OPEN LETTER TO NICOLA CORTESE
I have had season tickets at Southampton for many years.
However, following the need to ensure that my beloved team stayed in existence, I have now had two season tickets for the last three years.
One of these is for a 12-year-old.
Only last year you changed the pricing structure pushing the 12-year-old’s ticket up. Now, this year, if I want to renew my tickets the 12-year-old has to pay full adult price.
In a time of cost cutting for all and when the club should be pushing to encourage a future fan base, I am disgusted with the increase in costs.
I understand that there should be some increases but if I now want to move to a cheaper ticket area the chances of the best seats are less now than they would have been if I had bought them in that area three years ago.
Perhaps you could advise me how easy it will be to change areas as you are pricing me out of the seat I have had for the last three years.
I already do a 230-mile round trip to go to matches and a week day game is almost impossible for me to attend.
In 2009/10 my two tickets cost me £431 (£80 + £351) – one child under-12 plus one adult.
In 2010/11 my two tickets cost me £543 (£150 + £393) – one adult and one under-12 pairing.
In 2011/12 my two tickets cost me £855 (£340 + £515) – one adult plus one under-17 (aged 11 at the beginning of the season).
And now in 2012/13, you propose that my two tickets cost me £1,390 (£695 + £695) – one under-17 plus one adult In four years they have gone up 323 per cent in total and the child’s ticket has doubled every year.
Why are you making it so hard to bring children to a match?
Why are you making us move seats to be able to afford to see a match?
Is the view too good for a child?
Should they be kept in the corners?
The experience should be an enjoyable one for children and they should be able to see clearly, but you want to price them out of the seats where they can get a good view.
I hope that the club I have supported and had season tickets for going back to the late 1980s takes on board the necessity to keep young fans on side.
Southampton are unlikely to be a Champions League team and most of us will be happy simply to stay in the Premier League.
But young heads can be turned and you need them to be on side now at a price that parents can afford to ensure there is a fanbase for the future.
Kids too often will support teams that have success on the big stage (Man Utd, Chelsea etc) even if they aren’t able to see them play, but it doesn’t stop them spending money on shirts and other merchandise.
Smaller teams such as Southampton need the support of all ages to ensure that the club has a future.
Just look at our past, when the club isn’t doing so well the attending fan numbers have dwindled and coupled with other administrative errors we needed a new buyer for the club to ensure we remained in existence.
We want a club for the future, not just the here and now.
Please reconsider your pricing structure – if you can find a way to discount for adult and junior disabled persons then you should be able to discount for children.
You can not positively discriminate against your future fanbase by charging them a significantly higher price.
Whilst I welcome people with disabilities to the club and I can sympathise with their physical difficulties, economic difficulties affect everyone.
Nicky Ellis (a very disappointed fan).