Blades reconnect with fans after slashing ticket prices
Sheffield United last night outlined plans to hold a series of public forums with supporters after announcing they are reducing season ticket prices next term.
The sessions, which are expected to involve senior members of the League One club’s coaching staff together with co-owner Kevin McCabe, are designed to explain the strategies Bramall Lane’s hierarchy believe will transform its fortunes following what they acknowledge has been a “difficult campaign.”
“We will be inviting different sections of the supporter base to meet with the owners, directors, team and club management,” McCabe said.
“To learn first-hand of our United Reunited campaign and plans going forward.”
Season tickets for 2016/17 are set to go on sale this morning before being suspended, until the end of the present campaign, following April 30’s deadline for the renewal of exisiting seats and ‘early bird’ discount purchases.
United enter Friday’s game against Crewe Alexandra 12th in the table with nine matches remaining but manager Nigel Adkins, speaking at the Steelphalt Academy yesterday, insisted play-off qualification remains a distinct possibility.
Reflecting on his experiences in charge of Bangor City, where he led the Gwynedd-based club to the League of Wales title in 1994, Adkins said: “We had to beat a team, Haverfordwest County, on the television.
“We were behind on goal difference but we beat them 9-0.
“All of a sudden, that gave us a chance to go into the last day, against Porthmadog I think it was, and all we needed was a draw to be champions.
“There was an inquest. People asking, ‘How can a team win 9-0?’ But the game was live on TV so people had seen it and we were brilliant.
“That was a big turnaround. It showed the value of believing and keeping going. We have to keep believing and we must have that grit about ourselves.”
“That was the first time Bangor had won the League of Wales,” Adkins added.
“The following year, no-one could touch us. I haven’t told the players here.
“We aren’t at that stage yet. Just focus on the next game at the moment.
“Go beat Crewe. That is our first job.”
United visit Southend after hosting Crewe and Adkins, who is believed to have been consulted on the move by McCabe and fellow co-owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to reduce season ticket prices by 10 per cent, revealed defender Alex Baptiste could return to action at Roots Hall.
Baptiste strained a hamstring against Millwall last weekend but Adkins said: “It’s not as serious as we thought but he will miss the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Jose Baxter gave evidence to a disciplinary hearing at Wembley yesterday after traces of a prohibited substance, believed to be cocaine, were discovered in his system earlier this year.
The midfielder could face a maximum ban of two years after being found guilty of a similar offence last term. Baxter was accompanied to London by a Professional Footballers’ Association representative but could be forced to wait several weeks before discovering his fate.