Young Spireites are the winners in new Chesterfield FC season ticket pricing says CEO Graham Bean, but some fans 'will be disappointed'
Young Spireites are the winners in the new Chesterfield FC season ticket pricing structure, according to the club's chief executive.
CEO Graham Bean says when it came to setting the new prices, the club faced a 'balancing act' between affordability for fans and the need to cover a shortfall left by a diminished Football League parachute payment.
Adult season tickets have increased by around £50, ranging from £325 to £400 under the general sale early bird scheme and £305 to £370 for early bird renewals.
The over 80s will now pay £50 instead of receiving season tickets free of charge and matchday 'walk up' prices have also increased.
But for fans aged between seven and 21, prices have fallen throughout the stadium.
Bean believes the tariffs are 'competitive' and while he acknowledges some fans won't approve of the price hikes, he says they want to bring more youngsters through the turnstiles.
"It's been a fine balancing act to make these prices affordable, but given the financial position of the club we felt we had to make an increase," he said.
"It's still less money than what was being paid for League football.
"We think the prices are competitive.
"Even though we've increased the charge for over 80s to £50 a season, it's still only £2.17 per game.
"In terms of a juvenile, they can watch 23 league games for £2.13 a game."
"Whilst I know some supporters will be disappointed that there have been some rises, the reality is that for people under 21, they'll benefit from the other increases because we want to appeal to the younger element and encourage them to come to the Proact and back John Sheridan."
The CEO says ticket revenue is one of the major ways in which the club can attempt to make up for the reduced income from the EFL this year.
"It plays a significant part, that is your bread and butter cash flow," he said.
"The other thing we have to balance up is that when we dropped from the Football League we got a parachute payment of about £600,000 and this year the parachute payment will only be in the region of £300,000.
"Unfortunately ticket prices are one of the areas that have to be addressed to contribute towards the shortfall."
This season threatened to bring a third successive relegation for the Spireites, until they brought John Sheridan back to the Proact as manager in January.
He has masterminded a rapid ascent up the National League table, from the relegation zone to the top half and safety.
Next season the club are hoping he'll lead them back to the Football League and they hope the prospect of a promotion charge will capture the imagination of the fans considering purchasing a season ticket.
"You can see the impact John Sheridan has already had since he came here and we've absolutely no doubt that will continue into the new season," said Bean.
"We're very hopeful that come this time next year we'll be knocking on the door of the Football League.
"We want the supporters to buy into the John Sheridan factor with us and help push the club forward.
"The supporters are the heartbeat of the club and we want them to enjoy the football next year, as they've undoubtedly enjoyed it in the second half of the season since John came in.
"We want to keep that feelgood factor going."
The season tickets are expected to be on sale via the club's website this weekend and the early bird deal will finish on Friday 28th June.
Other clubs have revealed their own pricing structure in the past 24 hours.
Chesterfield's National League rivals FC Halifax have frozen their match day prices and are selling adult season tickets for £199, which will include two free Under 12 season tickets as part of the deal.
Near neighbours Rotherham United, who will either play in the Championship or League One next season, have frozen their renewal prices for the seventh year running.
The Millers' prices range from £355 to £390 for renewals and £395 to £435 for new buyers.