DERRY City will officially launch the sale of season tickets for the 2012 Airtricity League campaign this Saturday, with the Brandywell club’s Board of Directors opting to reduce all prices!
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And given the current economic climate, there’s no doubt that the move will be well received by supporters of the “Candy Stripes.”
Club director, Michael Doherty, agreed that while the team had surpassed his expectations for the 2011 campaign when finishing third in the club’s return to the Premier Division and winning the League Cup, the Board of Directors were disappointed at the overall home attendance figures for the season.
“Excepting our first two home matches against Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers – games which attracted significant ‘away’ support – our gate receipts failed to meet expectations and fell well short of our projections,” said Mr. Doherty.
“To be honest, we had expected a larger support given that we got out of the First Division at the first attempt, yet that support was not forthcoming,” he added.
“I’d have to be honest and point out that our receipts were very poor for the 2011 campaign and while we struggled on that front, the recession has also had a devastating effect on our annual sponsorship and advertising as well.”
However, despite the financial problems, Mr. Doherty said he was delighted at the success achieved by Stephen Kenny’s side on the field of play, particularly welcoming the emergence of local talent into the senior ranks during the campaign.
“Having opted to concentrate as much as possible on having a locally based team representing the club, the Board is delighted that young local players will continue to be given the opportunity of graduating into the senior ranks through our academy and youth policies.”
And he insisted that the policies implemented by the current Board would continue for the future.
“Everyone associated with the club was delighted with the transfer of James McClean to Barclay’s Premiership side, Sunderland in the late summer and, obviously, that sale certainly helped our financial position.
“Qualifying for the Europa League has also given us a boost, but the bottom line is that we must do everything in our power to increase our home attendance figures in 2012 if we are to have a team capable of competing at the top level.”
Mr. Doherty maintained that the Board’s chief priority was to work within a budget which must be fashioned by the finance generated each year - and that budget was heavily dependant on the fortnightly gate receipts.
Ticket Price Reductions
“To that end, the Board has now decided to reduce the price of our admission tickets to matches in 2012, at all levels including the price of our season tickets which will be officially launched this Saturday afternoon in the Social Club,” continued Mr. Doherty.
Adult Stand Season Tickets, which cost £200 last season, will be reduced to £180 with Concessionary Stand Season Tickets also reduced from £140 to £120.
Terrace Season Tickets for adults will come down from £175 to £155 with Concessionary Terrace Season Tickets reduced from £115 to £95.
Those preferring to purchase their tickets on a match-by-match basis will now pay £12 rather than £13 for an Adult Stand Ticket while Adult Terrace Tickets will cost £10, £1 cheaper than last season’s admission price.
Concessionary match tickets will now cost £8 on match days, a reduction of £1 from last season.
Mr. Doherty also confirmed that the club would also be introducing a new Child Season Ticket for 2012, where children would be guaranteed seated accommodation for the entire campaign.
“Stand tickets for children under-16 can now be purchased for £70 and for a parent with two children under that age, the ticket for the second child will cost an additional £30 for the season,” said the club director.
“With seated accommodation at a premium in the Brandywell, the new offer gives a parent with two children who attend matches regularly, the opportunity to sit in the same seats throughout the season.”
Derry City will also offer supporters who wish to ‘pay-up’ for their season tickets the same facility as used in previous seasons. Deposits may be paid this Saturday in the Social Club between 12.00 noon and 4.00 p.m. with the balance to be paid before January 31st, 2012.
“The paying-up facility proved popular in the past and we will have staff in the Social Club receiving season ticket payments each Saturday afternoon between now and the end of January,” he confirmed.
“And we are also offering our season ticket holders a 10 per cent discount on all club merchandise purchased next season.”
There will also be an offer made to those supporters who attend the Derry City Social Club on match days.
“Any supporter who uses the Social Club on match days – before or after games - will receive a free £1 voucher which will be redeemable against their first drink – be it alcoholic or soft drinks,” concluded Mr. Doherty.