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CHIEF EXEC: The club needs to charge fans for what they'll get

Nigel Clibbens on the complexities of setting season ticket prices

28 July 2020

As we continue to think more about the 2020/21 season we talked about the season ticket pricing policy going forward, and about whether a full season ticket option purchase would be available, regardless of the number of teams in the division or the number of games a fan could physically attend.

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“Historically what we’ve done with pricing is that everything has been based around a match day ticket price,” chief executive Nigel Clibbens said. “We’ve multiplied that up by 23 and then knocked some games off.

“This season we don’t know whether there could be 24 games, if there’s an extra club in the division, so that needs to be considered. We also don’t know how many games we’ll miss up to October where fans aren’t allowed in.

“We may set a price to deal with the potential risk around not knowing how many games we’ll play at say, and this is plucking a number from the air, £15 per game. It’s not the right number, but it helps us with an example.

“If we have £15 a game and we’re going to sell a season ticket for 20 games, we’re already taking the risk that we give fans 21 games because we end up with that extra club in our league. That’s the sort of thing we’re looking at rather than saying you can simply buy a ticket come what may.”

Having covered this subject before, we asked again if the growing number of fans who want to buy a full season ticket now will be given that option.

“No is the answer to that,” he replied. “The club needs to charge fans for what they’re watching instead of just taking their money because we can.

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“I don’t agree with us doing that during what are difficult times. Right at the start of this I said that people will be judged on how they behave through this pandemic process and we’ve seen that a lot of organisations big and small have got themselves into a real mess with how they’ve treated the people they deal with.

“We’ve done our best to do the right thing all along and I think we’ve got to continue with that right to the end.”

“There is iFollow as an option to supplement season tickets,” he continued. “That’s something we’re looking at and I know other clubs have done it.

“I look at it like this – what if I charge a fan £15 per game for a season ticket, but we don’t have 23 games and we’re actually down at 18, and the capacity issues mean they can only get in for 15 of those 18 games.

“That means they’ve lost eight games, but I’ve told them they’re ok because they can watch it on iFollow. But the iFollow price comes out and it’s £10 per game. That will leave them thinking that actually they could have watched all of the games on iFollow and saved some money.

“That isn’t fair, so I think, again, we have to do things properly. If there’s a differential on price we don’t want it to be a big differential. That’s why it’s better if people haven’t paid for something they can’t get.

“I’d much rather tell our fans they can buy a season ticket for 20 games, and we’re pretty certain that’s what we’re going to give them. That leaves them to then buy an iFollow pass, by their own choice, for those games they can’t get into the ground to see.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Nigel Clibbens on iFollow United now.

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