season ticket, together with heavily discounted early bird prices. The three-year season ticket was another way of saying thank you and giving something back to our supporters.

“Alongside the season ticket strategy, our match-by-match pricing policy was overhauled, giving supporters flexibility determined by the category of each game. By nature of supply and demand, the more attractive games on paper are categorised at the higher end and the reverse is true at the other.

“Elsewhere, our membership packages, which include the biggest matchday price discount ever offered at Hillsborough, have proved extremely popular and represent excellent value for money across all age groups.”