To offer some perspective those using the 'it's only £20 more than the relegation season' are missing the very obvious fact that £319 in that season was considered expensive too. And the arguments will continue to be between those like me with enough disposable income to absorb this price increase and those less well off that can't. It is very crass just to say to those folk cut back on a few luxuries to pay for this. There will be families of three or four currently looking to figure out how they can afford summer holiday's etc that now have a dad/mum trying to justify an extra £340 on top of their summer spending too.
However, You can bet that if you listen carefully there will be people in the bars around the ground pre-match moaning about £20 whilst supping a near £4 pint. Most match days my total spend is £2 on two halftime draw tickets. I very rarely buy from the food outlets and i can count on three fingers how many beers i had at the stadium last year (and one of those was free). Only on half a dozen occasions have i allowed myself pre match beers in The Shears.
Then we get on to the topic of away games. Yes it is brilliant the following we take to the away games and the players appreciate it but it is a financial outlay that our club does not see a penny of. If you are in the 'i am not paying those prices camp' yet will be travelling down to the first game inside the M25 maybe you want to take a step back and think that the £50-£100 cost of that day out might have been better funded towards a season ticket?
With regards to student pricing, to say £17 is way OTT then i would say it is a case of priorities. When i was in that age bracket i had to scrimp and save to pay each week but i did it because watching The Shaymen was more important to me than 20 fags or a botlle of 20/20. Some (but not all) of those teenagers that will be moaning about the cost will be the same ones you see on away trips with half a dozen beers inside them wearing designer clobber that cost more than a season ticket itself. It is the early teen 12-15 bracket that will suffer the most as at that age they are very much reliant on their parents paying their way.
I think it is poor form from the club that they can't find a way to offer a concessionary price for the over 65's but this is a criticism of our league as a whole. How many clubs in this division actually offer a pensioner price these days?.
All of us young and old would be advised (before turning their back on the club) to make a quick note of how much they spend each weekend on top of the gate price. I would hazzard a guess that nearly many will see they are spending more on non football than the game itself. What is more important to you? I know i will think twice about renewing my shirt sponsorship.
I think it is also important to point out to all those buying adult tickets without kids to request a kids ticket anyway, i have done this for the last three years and have always managed to find a dad/mum who wants to take both their kids along willing to take it off me.
All of the above only really applies to the Shay regulars and there is no way of sugar coating the on the day price will deter many of those who can only make a handful of games a season. Nor does it touch the very obvious point that all this may well be for nought. These prices are to fund full time football. Last season, at least 19 full time teams failed to get out of this division. Full time football is not some game changer it is just putting us on an even keel. The best we can be hoping for is another Macclesfield style miracle or a top 7 finish (the league will consider this trial a success as it has kept the season end more competitive but the sides fighting it out at the end are still the 2nd and 4th placed sides). Jamie Fullarton will still have to perform a feat to match Sir George to get us out of the division and history suggests he will be offered no slack from the South Stand should we sat in mid table or lower by christmas. How many unsuccessful years the club can afford at these prices before the fanbase is down below 1000 each week is anybody's guess.
This is the season that Fullarton and the club need to either bridge that gap between the under 19's or close it down. Again all about priorities, we have a board that are asking us to dig deep but have funded a youth set up that has achieved the sum total of f all. I am well aware that such an abrasive statement will get some backs up but i am a pragmatist. Youth set ups at our level need to produce players that are either good enough to sell on or at least as good as the senior players we are having to spend full time wages on. If all they are achieving is a junior league title or a cup final before spending half a season on loan at Frickley (then being released), yet still costing the club money then they only become another drain on the club. Very harsh but from the outside looking in i can't say that it isn't a fair comment.