Friday, January 18, 2013
Chief executive David McNally admitted yesterday that criticism of Norwich City’s decision to increase season ticket prices for next season was reasonable.
The Canaries unveiled their 2013-14 season framework on Wednesday afternoon, which delivered an above-inflation rise in the cost of a seat.
The amount of that increase for each fan depends on whether they opt out of a £1 donation for each scheduled home game that goes to City’s academy set-up – while City securing Premier League status for a third season would guarantee a price freeze in 2014-15 for those signing up early this time around.
But with the economic environment proving a burden for most, McNally understands the displeasure of some at having to pay more for the privilege of watching Norwich at a regularly sold out Carrow Road.
“I think because we have such a broad support base and we have supporters who are quite rightly very quick to comment on anything that the club does, I’m not surprised at all there has been a huge response,” said McNally. “Certainly most of the comments through to me, most people are broadly supportive.
“There has been some constructive criticism about any kind of increase in these most difficult of economic conditions, so there has been some constructive criticism.
“I think there has also been a need for clarification on the academy donation, which is entirely optional and if people don’t want to donate the £1 then they don’t have to. It means a Barclay ticket is not £518 but £499, and the average drops from £27 per game to £26, which is why the accepted increase is 6pc.
“But in some respects we accept there would be criticism with any increase. We understand that when people’s salaries are not going up by anything like that, we would be in for some criticism. So we accept that and that is entirely reasonable.
“But equally we are run like a cooperative and any spare cash goes back into football, and that is what we want to do – ensure we’re not producing tens of millions of pounds of profits like any normal businesses would, but we aren’t reinvesting any spare cash into the playing product.”
The Canaries’ are not the only club left to deal with complaints over ticket prices. Arsenal fans have made their feelings clear after regular hikes in their season ticket prices, while Manchester City fans were left bitter at paying £62 to watch their side win at The Emirates on Sunday.
“Arsenal have had to deal with some questions about their pricing policy, but they are a bit like us in terms of the way we are positioned in that they do not have a hugely wealthy benefactor putting extra cash into their football club,” added McNally.
“So they have to self-generate (income). I think ticket pricing will continue to be a matter for us all to be aware of but we are not pricing games at levels that we don’t think are affordable. Compared to other forms of entertainment, £27 for an adult at Carrow Road is great value for money.”