Barclay adult season ticket holders face an 8.8% increase in prices for the 2010-2011 season as the Canaries today unveiled their new pricing strategy.
Thus a season ticket that cost £389.00 last season will cost £423.00 next season – which, over the course of a 23-game season – makes the cost of watching Canary home matches equal out at £18.41.
In today’s current tough economic climate that still looks fair value for money. Certainly few could have reason to complain at the lack of entertainment on offer this season.
Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leeds United pretty much had the lot; this weekend’s derby clash with neighbours Ipswich promises another entertaining afternoon out.
Both chief executive and manager alike were hoping that the supporters would return in their droves again next season; the fact that the club is still able to command an ultra-loyal home following of 21,000 season ticket holders has long been the subject of much envy across the Football League.
“Prices have had to increase in most cases,” admitted chief executive David McNally, as he explained some of the changes afoot – not least raising the age of ‘Senior Citizen’ concessions up from 60 to 65. Early birds can, at least, beat the hike in VAT next month.
“Adult prices have gone up by £1.50 per match and we have had to alter the age at which senior adults receive a concession.
“Equally though, we recognise the pressures families are under in these difficult economic times, and we have decided to freeze the prices for all young people at every age group, Under-21, Under-16 and Under-12. After all, young people are the future of the football club.”
He would be the first to thank the supporters for their on-going commitment to the cause; Paul Lambert would swiftly follow.
“Week in, week out, home or away, you back your team to the hilt and you are undoubtedly the best supporters in the land,” said McNally.
“And my promise to you is that I, along with my colleagues at the football club, remain committed to supporting our First Team every step of the way and to serve you, our incredible supporters.
“And we will never underestimate or take for granted your commitment to the club,” he added, with the price fixed even if City supporters should find themselves watching Premiership football next season.
“We guarantee that every spare penny raised goes towards our football budget and that your price is guaranteed whatever our divisional status.”
Lambert has long been a fan of the club’s supporters; the atmosphere they helped generate against Leeds last weekend was very much on his mind afterwards; it will be there again when the Match Of The Day cameras roll against Town on Sunday. That can be taken as read.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to be here and to witness first-hand the brilliant Norwich City supporters,” said the City chief.
“I say every week how important they are and I mean it. They are vital to this club and nothing has diminished the view I’ve had since we arrived which is that they play an unbelievable part in helping us.”
Not that the Canary supporters will get to see their manager much as Blues roll into the city.
Today the Football Association handed Lambert a two-match touchline ban and a £2,500 fine for events at Reading where his on-going frustration at the antics of the day’s official – the 25-year-old Michael Oliver – saw Lambert sent to the stands. Where he will now be for both the Ipswich clash this weekend and the away trip to Derby County a week later.
Neither of which is likely to enhance his opinions towards officialdom; now that he’s £2,500 out of pocket in the run-up to Christmas.
In the meantime, Town boss Roy Keane made his own, last gasp moves in the emergency loan market snapping up first Kiwi international striker Rory Fallon and then Dutch Under-21 defender Gianni Zuiverloon on loan.
The 28-year-old Fallon, a six-foot three-inch target man – will go straight into the squad to face the Canaries this weekend; his arrival immediately sparking fresh speculation that the Blues will cash in on starlet Connor Wickham come January 1.
Spurs have always been favourite for the teenager’s signature.
“I’ve decided to let Rory go out with a view to a permanent move when the transfer window kicks in in January,” revealed Pilgrims chief Peter Reid.
“It’s a great opportunity for Rory and I’m sure he’ll thrive in the Championship environment.”
Whether Blues supporters will feel as uplifted by Fallon’s arrival as Canary fans have with regard to Gunners youngster Henri Lansbury is a moot point, one suspects.
Zuiverloon is an ex-team-mate of Leon Barnett at The Hawthorns; he, too, is likely to be thrown straight into the derby melting pot.