Bristol City’s vice-chairman has admitted the club should have “communicated better” with fans following a backlash over its season ticket pricing strategy.
After fans raised their concerns with the Championship club, it agreed to review the season ticket renewal deadline, disabled pricing and the new loyalty scheme.
The Bristol club announced its season card prices for the 2018-19 season last month, and fans expressed their concerns at the joint Supporters Club & Trust/FAN meeting last Wednesday.
Jon Lansdown, the chairman of Bristol Sport, admitted that the club had made mistakes.
The deadline for the renewing of season tickets has been extended to the end of the month to enable supporters to have a payday before committing. In addition there have been several revisions to the disabled season card pricing, with a ‘phasing in’ period of three years.
“We acknowledge that for some disabled supporters this has caused great difficulty. We should have considered this more fully and communicated it better,” said the statement.
“With this in mind we have now agreed to phase in the pricing over the next three seasons.”
Lansdown also gave some details of the new loyalty scheme, stating: “I think it’s important to clarify now that season card holders will be entitled to a ten per cent discount on all food and beverages purchased in the concourse, coffee shop and hospitality areas, alongside earning loyalty in other areas, including the Store at Ashton Gate.”
The club points out in the statement that it has invested nearly £50m in its stadium rebuild project. It remains to be seen whether the new proposals will appease the supporters.
A club statement read: “The strategy behind the pricing structure for the 2018/19 campaign was in recognition that we are one of the lower priced clubs in the Sky Bet Championship, with a brand new rebuilt stadium and facilities better than many in the Premier League. The 2018/19 prices still place us as one of the best value clubs in the division.
“We accept the price rises have meant that some fans have raised concerns over being priced out of traditional seats and the deadline for purchase. Prices have been largely frozen for the past few years, while the £50 Under-12 season card – with a free replica shirt – has helped grow our younger fanbase.”
Image: Bristol City