Thursday, 2 April 2009

Season Ticket Prices - an O.G.

Firstly let me explain that before the prices were announced I'd already decided that at £350, or less, I would definitely renew, over £400 I definitely wouldn't, and in between I would consider it.

I sit in the East Stand and I paid £475 last summer for what was advertised as a season of challenging for promotion and a free season ticket in the event of success.

The 'bragging' that we are saving £50 is irrelevant in the circumstances. £425 for 23 games against teams that I doubt have any players that I am at all interested in watching seems way to much.

If I'm honest £25 a ticket for a third division game is way too much as well, but the website has "Guaranteed" that they will not sell tickets below that price.

This is, for me, the worst announcement the club has made since the fateful hand out about the "Facilities" at Sehlurst Park. £425 to watch third division football. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I say it, it just sounds ridiculous.

I don't want to be too dramatic, but the price of two visits to The Valley next season to watch what is surely going to be rubbish football (even if we win) is going to cost me more (on the tickets alone) that taking my wife out for dinner in the village.

I fear that there are going to be a lot of people that are looking at the Third Division League Table and struggling to find two teams that they would rather watch play than taking their wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend out for a nice meal and a glass of wine.

I have had a season ticket since 1989, and if I'm thinking like this I seriously doubt that many of the 'newer' fans are thinking very differently.

I could, of course, move to a cheaper area of the ground. I may well do that, but if I'm going to give up my seat I might as well pay as I go. I've only got to miss six games and I will end up paying the same amount, except that I will not pay up to 12 months in advance. This is, of course, ignoring the other costs of going which mean that a comparable situation is likely to be less than three missed games.

This season out of 23 games I missed one due to going to a wedding, we were on TV twice (and may well be on the last day of the season, and we had (will have had) a further five games midweek with inconvenient kick off times. That's at least 8 that I wouldn't have bothered with if I didn't already have a ticket.

Ignoring my personal situation I see that tickets for a match in the lower North stand will be £25. Thus with an excess of supply for, I would imagine, every game next season, we are expecting people to pay £25 for a rubbish view of a rubbish game. The cheapest seats are going to be £17. This is the "Guaranteed" average of the aggregate. Thus if there are to be any 'discount' games they will need to increase that price for other games accordingly. In the worst case scenario Millwall are promoted and we will have approximately no games that could be categorised as 'A' or 'Gold'.

If there was any doubt it is clear that the club's decision, after misleading the fans last summer, is to maximise revenue from those that are 'hooked' on Charlton.

I know the board are struggling and that they have given significant financial support to what turned out to be the wrong manager, but this decision looks, to me, to be a very bad one indeed.

If I had to make a prediction right now I would say that if we are challenging for promotion next season I will go to about fifteen games (some away), if we are mid-table (or worse) I suspect I will go to less than ten. Thus this decision has made the revenue from me to be between £325 and £225. If the season ticket had been £350 I would have gone to all (most) of the games, bought a program, bought a burger and bought both home and away shirts.

To be fair I guess I'm just not the kind of fan they were looking to attract. After all I'm ever so fickle, my lack of loyalty has seen me miss a massive three games in 21 years, and despite one of those being due to open heart surgery, the other two I just chose to do something else.

Oh, yes. The club have nothing to lose with a 'Johny come lately' like me.

Up the Addicks!


Anonymous said...

Hi KHA. I just read all that, dunno what to say really.
I gave up my East-stand ST at the end of last season, so i don't feel particularly challenged by this news.
I will say i agree with you in general terms. Frankly £50 off isn't going to attract anyone who had decided not to renew.
I had a breeze through the Charltom Life forum. Most of the posters on there seem to be young (well younger than me anyway) and any negative opinion on this decision just attracts criticism of the 'are you are supporter or not' variety.
Suffice to say, i've supported Charlton for many years (41 actually) so the trials and tribulations of this and future seasons won't change that. But the manner of my support will change.
Pay match by match, selecting dates and fixtures as i go is the way for me, and i suspect many others.
COYA (As the youngsters say!!)

Kings Hill Addick said...

It's interesting what people define as 'loyal support'. I have never been a glory boy, I started going in 1980 when we were in the Third Division the last time.

The club has provided me some of my best memories, but recently it has provided me with some very unpleasant ones.

The truth is that the decision to renew or not is, for me, financial as well as 'value for money'. I will have to make significant sacrifices to support the club next season. Some of those sacrifices will impact on my family as well as me personally. The sacrifices are too high for what I suspect to receive in return, based on the last eighteen months.

If I had infinite money available I'd renew without a thought, but I find it difficult to look my wife and son in the eye and tell them they will have to go without in order for me to watch the rubbish we have seen this season in the third division.

Alan Murphy said...

I decided that £15 per game (ie £345 for season) was what I was prepared to pay for my East Stand seat for next season. The club, once more, has shot itself in the foot. This was an opportunity to appease the fans who have been humiliated by the poor management of the past 2 or 3 years. This could have amounted to an apology by the club. Instead they apparently dont really care whether we support them or not. They have lost my support probably for good.

PJ said...

Spot on KHA, I could have written that myself ! I also sit in the expensive East. I've never understood why we're paying so much and the same as those in the West. Over there the exits are better, the inside of the stand totally undercover and better facilities all round. In addition, when a large away contingent comes for a cup game, we have to move !!!
I can't believe the spin the club has put on all this. The bottom line is that I'd be saving just over £2 per game for division 3 football....what a bargain. No offer of free games even in the paint pot trophy !!! What crowds await for that I wonder ! Anyone remember the Full Members Cup !
Despite what's said there'll have to be offers to attract fans. Season ticket holders will get stitched again just like this year !
None of this surprises me though as you could see it coming if you read the minutes of the board's meeting with the fans forum. Some total nonentity of a director said fans were obliged to buy tickets ! No we're not my friend ! Now, more than ever, people are forced into making some harsh financial decisions and as much as I love CAFC, renewing my season ticket at these prices isn't an option !

Wyn Grant said...

King's Hill, much as I enjoy football and have real affection for the club, there are some things in life that are more important, including one's health and the well-being of one's family. I think that the club has make an error of judgement here.