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Clegg: We Got Wolves Pricing Wrong
Clegg: We Got Wolves Pricing Wrong
Thursday, 11th Aug 2011 12:58

Town chief executive Simon Clegg has admitted that the club got the pricing structure wrong for the recent pre-season friendly against Wolves. Only 5,904 supporters turned up to watch the Premier League side somewhat fortuitously beat the Blues 2-1 at Portman Road.

Clegg says that the prices - £15 for adults, £10 for concessions/students and £3 for under-16s – were set at the wrong level and he will look at similar games differently in future: “It was disappointing and with the benefit of hindsight I think we got the pricing slightly wrong there.

“But I discussed it and analysed it with [Ticket Office manager] John Ford afterwards and he said that if we’d halved the price, we wouldn’t have got double the people.

“I am trying to see if there is another way we can deal with pre-season friendlies. I don’t want to get boxed into a corner, but with the benefit of hindsight, I didn’t feel that that pricing structure wasn’t the most clever.”

The chief executive says the club aren't too unhappy with season ticket numbers, which have dropped from last year’s final figure of 14,300: “I think we’re at 13,200 at the moment. We’re not particularly happy at the drop, while recognising that it’s not as bad as it could have been and as some people had predicted.

“If form continues as the season has started we’re hopeful that more people will buy season tickets at the full price or will come back on match tickets.”

Town’s matchday pricing has come in for criticism over the last couple of years and Clegg says the club did consider a reduction, but ultimately decided against it: “We gave reducing matchday prices some consideration but decided that’s not where we should go. We do recognise that our match-to-match tickets are expensive.

“What we have done is introduce the Grade D ticket price, which rather bizarrely got picked up by that BBC survey, which also said we had the most expensive cup of coffee in the land.

“It’s very easy to do surveys like that, but you’re not comparing like-for-like. The fact that ours are 12oz cups of coffee as opposed to 9oz elsewhere never gets mentioned and the devil is in the detail.

“Again, rather bizarrely, they picked up on our most expensive ticket, which is directly opposite the directors’ box, and has almost got a waiting list for it. That block is completely sold out most of the time. Conversely, they also picked up on the new D grade ticket that we’ve not yet used.

Clegg says it's not yet been decided how often the new £15 adult ticket price will be utilised: "I can’t speculate on how many games will be at that grade at the moment, if indeed we even grade any as D.

"I have to make a decision about six-to-eight weeks before a particular game in terms of the grading of that game.”

The grade D games, which are more likely to come towards the end of the season, particularly if a campaign is dead from a competitive angle, will be in addition to the annual three matches where promotions are run. In recent years season ticket holders have been able to buy additional seats for friends and family at reduced prices.

Clegg says these games and any grade D games will give new fans a chance to get a taste of watching Town: “Certainly there’s that opportunity with the promotional matches. The D grade was put in as an option that we could exercise if we found a scenario where we wanted to do that.

“I’m not committing myself to any D grade games, I was surprised that it even got picked up, but it did as a result of the BBC survey.”

Ultimately, the chief executive says only improved performances on the field will significantly increase attendances and will lead to an upturn in all areas of the club: “I’m expecting to have a good season and that will drive more people through the gates.

“Everything in football depends on success on the pitch, whether it’s the shop, whether it’s sponsorship, whether it’s advertising, whether it’s programme sales, whether it’s conferencing and banqueting, corporate hospitality, the whole lot."

Photo: Action Images

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SitfcB added 13:17 - Aug 11
You said the same about the prices for the Tottenham friendly last year Cleggy!

sonian_blue added 13:21 - Aug 11
Where do you start 3oz/incorrect pricing/Grade D being cheap but will never happen/Consider reduction but dont bother!!!!!!!!
We have 'got the pricing structure' wrong for some time now for all games. Friendlies cup ties the lot.
Why bother make these comments at all? They are irrelevant
I considered not getting up this morning but I did therefore it doesnt matter.
We as a club are an expensive product ...simple.

BlueandWhiteBlood added 13:22 - Aug 11
£8, £5, & £2 would have been a good price. Child and parent for a tenner would have got more in.

muncer added 13:22 - Aug 11
Will be interesting to see how often the 'Grade D' games are implemented. The general cost is too much for home games. Think I'll stick to away games this season. More prepared to pay the extra for travel for cheaper ticket prices and a much better atmosphere.

Campag_Velocet added 13:25 - Aug 11
"“What we have done is introduce the Grade D ticket price, which rather bizarrely got picked up by that BBC survey"

The BBC claim that they got the prices from the clubs.

onlybluesandhorses added 13:26 - Aug 11
What is the point of having a ground that is half empty? If young fans are priced out the Club has no future. To charge £15 for a pre-season right now is clueless. If you get people in the ground they create attmosphere and buy crap from the Shop, drinks etc. The letter with the ST said there will be another reduced price match in October and then after Xmas. Why only then? Why have a ground that is not even half full? Even if we won every game until xmas does he really think we would fill the ground at these prices in this economy? (The answer is No by the way) Get real or make way for someone else please.

Campag_Velocet added 13:28 - Aug 11
In fact, considering that the Grade D tickets weren't even mentioned on the Website when the BBC Survey came out - where else would they have got it from?

PimsOclock added 13:28 - Aug 11
Not a problem with prices methinks, more to do with quality of opposition! Wolves were a team we were competing with a couple of years ago in this league! Where were the top Dutch, german, french, italian and Spanish clubs? Surely they need a pre-season. Why are we not getting them down to PR? I would happily pay £20 to see any of the top 5 clubs from these countries!

If you book them, they will come!!

ITFC4daprem added 13:29 - Aug 11
It is stupid
£7 adults
£1 children
£15 family

pazelle added 13:30 - Aug 11
More coffee = more likely to stay awake watching a team play with one striker. Genius.

Wickets added 13:41 - Aug 11
Didnt he say the same after last years debacle against Spurs???

Tiggs added 13:43 - Aug 11
The best quote is 'We gave reducing matchday prices some consideration but decided that’s not where we should go. We do recognise that our match-to-match tickets are expensive.' What a load of tosh!

The one thing that is true from this statement is that all matchday ticket prices ARE excessive and certainly do not represent value for money. The club really do need a reality check and need to look at current trends and if Mr. Clegg really does believe that additional full price season tickets will be sold in the required numbers he is sadly deluded. It would be really interesting to know where the season tickets have been sold compared to last season - i.e. areas, normal price, student, kids, OAP's, etc. Could make interesting reading.
A good season was expected last season and look what happened. The only good thing to come out of 2010/11 was the Carling Cup run and that has already ended this season.
Wake up Mr. Clegg, please!!!!!!!!! Get a grip on reality and ask the people who put up the money each game what they think!!!!!!!

Bluemania added 13:44 - Aug 11
I e-mailed ITFC just before the Wolves game complaining about the ticket prices and I refered to the low attendance at Tottenham's pre-season match last year and the reply was that the prices were fair as we were playing a Premiership side, if it had been one of the top teamsI wouldn't mind but not Wolves, he wants to make up his mind.

BwoodBlue added 13:46 - Aug 11
You don't say Cleggy - it's like Groundhog Day sometimes

randomblue added 13:46 - Aug 11
Agree that the pricing at PR is a nightmare to work out! To be honest I only renew my season ticket as its easier than trying to get you head round the Portman Road Stock Market of fluctuating ticket prices! Given the club charge an arm and a leg for refreshments surely they can make money back there! Any business should want to increase there footfall, especially given that you have a captive audience once in the ground.

Agree with PimsOclock though - the competition plays a massive part. Why would I want to go and see Wolves in a friendly. Pointless game! That said I have never understood why (when we are in separate divisions) they don't speak to the budgies and try and organise a pre-season! A certain 20,000 in the ground! They are always doing it with Colchester!

arc added 13:49 - Aug 11
“But I discussed it and analysed it with [Ticket Office manager] John Ford afterwards and he said that if we’d halved the price, we wouldn’t have got double the people." Is that the level of analysis that goes into such decisions?? Pathetic. Use a little imagination.

Brockleyblue added 13:57 - Aug 11
Any news as to what the three games set aside for promotions are this season? I went to the one against C. Palace last season and there was a really good atmosphere (admittedly helped in part by strong Eagles travelling support).

Pessimistic added 14:00 - Aug 11
It is a good job Clegg does not look at fan websites too often because he would quickly realise that he is seen by most of us as an out of touch, football disorientated idiot!

ipswich_is_the_best added 14:01 - Aug 11
Yes Cleggy in deed you did get it wrong

1967blue added 14:03 - Aug 11
Well I can compare like for like-Cadbury's Hot Chocolate £2 last year at PR and the self same one was £1.20 at Scunthorpe, hence I don't buy it, complete rip off!

chrice added 14:16 - Aug 11
How about free?

Combine the open day stuff with a preseason game. Turn it into a big family fun day. The more families come and enjoy that kind of day the more people will come along to proper games.

or do it for charity and take donations on the gate. No one actually cares about pre season games do they? I haven't been to one for about 10 years.

ozzydog added 14:18 - Aug 11
“We gave reducing matchday prices some consideration but decided that’s not where we should go. We do recognise that our match-to-match tickets are expensive"

Is this guy for real?
What an idiot, I really have no faith in this bloke whatsoever.

And he is lying about not knowing what the fans think of him.
He must read the TWTD survey which is by far the biggest of it`s kind.
If he does not he is not doing his job.


Lightningboy added 14:31 - Aug 11
We (and other clubs) would be better off dropping their prices and filling their stadiums.

stonojnr added 14:40 - Aug 11
benefit of hindsight!!! who's he trying to kid, Im surprised he didnt claim everyone in the town was on holiday, fact is it was a rotten choice of team for a game (it might have been more funny had Keane still been in charge) and a completely OTT price for a game that even then Wolves didnt take seriously for 45mins

and if all the commercial analysis that goes on in the club is "well if we'd halved the price we wouldnt have doubled the attendance" then were doomed frankly

Back_The_Boss added 14:43 - Aug 11
Same old story, one year on and there is no change!

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