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O'Neill: Season Ticket Announcement on Wednesday
Monday, 15th Apr 2019 10:49

Town general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill has revealed that season ticket prices for 2019/20, the Blues’ first campaign in the third tier for 62 years, will be announced on Wednesday.

O’Neill was speaking in an in-depth interview with Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk’s breakfast show this morning (from 1hr 10mins 10secs).

“We’re going to be coming out on Wednesday with that,” O’Neill said. “The club will make an announcement on Wednesday regarding the season tickets.”

Asked whether the news are likely to put smiles on faces, with price cuts of around 15-20 per cent believed to have been under consideration, he added: “I very much hope so, we’ve gone through a lot of consultation, we’ve listened and spoken to a lot of people.

“[Season ticket holders] are really important for us for next season and we need their support more than ever.”

Town had 10,200 season ticket holders this season, a total which was up on the previous campaign.

O’Neill reiterated his March comments regarding the hit the business side of the club will take from relegation which the club expects to total £9 million.

Media money alone will drop by £6-£7 million, which has been about 40 per cent of total revenue in recent seasons, while commercial income, sponsorship and gate receipts are also set to be reduced.

Player wages will be cut in line with clauses included in contracts, while the Blues will have to adhere to League One’s SCMP Financial Fair Play rules, which stipulate that player wages can’t be any more than 60 per cent of turnover, 75 per cent in the first year down from the Championship, although with three-year contracts signed before September of the relegation year and those of young pros aged under 21 not counting towards the cap.

“We will look at all areas of the club,” O’Neill said when asked about how the reduction in income will be addressed. “It’s very unfortunate because we find ourselves in this situation [that] as part of the football business side of the club we will have to look at areas that we might have to streamline.

“And there might be some other sides of the business that might need to make more investment in.

“Any kind of business operating in a situation like we’re in now would would have to look at all of those areas to make sure the club is stable going forward.”

Owner Evans issued an apology to fans yesterday and also outlined his plans for the future with younger players forming a key element.

“I think it’s an important point to make, we’re talking about young players, not just the youth players [coming through the academy], it’s young players in general,” O’Neill added. “Our recruitment policy will be around young players.

“We have got some really good young players in the club, they need time to develop and they need help, they can’t do that [on their own], so that’s where the likes of our senior players will help those senior players in the games and they need to play.

“We’ve already seen over the course of this season when they’ve been given opportunities they underperform sometimes to what they’re capable of and then sometimes they overperform, they excite you and they make you feel proud again. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride with some of the younger players.

“With Marcus, he’s making continuing investment as he’s always done, I think what’s important to highlight is that we are looking really at the next three to four years of those younger players and making sure we have a core of a team.”

O’Neill says promotion in the first year back will be the aim: “That is the plan, we will be doing that and Marcus will be making investments into the areas where we don’t have players coming through or they’re not up to the standard we require. Then investment will be made into the team.”

The former Blues youth player, who still retains his role as academy manager despite having taken on his new position towards the end of last year, had praise for the Blues’ support, who he felt helped delay confirmation of the club’s relegation.

“The situation on Saturday might have occurred a few weeks before that it if it wasn’t for the fans,” he said. “They’ve kept the players going and all the staff and will be a real core part of the club going forward.

“When you look at the season in general, obviously the amount of change that we had from last season, and they’ve stuck by that and the point has been made about entertaining football and them enjoying the games and I think that has been an area that we have tried to make improvements on.

“It’s taken time and unfortunately we haven’t got enough results. And it is a results business, we haven’t got enough points on the board and that’s why we find ourselves in the position we are in today.”

Asked where the season went wrong and whether signing too many League One players was a big factor, O’Neill reflected: “I think it’s difficult to point at one single incident that caused the problem we’re in today. I think it’s a cumulation, we’ve got to look at everything and learn from all of those areas.

“Yes, we were in a situation last year when we needed to look at a new way forward for the club and there was a lot of change. That would be players coming in and players going out.

“I’m not going to comment on the decisions on why players have left the building, but a lot of new players did come in and they take time to settle.”

Too many new players? “A lot of players did come in. But they were needed because there were a number of players who didn’t necessarily want to be part of the new plan going forward.

“We [were] in a situation where we had to bring in some players to make sure we had the squad that could be competitive this year in the Championship.

“If you’ve watched most of the games this year, although we haven’t had the results to win, we’ve definitely been head-to-head and been really competitive with most of the teams in the Championship.

“I think we’ve had something like 16 draws and that’s not good enough. You can’t that number of games we had to get more wins. That’s the difference from being in the relegation zone [and being safe].”

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christiand added 10:54 - Apr 15
Lets see what Wednesday brings.

Upthetown1970 added 11:12 - Apr 15
Mr O'Neill can't believe you are saying we needed to bring in players to be competitive in the championship bearing in mind the abundance of league 1 and league 2 players that were brought in we were never going to be competitive and our position in the league shows that. Just be honest some of the players we brought in just weren't good enough for the Championship plain and simple!!!. This is from our general manager of football operations God help us.

Northstander_Blue added 11:35 - Apr 15
10 or 15% off would be good

Moisha added 11:37 - Apr 15
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I would hazard a guess that the majority, not all fans were happy with the direction the club was going, and the lower league signings made.
Clearly it was too many, and the experienced players we needed to integrate them with, for whatever reason were sold and/or allowed to leave.

The club needs us fans more than ever to get behind the team so our stay in league one is no longer than one season.

terryf added 12:00 - Apr 15
Think it will take alot more than 10 to 15% to get enough renewals and attract new supporters. I've supported this Club since 1961 and seen plenty of great, good and poor seasons, but this last one is without doubt the saddest.

I agree the football has been better on the eye, the support magnificent and cheap deals have attracted more support. However I think the Season Ticket Holders that attend come what may need more respect and 10 to 15% will not cut it for many when considering whether or not to renew.

dirtydingusmagee added 12:00 - Apr 15
yes players went out and players came in ,but not of equal quality,,AND ultimately not good enough to compete in the Championship.

Campag_Velocet added 12:01 - Apr 15
"... however, the increase is less than the current rate of inflation..."

dirtydingusmagee added 12:16 - Apr 15
i think Mick Mills suggested reduction on highest prices should be 40 % . its hard to believe we are in this situation , not through bad luck and poor form, but through happless naivety , and woeful decisions, over a sustained period, despite alarm bells ringing. Early days but i fear for the future.

yocal_lad added 12:42 - Apr 15
10-15% would be a real kick in the teeth, we were already one of the more expensive in the championship.

Go 40% or even better flat rate for wherever you site £250 and just get the fans back, next season is massive so take the financial hit and get the crowds for momentum.

osseyseleven added 13:03 - Apr 15
He is the next one of Evans disastrous appointments , clueless , not qualified , but cheap

TractorCam added 13:05 - Apr 15
yocal_lad, this season we were about average in the championship due to the decrease last summer. To expect a sudden 40% decrease is crazy, great if it happens but 15% decrease is more likely and would again probably be average price for league 1.

blueboy1981 added 13:24 - Apr 15
IPSWICH TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB - needs us more than ever.

Get that season ticket, don't expect charity, and get behind the Club like never before.

True Blues will do that. I'm one of them.

BlueBlood90 added 13:25 - Apr 15
15-20% drop should be a minimum just for dropping down a league and the dross people have paid to see this season, however it was very overpriced to begin with so 30-40% off would be more appropriate if we're serious about pulling in big numbers.

blockb_steward added 13:26 - Apr 15
A lot of people pay for the games they want to see and I cannot see anyone wanting to pay more than £20 to watch L1 football.

A sub-£300 season ticket would be attractive...some how they need to put bums on seats.

ChateauWines added 13:26 - Apr 15
Blanket price of £250/300 wherever you sit except premium seating would make a real statement. The good Will is at a high at the moment. Get season ticket prices wrong and that will quickly fall away. I gave up my ST of two decades up last season and want to come back every week like I used to do. I’ve gone from travelling to majority of away matches to just a handful of home games. I’m sure there are hundreds of not thousands like me. Please ME get us back in the stadium and reward the 10,000 who kept going

Mark added 13:27 - Apr 15
Let's all stick together and renew our season tickets. It could be an exciting season watching young players produce the goods under Lambert, and hopefully a promotion season. We are going into the unknown, but I get the feeling the fans are sticking with the club. We need to pull together to get back to the Championship at the first attempt, hopefully with Norwich dropping back to the Championship from the other direction!

As for this season's postmortem, in hindsight trying to replace pretty much our entire strike force (Celina, McGoldrick, Waghorn, Garner) with lower league strikers who did now have great goalscoring records was a huge gamble. Webster leaving too was a loss. If they wanted to leave though and with our budget being so small, it was difficult. Let's be honest the club had been in decline for years even with those players here. At least the quality of football and "feel good factor" are starting to return, after Lambert's summer pre-season we could be in a far better place.

NITFC added 13:30 - Apr 15
There is no way there will be a 40% reduction. Personally I think 15 - 20% will do the trick (although I will be there next season regardless and looking forward to it - particularly away games)

blueboy1981 added 13:33 - Apr 15
Idiotic comments already on here - Ask yourself :- How can we stand a chance of recovery by reducing season tickets by 40% .... ??

Reduction, yes - but come on, be realistic. Or is that asking too much from some - sadly, I guess it is.

But you'll still expect Evans to keep piling the £millions in, whilst campaigning for the only other current option of ADMINISTRATION.
Thank, but NO thanks, for that option.

It's the future of our beloved IPSWICH TOWN FC here ....... !!! - not 'pie in the sky' or 'cloud cuckoo land'.

Saxonblue74 added 13:34 - Apr 15
I'm not a season ticket holder and have no plan to be next season as cannot commit to all games. However, if I were I would be happy to pay exactly the same as this season as I think it's going to be much more entertaining next season. I struggle to see how Evans can come under fire for lack of investment if we as fans are not happy to do our bit.

Northstandveteran added 13:35 - Apr 15
The club won't be able to afford to drop season ticket prices dramatically, not if the forecasted loss of £15million is expected whilst in the third division.

I suppose it's gamble time all round?

Cheap tickets, bigger crowds, a small price drop and a hard core of 8-10,000 with a couple of extra thousand picking and choosing games?

blueboy1981 added 13:38 - Apr 15
Mark - with you all the way. Time for all genuine supporters to get behind the forward movement.

Roll on August, and let's roll.

TractorCam added 13:40 - Apr 15
blockb_steward, pretty much every league 2 club, even some national league teams, charge £20.

Dolphinblue added 13:53 - Apr 15
Yep renew, move on 😀

TractorRoyNo1 added 13:59 - Apr 15
Sell the good times in the future, so 2 years for £500 or £10 x 52 weekly payments.

pragmatic added 14:00 - Apr 15

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