Exiles season ticket row – fans can watch Man City for less!
6:40am Friday 8th June 2012 in Newport County & Blue Square Premier Table & Results Exclusive By Michael Pearlman
A SEASON ticket to watch Premier League champions Manchester City could cost less than it will to watch Newport County at Rodney Parade, the Argus can reveal.
Some supporters are already up in arms about the decision by County to increase season ticket prices for the 23 league games in the 2012/13 season by between 15 and 18 per cent compared to last year.
There has been no official announcement from the club on their website or Enews service. However, chairman Chris Blight confirmed that the decision on prices was one made by committee. Despite no official word, a graphic displaying the prices has been posted on the Newport County messageboard and leaflets were on display at Wednesday’s open evening at Rodney Parade. Fans have been quick to make their feelings about the price hike clear.
One member of the Newport County Supporters’ Trust has already resigned over the issue, citing a lack of communication from the club and a lack of consultation on the issue from within the Trust.
Though the season ticket prices haven’t been formally confirmed, the Argus understands some tickets have already been sold, committing County to the prices they’ve apparently settled on.
The Exiles price hike is as great as £40 for adults wishing to sit, with the price increased from £300 to £340.
The terracing increase is from £280 to £300 and there are also price hikes for concessions and children.
It will cost an adult season ticket holder an extra £100 a year if they wish to have access to the Bisley Suite and there doesn’t appear to be any distinction in cost depending on what stand you’re sitting in.
The move is described by one former director of the club as being “rushed and badly thought out”.
That makes the cheapest seat £340, which doesn’t compare favourably with a lot of other clubs.
In the Conference it would be cheaper to watch Luton Town or Wrexham and you would be £115 better off if you opted to watch League Two outfit Bristol Rovers.
It is also a saving of £65 to watch Sam Foley’s new club Yeovil in League One.
If you fancied higher level football in the Bristol area then a City Championship season ticket at Ashton Gate will save you £91 compared to a seat at Rodney Parade and, even more worryingly, there are Premier League options too.
At £275 you’ll save yourself £65 by watching the world’s richest club and PL champions Manchester City, and both Aston Villa and Wigan also offer cheaper options, the Latics to the tune of £255, a massive £85 less than Rodney Parade.
Andrew Power, a committee member of the Newport County Supporters’ Trust, has resigned in protest at the price hike and also the lack of consultation with fans.
“The prices have risen a great deal in a time of recession and with things difficult for ordinary people and it’s happened without really consulting anyone,” he said.
“I have resigned from the Trust committee over this matter because two committee members were party to the discussions but nothing came back to us to discuss.
“My argument is that with a bigger ground and exciting new start we want as many people as possible coming through the gates at Rodney Parade.
“If we price them out then we’ll be rattling around in a ground that is too big for us.
“But at the moment we, the ordinary fans, feel our words are falling on deaf ears.”
Former director Rob Santwris, one of the driving forces behind the player fund scheme back in January that added over £10,000 to County’s transfer kitty, believes the decision has been made too quickly.
“They have rushed the process, tickets are already being sold and we’ve not even had an official announcement yet, it’s been badly thought out,” he said.
“If prices had been frozen, or even reduced, we’d have an opportunity to appeal to the thousands of extra fans who were at Wembley.
“The excitement is great for the move and all credit to the board. But it’ll mean nothing if we price fans out of going regularly to games.”
County chairman Chris Blight spent the entire day yesterday at the annual meeting of Conference chairmen held at Celtic Manor, but he did explain that the season ticket process occurred in committee.
“There is a season ticket team in place, including two members of the Supporters’ Trust,” he said.
“I haven’t been part of that discussion but I have dozens of e-mails to read and catch up on.”
The Argus understands that supporters are hoping to arrange a meeting with the club hierarchy to discuss the prices.
A show of hands at Wednesday’s ‘meet and greet’ at Rodney Parade made it clear a massive majority feel the ticket prices are too high.
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