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Can You Hear the Ipswich Sing?
Written by wkj on Tuesday, 2nd Apr 2013 13:11

The bring a friend to Town for a tenner days have been worrisome encounters in recent months. Each time there has been little to be optimistic about - more people to look on with hands supporting our sinking heads, sombre strolls down Civic Drive broken by debates of how poor this or that is.

The Leeds game wasn't game of the century by no means, nor would we have been celebrating so much had it not been for a reckless challenge, however the players and crowd really seemed to back one another on Saturday and it felt like a teeny bit of magic was returning.

Previously a call to arms for the fans was fanciful at best, especially as we were definitely on a slippery slope.

We have a long way to go to achieve what most fans want, however, Mick really seems the man who knows how to get us there.

Hull is going to be a tough game at home as they are resolute at the back and seem to pick off teams with just one goal. It is also our next bring a friend for a tenner day.

We have a lot more to be optimistic about nowadays, yet we have a terribly tough end to the season in a league that has absolutely no continuity about it whatsoever.

Our own results are what make the season a success or disaster, so let's get out our phone books and invite as many friends as we can for Town's £10 day against Hull and really get the roof raised like the days when we used to be up their with the noisiest fans in Britain. Let's really show our players what being a Blue really means to us.

We beat Arsenal 1-0 at home with a crowd that could be heard all the way from Gainsborough Sports Centre (I regrettably had to work that night, so know I could hear the crowd from there). We were a poor team in poor form but scraped out a result against a strong Arsenal line-up.

If we could come close to that atmosphere and buzz at Portman Road against Hull we may just carry the team to a magnificent victory that may just confirm our safety for this year. Ipswich 'til I die.

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IamSpartacus added 14:49 - Apr 2
I purchased 5 tickets for the Hull game- 2 adults, 3 kids= £29. Now that is a great deal, getting kids to a game and, as a longer term deal, would ensure their lifelong support.

The guy I spoke to on the phone suggested the lower take up to these offers were all due to lower standard performances, but he missed the point. If this was the case, why try the cheaper tickets at all unless we are winning?

The fact is, many long term Ipswich fans, like me, are desperate to go but can't afford to (we don't all have a Tyrone Mings to applaud :-) )- I know of 12 immediately that would go every week (with their children) if the tickets were more realistically priced.

Unless we get the kids into the ground- making that noise and becoming 'ITFC to the bone'- no matter how much we win, those future fans won't have been transfixed (1 game a career supporter doth not make).

A crowd of 20k for Leeds was awesome, and I appreciate the financial jeopardy that would be created by lower prices, but more imaginative thinking to ensure younger supporters attend, therefore creating great atmospheres and solidifying the future of the club, is essential.


itfcbarmyarmy added 17:14 - Apr 2
Totally agree as an under 16 myself the only reason I manage to go every week with my season ticket is because of my granddad who pays for me. If it wasn't for him taking me since i was 9 there is no way i would be able to go 1) because I couldn't afford it and 2) because back before i was allowed to get to Ipswich on my own no one else could take me because of work.

I do see in the schools that there is more and more people supporting the top 6 prem teams and many of them have never been to see a professional match as the team that offers this in the area has unrealistic prices.

Surely if we lowered tickets prices a bit (bearing in mind the money you do need to run a club) then we wouldn't lose money as more people would be able to come to the games and as well as money from the gate I'm sure the crowd could inspire the team to win games.

I really think the importance of crowds was highlighted against Leeds. While the sending off was a massive factor towards the win, as soon as the Leeds fans started singing against their players as well as not singing at all the team completely collapsed so if we have large crowds weekly over the 20,000-25,000 mark next year this could be a very big step towards our promotion whenever that happens.

Michael11 added 17:37 - Apr 2
Totally agree. why not do ticket prices a bit lower and have 20,000-25,000 every home game rather than make the same money having 17,000 there paying an extortionate price and having less atmosphere in the ground.

IamSpartacus added 18:05 - Apr 2
I guess the problem is, Michael11, that the financials would suffer:

17,000 at ave ticket price of £25 (plucked out of the air)= £425k
25,000 at ave ticket price of £15 (more realistic) = £375k
(and this based on an expectation of 25,000 attending... which might not happen)

So, in short, a financial loss..... or is it? The above is based on averages not including season ticket prices (which ave around £17 per match in family areas), doesn't include reduced child prices or other concessions.

I think wkj is right, games that I have seen over the last few seasons have been VERY quiet and soulless- so much so that hearing a few cheers for tackles against Burnley this season was the first sign that things were picking up.... thankfully with a better manager in charge.

Self serving perhaps, as I have 2 young children, but making games accessible for the next generation is essential- like itfcbarmyarmy, I was taken to games by my granddad for several years in the 80's, ensuring the bug. Not everyone can rely on that....


Blue041273 added 18:22 - Apr 2
I think everybody would love to return to the days when 23,000 in the ground was normal. However this will not happen until we start to become more successful on the pitch. The Club believes that price reductions to attract casual spectators to PR won't permanently increase crowd sizes and prefers to try to offer the best deals to the season ticket holders. Ideally the club would like to be back in the Premiership when demand for tickets, particularly season tickets, would be much higher and then of course the pricing trends for all types of ticket would be upwards.

However the club may find that renewals of season tickets will be somewhat diminished for next season and will have to place a greater emphasis on attracting more fans who won't or can't commit to season tickets. It may well have to give much more thought to special deals to get the numbers in. In the meantime I think that 'kids for a £1' promotion for the remaining three home games would go down well and generate the kind of crowds which will produce the atmosphere we need to drive the team to its target of Championship survival.

wkj added 19:30 - Apr 2
£31.50 was the on the day price for an adult on Saturday. Don't get me wrong - I fully appreciate the financial burden the sport has become for many people and £30quid pp is a heck of a gamble to watch a team lose. The £10 promotion is a handy promotion however again doesn't make a family day out cheap for the individual. I respect there are fans out there who have to limit their support to listening to BBC Radio Suffolk from home/work and I personally never think that makes anyone less of a loyal blue than those in the stands. 20k vs Leeds was nice yet 1.8k of those were Leeds fans. My blog was more of an appeal to get people to try and take advantage of ticket promotion from the club to try and treat this as the game of the season (much like when Arsenal came to town) I respect MM now more than PJ and RL because MM hasn't cenin flapping his arms around smoothing the press and media without a clue to what bricks need to be laid first. Mocks come in; bought a brilliant #2 in, got some good scouts in and albeit loans- actually got some clever signings in; not just someone to fill the holes of the leaky ship. I'd love it; even of just a one off; we could recreate a bit of noise and show mick a bit of the magic about us. I hope you and your clan fully enjoy yourselves at the Hull game Sparticus! Up the town!

wkj added 19:31 - Apr 2
* RL should read RK

wkj added 19:40 - Apr 2
I think Kids for £1 is a great idea and maybe even take a punt and offer a multi buy discount on tickets for the remaining games at home. I also respect people want to pay for quality and when we were a team that looked like a lost cause I would fully agree; however we are better now than we have been in a long time and think we are becoming stronger so see it as less of a blind gamble and more of a chance. To be fair on our crowds; 16-20k is a good turnout when you look at the sort of numbers Barnsley and Blackburn are pulling in (however I can sympathise with Blackburn fans who stop going because of the circus it seems to have become off the pitch). Even if we don't increase our gates I think it is very important the crowds we do have come to town need to make an almighty racket for these last games as Championship survival players need just as much confidence as those pushing for the top 6.

IamSpartacus added 20:12 - Apr 2
Kids season tickets (less than 11) are £10 anyway, the real issue is with the adult prices.

As far as 'better football= more fans'. I agree, but wouldn't we be better with a larger diehard fanbase rather than fly-by-nights that disappear when it is bad weather? (of course, beggars can't be choosers, but building for the future shouldn't factor in fans that 'need' winning.


BotesdaleBlue added 12:13 - Apr 3
Totally and utterly agree. Matchday ticket prices are the real problem at PR. My season ticket works out at under £21 per match (i have taken out a 3 year one) but matchday prices can approach £35 for some games where I sit..It is utterly crazy to his this level of price discrimination and very unfair on casual supporters.

Personally, I would peg match day tickets at £5 more than season ticket prices as that would afford both financial savings for us season ticket holders and encourage a bigger match day turnaout, from which hopefully, new season ticket holders will emerge.

At the momement I don't see where future season ticket holder will come from, in any numbers, as they are traditionally drawn from the pool of casual supporters who turn up on a selected match by match basis and the club are limiting this pool dramatically by thier match day pricing in my opinion.

Mark added 12:25 - Apr 3
The £10 ticket promotion is a small respite from the high matchday ticket prices at ITFC. As a season ticket holder, I wish they would not restrict me to 4 tickets as I could try to interest people and could probably sell several times that. We need to get new people along to ITFC and get new people interested.

The under-11 £10 season tickets are a good idea, although they are restricted to areas of the stadium with poor views such as Britannia Upper right at the end. I'm not sure we should encourage adults to move to these areas where the experience will be poorer, especially if it means they give up their own tickets in higher priced areas.

legal_blue added 15:16 - Apr 3
I'm no fan of Ryanair, but that business model (low ticket prices, full aircraft, profit from meal sales on board, share of profit at the airports etc) makes a lot of sense in pricing football tickets *if* the fans who come to the ground spend money, e.g. buying refreshments *and* if there is profit to be made there.

If large screens were installed, highlights of the previous game could be shown to encourage people to arrive earlier, along with goal highlights at full-time to keep fans in the stadium after the final whistle longer.

So, if a lower ticket price attracts more fans who then spend more at the ground, revenue increases. The 12th man effect may be scientifically dubious, but there is no doubt that the crowd can have a positive influence; certainly, nothing looks worse on TV than rows of empty seats, which can only negatively affect advertisers.

Finally, bring back safe standing. Pricing could be dropped significantly, capacity would shoot-up and the atmosphere would return. Can't believe our record attendance of 37k in the 1970s as compared with 17k average now.

alfromcol added 11:00 - Apr 4

Could adopt the Ryanair approach and have a 'very low' initial ticket price, then charge a booking fee, card fee, up the price of food and drink even higher, charge to go to the toilet etc etc!

ONENIL78 added 12:26 - Apr 5
Yes,im sure safe standing is the way forward,prices may be pegged(or lowered,haha)more atmosphere would deffo be created.Twtd's up on the north,these days...well,i may as well take my knitting..
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