Season Ticket Announcement: Fears Unfounded Once More

Remember when the season tickets were suddenly put on early sale? Remember the uproar and anger, the usual suspects full of scaremongering about ‘rip-off’ Lincoln City?

I do. I remember it well and I had to hold my silence knowing that discussions had been pointed towards cheap, affordable tickets for everyone, even those unable to commit to the super early bird price.

Today, the new ST prices came out and, lo and behold, the club are not looking to rip anyone off, nor capitalise on the promotion as such. £16.50 per game with a total price of £379. That’s all areas remember, we don’t have tiered prices either. It’s easy to point at one club and say ‘their cheapest ticket is £xxx’, but you have to remember they charge different amounts for different areas. We don’t.

It’s tough for the club in some respects. There’s little doubt in an ideal world, some seats would come at a premium. I know the Legend’s Lounge does, but there you’re paying for the stuff before, your seat is the same price as everyone else pays. It’s usual for more restricted views to be heavily discounted, or certain areas in a lower tier to cost less than an upper tier. 

I know I’ll get accused of being pro-club, it boils my urine when I read the sort of utter nonsense some were peddling a few weeks ago

We can’t do that though, because of the number of ST holders we have. Imagine if you were in Upper 5 for instance, suddenly marked out as a level one price and therefore shooting up £50, but lower 5 was a different level and subject to the same in saving. Would you be happy? No, so the club stick to the one price fits all.

The early fears were completely unfounded and although I know I’ll get accused of being pro-club, it boils my urine when I read the sort of utter nonsense some were peddling a few weeks ago. I heard figures of £400, £425 and some ‘in the know’ claiming the early bird prices were to prevent a cash flow problem. You know what; that’s garbage.

I don’t think the announcement was handled in the best way possible and some information did seem to be withheld which made people’s decisions harder to make at the time. The Zebra Finance debacle clouded things too, but at the heart of it all was this notion the club were exploiting us yet again. It’s a fallacy, a myth that the club are trying to milk the fans for every penny and I’m honestly getting sick to the back teeth of reading about it.

Take the awards night that’s coming up. It works out a costly night and sadly, due to being a poor writer (financially, not bad at what I do…), I can’t afford to attend. However, did I attend a reasonably priced one in 2007? No. You know why? There wasn’t one to attend. Back then the trophies were presented on the pitch and this year, they will be too. So, why the uproar about a high-cost night at the showground? Resentment that some can afford it and others can’t? 

Oddly, some of the people who are arguing against the night will happily spend £150 on a coat, or pair of trainers. I would deem that to be rip off, but those people want to be seen in the right clobber. Similarly, some want to spend their hard-earned on this event. Honesty shout? I’d go if I could justify it, but I’m saving to build a mini bar and pool room in my garden. I’m going to call it the ‘Get Inn’ and have a picture of the Imps celebrating the title win as the sign outside. True story. 

Shock, horror…. fans being treated with dignity and respect!

The point here is why, whenever the club plan something with a cost pointed at a certain market, are they out to rip of loyal fans? For me, a loyal fan would understand with an extra £1m or so to find next season the club need to find a few more opportunities they can take. However, when it comes to the fan on the street, they’re not taking their opportunities at the expense of people.

When I was asked about season tickets, I felt the price we were presented with, £379, was too cheap. The club needed more revenue and a tenner each from 5,000 fans would have been a big step in the right direction, but did the club do it? No. I was one of only a couple who felt that way, but  they didn’t want to exploit fans and throw loyalty back in their faces. Shock, horror…. fans being treated with dignity and respect!

If you got a chance to listen to our recent podcast with Chief Exec Liam Scully, you will have heard him discussing the fan zone. Recently, the food in there has been superb and throughout the ground, the offering is improving. Liam confirmed in terms of commercial revenue, the current deal is perhaps not quite as lucrative to the club as others they could have pursued, but because it’s using local suppliers and the fans have given it an overwhelming thumbs up, they’ll continue to work with them. There’s a marginal gain there, but not at the expense of fans choice.

The club can’t be as honest and open as people expect. They’re a professional institution, not a bloke down the pub bemoaning his luck. When they make decisions they can’t chew over the fat, explain the ins and outs nor can they please everyone all of the time. I just hope that listening to Liam and seeing the evidence in the ST prices that people start to realise they’re working not only to make the club a viable business with League One income, but also doing as much as they can to improve the fans experience, through pricing and on match day.

They don’t always get it right, they’ll be the first to admit that, but who does? I’m damn sure they’ve got more right these last couple of years than they have in the past. The deep suspicion surrounding their motives has to end, we are not owned by Roland Duchatelet or Norman Smurthwaite, we’re owned, managed and run by people who genuinely have the club’s best interests at heart, on and off the field.