Gills chairman Paul Scally announces changes to the club's season ticket pricing structure for the 2017/18 season
Dear fellow supporters,
I can’t recall a time when I have felt so much pain after losing a football match. However, our defeat at MK Dons on Saturday, having battled back from two goals down only to concede in the final moments of the game, has tested even my resilience and I suspect that of everybody who cares about the club.
The final result was a real body blow and I feel for the players, management, supporters and staff because I know, and I see on a daily basis, how much everyone behind the scenes puts into this club, how hard they all work to make it successful and indeed how disappointed they all are when things don’t go as we plan.
I also know how painful it is for all our supporters at the moment but I want you to know that everyone at the club will continue to work hard on your behalf. Everyone is fully committed to a better future and, irrespective of our short-term battles and challenges, will continue in a positive way to ensure your future support for your club is not put at risk.
I spoke with the players after the game on Saturday. They were understandably devastated and upset after working so hard to get back into the game only to lose it, especially after such a good second-half performance, but what struck me most strongly is just how much each one of them cares about the club and how much it pained them also to get nothing from the game.
Today (Monday) we look forward. The past is done, and I’m happy to say that there was a real positive attitude in the dressing room as we prepare now for Millwall on Saturday. No long faces, no negativity, just focus on the week ahead and getting a win against our local rivals. If ever there was a time where we need our 12th man then now’s the time, so please turn out in force on Saturday and play your part.
I also held a meeting this morning with our ticket and media/marketing teams to discuss a few queries that have been raised regarding the release of the latest season ticket prices for next season. Some supporters have raised fair points and given we value comment at all times we have decided to make a few alterations.
The changes we had proposed for under-12 season tickets were made on the basis of a number of new initiatives we are introducing next season which may conflict. However I do take the point made by some current season ticket holders that our changes could also disadvantage sales of that particular sector, so we are now proceeding on the following basis, with immediate effect:
1. We will keep under-18 season tickets at the reduced price of £140 for early bird renewals.
2. We will now offer the same under-18 prices to all students, subject to the provision of a current and valid NUS card or similar with photo ID.
One season ticket per student, subject to availability.
3. For all supporters who currently have under-12s season tickets this season, we will honour these renewals at £35 during our early bird period and £50 thereafter.
This will be for the 2017/18 season only, after which this offer may be reviewed. The voucher allowing two free adult tickets included in this current price will be removed; this was clearly an anomaly that has now been corrected.
4. Any supporters who wish to purchase under-12 season tickets for next season who do not currently have one may do so after Tuesday, May 2 at the rate of £50 per ticket, subject to availability.
One under-12 per adult season ticket; no under-12 season tickets will be sold separately.
5. We will keep the offer of one free under-12 matchday ticket for each adult seat purchased in specific areas, subject to availability.
6. The deadline for early bird promotion will be extended to 1pm on Saturday, April 29.
7. Early bird purchases are now available to ALL supporters who wish to buy season tickets, irrespective of whether they have previously had season tickets or not.
I hope this addresses the concerns of our loyal supporters. It is always our intention to ensure fans are content with what we are trying to achieve, given the balance and needs of keeping your club in business and trying to compete on the field of play as best possible.
As a small example of how challenging the football business is becoming, and indeed how important relocation is becoming to the future of your club, I saw today on Sky News that Championship side Derby County posted losses for this year of £14.7m, following a loss of £10m last year. A number of other clubs are losing significantly more!
Thank you to those fans who have already reserved their season tickets for next year and beyond; we are all inspired by the level of support this club enjoys, especially when we’re sailing through choppy waters. We are truly grateful.
To those who have used social media, message boards or other media purporting to be fans but saying they would be going to Charlton Athletic or elsewhere next season, I wish you all the best. Thanks for your support – we’ll manage without you.
To everyone else, we have a number of big games between now and the season's end, so we need you in good form as our 12th man.
Thanks for your support.
PS: Please don’t forget to send Medway Council your letters of support for the club’s desired relocation to Mill Hill. The closing date Tuesday, April 18 – click here to help Gillingham Football Club.
* An updated season ticket brochure will be made available to supporters shortly.