1. ITV Report

Ipswich Town defend 'regrettable' decision to increase season ticket prices by 1.5%

Season ticket prices have increased for the fourth year in a row at Portman Road. Credit: PA

Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne has defended the decision to increase the price of adult season tickets next season following an angry reaction from supporters.

Many Town fans are unhappy at the 1.5% rise, with the club having endured a forgettable campaign on the pitch.

The increase equates to around 27p extra per game for season ticket holders in the lower tiers of the Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey stands, with seats now costing £423 for the year.

It's the fourth campaign in a row that prices have gone up at Portman Road.

However, the club have promised to offer a refund of 5% to fans if season ticket sales reach the 12,750 mark by August and they have also expanded the Under-20s concession band to Under-23s in a bid to get more younger fans through the turnstiles.

On the other side of the coin though, concessions for seniors have been raised from 60 to 65 years of age.

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Milne has described the hike as "regrettable" but says that it's a necessary step if Town are to have a competitive budget for the 2017/18 season and beyond.

We recognise that we need more young fans to join us at Portman Road so we have put in place an U23s ticketing strategy for next year at affordable prices.

The restructuring of U23 pricing means those in education or apprenticeships, with less disposable income, can come to games for just over £5 or £10.

These are very competitive prices and allows young people to attend a professional football game at pricing that is way below many other types of entertainment.

Regrettably we have had to increase the adult ticket prices by 1.5 per cent (just under current RPI). This increase is to be in line with the strategy set out in the New Year by our owner.

That is to have careful management of the club’s annual budget and where that budget is spent - and how the club is to raise revenue to meet its investment priorities of focusing on the Academy; having a competitive wage structure and careful use of our transfer budget on developing players.

– Ian Milne, Ipswich Town Managing Director
  • Why have Ipswich taken this step?
Aaron Cresswell (left) and Tyrone Mings (right) have been sold for big money in recent seasons. Credit: PA

Since Mick McCarthy's appointment in 2012, the club have arguably punched above their weight considering the finances made available for transfers.

McCarthy has spent just over £1.7 million on new players during his time at Portman Road, but generated around £14 million in sales following the departures of Daryl Murphy, Tyrone Mings and Aaron Cresswell.

Owner Marcus Evans will clearly want to bridge that gap and putting season ticket prices up is an obvious way to bring in more money - although Ipswich fans would probably prefer he explored other options instead.