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Ipswich: Controversial season ticket renewal scheme at Portman Road must be scrapped – Ipswich Town 1st Supporters’ Trust

19:31 04 April 2014

Ticket holders can still opt out of the extra payment, but fans have raised concerns over how the matter had been handled  with one describing it as a PR own goal.

Ticket holders can still opt out of the extra payment, but fans have raised concerns over how the matter had been handled  with one describing it as a PR own goal.

Ipswich Town chiefs face fresh pressure to scrap a controversial season ticket renewal scheme which could have left large numbers of fans more than £100 out of pocket.

The club said it will learn from their mistakes after a “printing error” on season ticket renewal forms may have resulted in fans unwittingly signing up to pay £10-per-month extra towards the club academy.

Ticket holders can still opt out of the extra payment, but fans have raised concerns over how the matter had been handled – with one describing it as a “PR own goal”.

Renewals for season ticket holders paying by direct debit are being processed automatically by the club for the first time this year.

These fans are also being automatically opted in to the ITFC Academy Association Ramsey Friend contribution of £10 per month over a period of 12 months, with the club aiming for top-level academy status.

If Town win promotion next season, those who sign up will get a free Premier League season ticket for 2015/16.

The offer was advertised with an application form in a season ticket brochure sent out around a week ago.

But the club said it made a printing error which suggested that supporters wishing to sign up needed to tick a box, which should not have appeared on the direct debit renewal form.

It did correctly appear on non-season ticket holder application forms.

When the direct debit payment schedule was sent out, it was highlighted twice that supporters had to opt out of the offer.

Supporters have until April 17 to cancel. The first payment is due on May 1.

But tonight, the independent Ipswich Town 1st Supporters’ Trust said: “We believe the club has no option but to cancel this scheme and revert to the opt-in scheme which is implied in the literature.

“The statement (from) the club states there was a printing error that meant an ‘opt-in’ tick box was erroneously included on the form sent to season ticket holders that took advantage of the automatic renewal by direct debit system.

“Even if this is the case, the corresponding literature does not make any mention of this being something that will be applied automatically.

“There is no text in either the covering letter or the season ticket brochure that mentions anyone will be automatically opted in to this scheme.

“There are a number of mentions of the direct debit scheme, and they are always followed by an instruction that the season ticket holder need not do anything to continue their membership – when the reality is that if fans did nothing their direct debit will have increased by £120.”

The trust said it has received complaints from fans that are “extremely angry”, including a family-of-four where “even their children are being charged the £120”.

An Ipswich Town spokesman said the season ticket policy will not be changed this season.

He said: “Obviously we will look at the process and learn from the mistakes that have been made in the communication to supporters but it takes 30 seconds for fans to opt out of the Academy Friends donation and many (did that on Friday).”

15 comments

  • Forget about trying to create a scandal when the money-grabbing opportunists who run Ipswich Town as a grubby, somewhat unethical (but sadly wholly legal) money generating scheme, based on supporter gullibility and tax avoidance. Instead concentrate on the real scandal. Why is it that there are so many who still want to be associated with something so grubby as what ipswich town now represents. As has been said further down this list... just dont go... and the whole rotten mess will be sorted out in next to no time. If you must watch football watch one of the many local sides where the players actually represent the club they play for.... you can more or less guarantee it will be much more entertaining, certainly much, much less costly - AND your conscience will be clear.

    Report this comment

    Ray Bidwolf

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • pandy, do Needham Market players & officials not get paid then?

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • What arrogance from the club spokesman to say it only takes supporters30 seconds to put this matter right when the supporters have in fact done nothing wrong but were misled by the club.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • A typical "We've been found out" explanation,...... a printing error...............Presumably it was designed by Ipswich Town FC, and it was Ipswich Town FC who signed off the proof prior to printing. This means that Ipswich Town FC is responsible either deliberately, or through someone at the club signing off incorrect information.

    Report this comment

    england1770

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • pandy, I agree with you regarding non-league football. It's much more like the professional game used to be before greed set in.

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Yes Brian a very very small amount I don't remember saying they did not , unlike the so called ipswich players they are not paid hundreds plus free cars and most have lived and still work around Needham ,they play for the team not for the money,

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • ITFC is at a near all-time low. The supporters are what is making the club. It surely isn't the individual players, team, manager or owner. Its got to the sad state where the club is starting to not care about loyal fans which keep the money rolling in. It will be interesting whether or not it results in less season ticket holders this coming season.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • pandy, I agree with you regarding non-league football. It's much more like the professional game used to be before greed set in.

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Pandy, surely its a case of no supporters no club.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Needham market won ipswich lost Needham in play off position Ipswich is not end of story.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • As I have said earlier this is a big mistake which I found by accident when checking that my recently achieved concessionary season ticket price had been processed correctly. However the amount of news regading this must prove that people will not be fleeced and in fact there was never a preconceived plan to do this. It is however a PR disaster which should be addressed by some internal inquiry. Someone has cocked up right at a critical time for the club and disciplinary measures should be taken.

    Report this comment

    bristan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • No mention from the club that when you ring up they then try the guilt game on you and inform you that it is not very positive to not do this.. Disgraceful is all I can say....

    Report this comment

    My Comment is this..

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Brian, dissapointed that you want to get involved in the anti Norwich situation, their directors deserve to be in the Priemiership as they cleared the debt and invested in players, the exact opposite to what is happening at PR, where our director adds to the debt and spend nothing on players.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • This is just paper talk. Forget about it. It's tomorrow's chip paper. We are talking about an error, not a deliberate attempt to screw over the fans. And the team are two points off the play offs which is the best position we have been in at this time of the season for many, many years. I really do think you all need to calm down and get real.

    Report this comment

    Tom

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • When I hear the so called fans of some clubs saying my club and then start shouting for the directors to quit I have to laugh,who do they think keeps the club going it's not the fans , it's the owner with deep pockets putting large amounts of money into it ,stadiums half full do not pay expenses , and what about the teams half full of players from abroad or as some in the premier full of imports earning more in one week than I earn in a year ,no football is not what it was , as for me I will continue to watch Needham Market where football is still a game and not a business , and as for those who think Ipswich Town has cond them cancel your season ticket and only pay to see matches you want to see by payment at the gate ,

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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