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Southport FC respond to criticism on social media over next seasons season ticket prices

Thank you to all our fans for your support this last season since we have been able to welcome you back into the stadium.

However, we are sorry that some supporters have been disappointed by the season ticket announcement earlier this week, since we have always wanted to be fair to everyone and offer value to money to all of our fans across all season ticket categories. Contrary to what some online comments may suggest, we are not wishing to alienate or single out one category of supporter over another, we are simply wishing to bring everyone onto the same basis and ensure that everyone is treated the same and that nobody is unfairly subsidising anyone else.

As many of you know, the pandemic caused major financial problems for the Club (as it did for many other clubs and businesses too) and there were many times over the past three years when the Club’s very survival was in doubt. Whilst we may now have come out of that particular challenge, the latest price rises in all areas of everyday life mean that the Club’s costs are also rising faster than ever before too.

Against that background over the past three years, our season tickets for adults have increased by £70 (seating) and £60 (standing), for concessions by £50 (seating) and £42.50 (standing) and for juniors by £55 (seating) and £40 (standing), with most of the increase this year being due to our division being increased from 22 to 24 teams.

This increase looks more severe for juniors this year because we have kept the cost artificially low for juniors for many years in order to encourage more teenagers to attend. Despite these efforts though, you may be interested to know that only 23 junior season tickets or memberships were bought last summer, with most in this age group choosing to buy tickets on a match-by-match basis at £5 per game.

However, we believe that there continues to be merit in offering a junior season ticket but it is only fair that they are offered on the same basis as other season tickets which are priced to provide five ‘free’ league games as well the pre-season friendlies. We don’t think anybody is doubting that even at £90 for a junior terrace season ticket, ie. £3.91 per each of the 23 league game or £3.21 per each of the 28 games including the friendlies, this remains very good value and works out at less than 40% of the cost of a full price season ticket.

This also compares favourably with other clubs at our level that we have looked at.

To reiterate, all our season tickets this year offer a total of 28 Southport home games, of which 10 are effectively ‘free’, and our membership packages offer even more benefits and greater value for money, including the ability to spread the cost over the season.

It will always be possible to find other clubs that offer cheaper deals (and we make no apologies for not wishing to necessarily be the cheapest, instead we want to offer value for money for the quality of the product and facilities we are providing to our supporters). But, it is also always possible to find other clubs that may artificially keep their season ticket prices low and at the same time expect their supporters to put their hands in their pockets to “boost the playing budget” to the extent of tens of thousands of pounds. That is not our approach.

However, given how steep the increase from £50 to £90 (or £105 for the Main Stand) appears to be for juniors, we are happy to receive this in three tranches for those juniors who apply for their season tickets before the end of June with £30 (or £35 for the Main Stand) being payable in June, October and January.

Looking ahead, we would also clarify that for those juniors turning 18, the definition of a concession includes students in full-time education (as well as those adults aged 65+, Blue Light Card holders, members of the Armed Forces and supporters with a disability).

We have listened to supporter feedback throughout this season and, for example, encouraged the away coach travel initiative, offered to meet supporters to discuss social media activity in response to online feedback and improved the matchday catering service for both home and away fans. We will continue to do whatever we can to keep improving these matchday experiences and thus continue to offer good value for money to all visitors to Haig Avenue.

The atmosphere that the “Jack Carr Lads” helped to create and keep going throughout most of the season was fantastic to see and very much appreciated by all the players, staff and directors at the Club. This is something that we hope they will each wish to maintain and build further on next season.

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