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Delia Smith shames Mike Ashley with Wednesday’s announcement

2 months ago
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All credit to Delia Smith.

An announcement by Norwich City has brought great news for fans of the club.

It also shames Mike Ashley at Newcastle United and pretty much every other Premier League club.

Promoted as champions, Delia Smith is doing the exact opposite to taking  advantage of the supporters, instead rewarding them for their loyalty.

These are the average home crowds for the past eight seasons, as well as noting which division they were in:

2018/19 – 26,014 (Championship)

2017/18 – 25,785 (Championship)

2016/17 – 26,354 (Championship)

2015/16 – 26,972 (Premier League)

2014/15 – 26,169 (Championship)

2013/14 – 26,805 (Premier League)

2012/13 – 26,672 (Premier League)

2011/12 – 26,606 (Premier League)

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what division they are in, the average attendances only change by hundreds not thousands and guessing that is mostly down to empty seats in their away end when Championship clubs visit.

They don’t have a massive fanbase but fill their moderate capacity stadium regardless.

Norwich is a bit like Newcastle in that it is out on a limb, with no competing top clubs in the immediate area.

In other words, they have a captive audience just like the Magpies, unless you are prepared to travel.

Returning to the Premier League, Norwich City have all the ingredients (limited capacity, no big rival clubs nearby, committed fanbase) to really hike the prices up.

Instead, they have done the opposite.

Delia Smith has capped all prices for Norwich fans at a maximum of £30 per match. In an official statement (see below) on Wednesday morning, the East Anglian club say they think that is ‘the right thing to do’, especially when at the same time you already have the ongoing Premier League agreement that no away fan should pay more than that £30 price.

As the statement goes on to say: ‘…if £30 is fair for away supporters, then £30 is also fair for home supporters.’

A shame Mike Ashley and others aren’t listening.

Mike Ashley and his PR people have shamelessly put out the message that Newcastle fans are amongst the lowest when it comes to ticket prices, something which is not true. Very very few clubs outside the successful ones, pay more than Newcastle fans.

Last season (2018/19), Mike Ashley raised the price Newcastle fans were paying by up to 20% on season tickets and single match tickets saw prices like these (Ticket prices thanks to Chris Holt):

£53 East Stand and £41 Leazes/Gallowgate Against Man Utd (and I assume same against Liverpool)

£50 East Stand and £39 Leazes/Gallowgate Against Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea

£46 East Stand £35 Leazes/Gallowgate Against Bournemouth, Watford, Fulham

With all the money that there is in football now, there really is no excuse for ticket prices to be so high, especially so when you are fighting relegation and last summer (2018) you had NUFC making around £20m profit on transfers and zero net spend…

The only reason for charging so much is because Mike Ashley thinks he can get away with it, there were only a few sellouts at St James Park last season and the NUFC owner would rather have higher prices and a couple of thousand (more on some occasions, such as 4,000 of them at home to Burnley) empty seats than guaranteeing a full stadium by charging fairer prices.

Official Norwich City Announcement:

Norwich City are pleased to release information on our new membership system and casual home ticket prices for the 2019-20 season.

First of all, we are delighted to confirm that we have decided to cap all casual tickets for home league fixtures at £30 for Adults, £25 for 65+, £20 for Under-18s and £15 for Under-12s.

With Adult away fans now paying no more than £30 to watch their team on the road, the Club felt it was only right to match that price for home fans in an attempt to make Premier League football at Carrow Road affordable for all.

Chief Operating Officer Ben Kensell said:

“As a Club, we took a lot of time to deliberate around what we should do around the casual ticketing for home supporters.

“We believe as a football club that we have phenomenal support and we shouldn’t price people out of football.

“So as a Club, we decided that if £30 is fair for away supporters, then £30 is also fair for home supporters considering the price of a home ticket last time we were in the Premier League.

“No one in the ground from a general admission perspective next season will pay more than £30. That, as a Club, sets us apart and we’re really proud of that. We think it’s the right thing to do.

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