By Tim Penfold
The introduction of cheap season tickets in 2007 has been one of the best decisions that this club has made in recent history. The boost in attendances breathed new life into a club that was dying, and, when finally combined with success, has led to crowds and a home atmosphere that this club can be justifiably proud of.
It is not too much of a stretch to say that affordable football is now central to the club’s identity.
Therefore it is disappointing to see the club caught up in an argument about ticket prices with Doncaster Rovers. In October, Doncaster announced reduced prices for our game at the Keepmoat Stadium, and stated that this was a reciprocal agreement.
Today it has emerged that, despite what Doncaster may have thought, no such agreement was in place. The Width of a Post understands after speaking to the club that Bradford City did make this clear to Doncaster at the time, and even has a record of this.
There are parts of this situation that could’ve been handled better by the club. Firstly, a statement should’ve been made back in October, when Doncaster made their announcement, that the deal was not, in fact, reciprocal. Secondly, the situation today was allowed to rumble on for too long without anything being said by the club, and the statement eventually released has not convinced many fans, particularly from Doncaster.
A boycott by Doncaster’s fans would damage the club undeservedly, both in terms of reputation and financially, so if the board has more information that would stop the proposed boycott it would be wise to release it.
The reasoning given behind not reducing prices as a one-off is that it would disappoint season ticket holders. As a season ticket holder myself, I could easily accept a one-off drop in prices to attract new fans – for someone who has not been before, £25 is a high price to pay.
A one-off drop in price could encourage new people along and turn them into season ticket holders the following year, and would also fit in with the club’s commitment to affordable football. The goodwill that could be regained by dropping prices, particularly when the club is reliant on the support of its fans for the current “Upgrade the Parade” campaign, would make it well worth the potential drop in gate receipts.