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Redundancies as Town Restructure Ticketing
Monday, 22nd Jul 2013 14:33

Town have announced a restructuring of their ticketing operations which has led to a number of redundancies among ticket office staff.

The club’s ticketing has been brought within their wider retail operation with Lee Hyde now the director of retail operations. The Constantine Road ticket office has closed.

Several positions have been made redundant, including that of ticket office and call centre manager John Ford, who was with the club for nearly 12 years having been recruited from Norwich City, with numbers now down to two full-time and two part-time staff. Previously there were four full-time staff, including Ford, four part-timers and four Saturday casual employees.

Speaking about the changes, joint-MD Ian Milne said: “Going forward the club is committed to operating in the most efficient way possible and with the sale of tickets, our strategy is to focus on online sales, in line with the majority of football clubs and sport in general now.

“Inevitably that can lead to changes in personnel and we have taken the decision to streamline our ticket operation.

“We’d like to thank all those staff who have left us for their previous service to Ipswich Town and wish them every success for the future.”

Fans are being encouraged to use Town’s new online ticket service ITFC Direct to print their tickets at home or to buy them in person from Planet Blue. There will now be no telephone ticket sales.

To buy a ticket on the day of a game, fans can do so via Planet Blue between 10am and 1.30pm for a 3pm kick-off and 10am and 6.15pm for a 7.45pm start, with payment by cash or card.

From 1.30pm onwards (3pm kick-off) and 6.15pm onwards (7.45pm) on a matchday, tickets can only be purchased at the turnstiles and by cash only. Town are hoping to have an ATM installed in Planet Blue prior to the Millwall match. Ticket purchases on the day of a game will be subject to an additional £2.50 charge per ticket.

Supporters purchasing tickets online must do so 48 hours prior to kick-off at the latest in order to receive their tickets in the post. Those purchasing online after the 48-hour deadline should use the print at home option or buy their tickets in person at Planet Blue.

There will be no collection of pre-purchased tickets at the ground on matchdays. A ticket enquiries office will be open in Portman Road close to the away section between 1pm and kick-off for 3pm starts and 5.30pm for 7.45pm kick-offs. This will be for enquiries only, servicing ticket upgrades or reprinting lost tickets, but no tickets will be on sale.

The ticket office enquiry telephone line will be open from 9am until midday on weekend matchdays and 9am until 4.30pm for midweek games.

Meanwhile, Town have unveiled the matchday ticket prices for the new season with a lower tier Sir Alf Ramsey or Sir Bobby Robson Stand seat bought in advance of the match now costing £21 for Grade C games, which include the season first home game of the season against Millwall, £27.50 for Grade B and £32 for Grade A. That represents a rise from last season when, for example, a similar Grade C ticket cost £20. A full list of the new matchday prices, including concessions, can be found here.

We understand season ticket sales for the season ahead stand at around 12,000, about 500 down on the same point last summer.

Elsewhere at Portman Road, sales manager Rosie Richardson has changed her job title and is now the club’s director of sales.

Photo: Action Images

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KellysBlues added 14:52 - Jul 22
cash only sale an hour and half before a game?, or get some cash from the clubs ATM and pay even more for a ticket...

i knew ticket sales were down and less demand but to cut 12 jobs and leave only 2 seems a touch drastic.. i can see a lot of unhappy people having long waits in ques....

Robbie12345 added 14:58 - Jul 22
Can someone please clarify? You now can't buy tickets by phone, so you have to either order and print them yourself or they are sent to you, or get them on the match day?

bluelodgeblue added 14:58 - Jul 22
Good luck to those who have lost their jobs! Prices gone up again, basically ME is trying to recoup his outlay?? Our hope is that we get promotion soon otherwise I see us up for sale if we are not already?

KellysBlues added 15:00 - Jul 22
No Telephone sales either? some people may no have the facility to print off tickets at home? No collection facility either...... what a mess....

some people may not know if they can attend before 48 hours....(work shifts etc)


Scuzzer added 15:04 - Jul 22
This looks like a disaster waiting to happen!

MattinLondon added 15:07 - Jul 22
Does anyone know what games will be in the 'Grade A' bracket? I can't really think of any teams in the league who are 'Grade A' material. Maybe if we get a top Premier League team in one of the cups but not in the league.

Count_Arthur added 15:07 - Jul 22
I ordered a few online for Colchester, as was told on the phone that I now had to do this!

Problem is if you want a batch of tickets, home or away, which amount to more than your allocation, you need to get them for one of the 'friends and family' of which you need their customer no., their surname, postcode and star sign - or something like that.

Hope all the 80+ year old fans have got a good broadband connection!

clive_baker added 15:12 - Jul 22
While it's never good to see people made redundant, it's a case of moving forward with the times. There's nothing wrong in my opinion ordering online and printing at home or at work, many people are happy to do this for other events / tickets.

And bluelodge, he's probably more concerned, in the short term, to ensure we don't operate at a £16m loss again this year as we did last. It's easy to sit here and criticise but this is his money that's supporting the club. He isn't a charity. He's sanctioned a further 10 or so signings this summer and our squad looks as good as it has in a long while.

Let's not hate on the club trying to utilise technology to cut costs, all business do.

ChrisMakin2012 added 15:24 - Jul 22
All I see is little dollar symbols in Marcus Evans' eyes!

JewellintheTown added 15:29 - Jul 22
Right, so if you want a pie and pint, that's available first Tuesday after lent, behind the cattle shed between 1pm and 3pm, or the second Friday of each month, unless the wind is blowing east and the fat lady is singing, in which case its 2-4pm. Alternatively, talk to steve on the door, his mate bill will be on the turnstiles from 1-1.5pm matchdays, his lady Brenda will need a fiver and a nod and a wink from Bob the beekeeper from Clacton on the first row of the second from back of the sir Bob, who'll ask you if you want tickets for between 1-3 people. Just say no and ask for 5. ...
oh and Rosie Richardson has changed her job title and is now the club’s director of sales - That's tipped me over the edge, I don't know if I'm coming or going now.

HARRY10 added 15:29 - Jul 22
"Let's not hate on the club "

hate on the club ?

whatever kind of mumbo jumbo is that ?

I think the £2.50 extra to buy your ticket on the day will be a deciding factor in many cases. For various reasons some folk don't know whether they can make the game until late, so to be penalised for this is a real slap in the face.

More petty penny pinching that does not see the wider picture. If anyone at the club thinks any of this is going to make the slightest difference in the £80m debt then they are living in cloud cuckoo land.


JewellintheTown added 15:31 - Jul 22
Oh, BTW, sorry to hear of the job losses, always sad times. Considering we could have all of them back if we stopped Chopras wages for a couple of months, the sooner he goes the better.

DeVOS added 15:33 - Jul 22
What a mess.

Wait until we get a cup game like the arsenal and chelsea games from a few seasons ago and see online sales cope then

Also please ITFC train the staff in planet blue. They never know whats going on

ian_marshall added 15:37 - Jul 22
I'm sorry I'm on heroine

bluelodgeblue added 15:37 - Jul 22
Clive baker I accept it is his club but he chose the 2 managers that made the situation worse! also not everyone has access to new technology (over 7million are not online) lets hope they are not all town fans eh?

JWM added 15:39 - Jul 22
Looking on the bright side these people that have been thrown on the dole might appear in the next BBC documentory!

Robbie12345 added 15:43 - Jul 22
Shouldn't they do most online, but still have 2 people selling tickets by phone for the people who can't use the Internet ticket booking? Bit un-thought through!

itfcbarmyarmy added 15:44 - Jul 22
I really don't like grading games I don't go to games to see the away team I go to see town so I really shouldn't have to pay more to see a team like QPR because they are a category A than to see Doncaster a category C.

I also prefer to order over the phone as I find it easier as do many of the older generation i know and its difficult to get down to planet blue during the week due to people either working or going to school.


Lennyboy added 15:44 - Jul 22
I have been going to PR since 1965 and was a season ticket for many years, however since changing jobs I have been unable to hold a season ticket because I'm a shift worker, it was diificult enough getting tickets before; this has just made it harder because often I trying to do shift swops right up to the last minute in order to attend match day. I also find it hard to reason why that paying at the gate on the day costs an additional £2.50, it will just chase away the last minute match attendance. Any business knows that to improve sales of something and this case we are talking tickets, you need to make it easier for you customers to part with their money; this will only impede it. Not impressed but still love the footballing side of our club.

NoCanariesAllowed added 15:46 - Jul 22
Is it just me or is the Print At Home option not even there at the moment? Not that I would use it anyway (still prefer collecting the stubs myself) but just bought my Millwall ticket and all I'm seeing at the moment is Post and Collect.

Little bit sceptical about this trend towards everything always having to be done online. I used the phone line a lot to buy my tickets before, and living far away from Suffolk, it was always reassuring to have that option in case there were problems with the website.

DeVOS added 15:47 - Jul 22
ATM in shop will probably charge you for a withdraw aswell.

On the pitch town have it spot on. Off it seems to be getting worse

dirtyboy added 15:48 - Jul 22
Absolute shame, but ITFC is a business, and does need to be run correctly for the sake of our club.

Best of luck to those who have left.

clive_baker added 15:50 - Jul 22
Bluelodge I didn't hear many people complaining when Keane arrived and started tucking into his war chest. Nor when Jewell was signing Bullard, Bowyer and Chopra. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I think that's a different point altogether though.

Britton1996 added 15:55 - Jul 22
Brilliant news about Rosie Richardson she's a vital staff member if the club is to go forward!

StowTractorBoy added 16:03 - Jul 22
Not surprised at the redundancies and never was a fan of John Ford (Coming from Norwich City did not help). In many ways I can understand the changes but think the older generation will now be relying on friends or family to order them their tickets online which is not always convenient for payment etc. Only my opinion but the changes will not help match day sales either as £2.50 extra is a bit steep on top of the ticket price. Just hope for the non season ticket holder or indeed season tickets holders that there will be some generous incentive deals throughout the season.

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