Chris Anderson updates supporters on tickets and planning for the 2016/17 season tickets in his Colchester programme notes...
Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s game against Colchester United. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the Directors, staff, and supporters from Essex.
Eight games to go, and I’m sure tonight will prove to be another formidable challenge as we really get stuck into the business end of the season.
It goes without saying that we will need you every step of the way. That is why we introduced the ‘Final Three’ offer for the games against Millwall, Bradford City and Sheffield United. All three games are against teams who will be up there towards the end of the season fighting for those play-off positions. So we really need to make the most of our home advantage to give the side every chance of making the play-offs. Our home support has been outstanding this season, and I know it’ll continue until the very last home game of the season.
I’m also looking forward to seeing plenty of children in the crowd tonight after our ‘Kids Go Free’ offer for the game. It was an offer I was really passionate about because the future of any football club depends on its engagement with its young supporters. I am sure there are a few new faces in the crowd tonight and I am especially glad to welcome them to tonight’s game. We’ve made such good progress this season with our young supporters, especially in the Family Zone which has seen record numbers attend. It has been possibly the most successful season to date for the scheme.
The issue of kids and families and how to develop that next generation of Sky Blues supporters is very much at the forefront of our thinking as we continue work on next season’s Season Ticket pricing and campaign. The ticketing issue has been a difficult one to fix since I joined the club but I’m pleased to say we’re nearing the point where a lot of hard work will finally come to fruition. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, we’ll be able to fully unveil a new ticketing infrastructure, which will alleviate most, if not all of the problems we’ve suffered this season. It’s been one of the biggest sources of frustration to me that it hasn’t been easy enough for supporters to come and support their team this season, and I intend to make sure the new infrastructure will make that a thing of the past.
Once we’ve announced that, we’ll press ahead with releasing details for 2016/17 Season Tickets. Whilst I can’t go into great detail at the moment, I can confirm that we’ve looked to keep football affordable for families to attend the Ricoh Arena, as it is crucially important for the future success of the club. Crucially, we’re pleased to announce that supporters will be able to pay for their season ticket in instalments. This will help supporters purchase their season tickets and I’m sure it’ll have a positive impact on our sales for next season.
Finally, I’m delighted to welcome Jodi Jones, Bilal Sayoud, and Vladimir Gadshev to the club. The diversity of the signings should show supporters how much effort is going into sourcing the very best talent. Jodi, a winger from Dagenham and Redbridge, is one of the brightest talents in the Football League, and Bilal has progressed through the highly-regarded Nike Academy to sign for the club. As the Manager has already said, both are signings with one eye on the future. Vladimir is a highly regarded Bulgarian international who played in the Europa League last season and will add technical quality and experience to our midfield in the coming seasons. All three signings should excite our support as we look to securing our short-term and long-term ambitions.