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Bolton Wanderers Announce New Season Ticket Prices: Here's Why They've Dropped A Bollock

Jonny's seen next season's ticket prices and he reckons Deano & Co. have dropped a huge clanger

Jimmy Phillips' expression here isn't too far away from mine when I saw next season's ticket prices
Jimmy Phillips' expression here isn't too far away from mine when I saw next season's ticket prices
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

After many months of deliberation, today Bolton Wanderers announced their season ticket prices for next season and I, for one, am wholly disappointed.

Firstly, let's set the scene here. I'd say the average attendance at the Macron this season has been roughly around 12,000. That's not based on figures, that's based on me going to every single home game and discounting away fans. The word 'roughly' is key. The average attendance in League One, according to various unreliable sites on the world wide web, seems to be around 8,000 - a solid 4,000 less than our estimated average attendance. So, if my maths is correct and our average attendance is 12,000 on the dot, our stadium has 16,723 empty seats on a normal match day - excluding games like Leeds, Burnley and Boro, all of who brought large numbers of fans. Nearly 17,000 empty seats is a lot. Add an extra 4,000 onto that 17,000 and you've got yourself 21,000 empty seats; over two third of the stadium's capacity - not good for Deano & Co., even in the third tier of English football. The solution? Close the top tiers for all games.

"But I've had my seat since the Macron opened, I don't want to move." Firstly, shut up. The seat I sit in is located in the East Upper Stand and it used to belong to my Grandad, a lifelong Bolton fan who sadly passed away in 2007. When he died I took over his seat and I intend to buy it for as long as I possibly can until the club stop me - which I thought would be the 16/17 season. If the club take it away from me then there's not a great deal I can do about it. Yes, I'll be gutted, but I'm not a hormonal teenage girl so I'll just suck it up and sit somewhere else. If this ever happens, sack up and grow a pair if you think your whinging will ever change the club's mind.

I know a lot of people who said they'd never get a season ticket again if the club made them move to a different seat but that's a load of bollocks. This is 2016. Computer systems are more than capable of remembering where you had your old season ticket seat should you be required to move at some point in the future. With that in mind and our dwindling attendance figures on the table, here's what I think should've happened:

  • The club close the entire upper bowl of the stadium - north, south, east and west stands
  • All season ticket holders in the three home stands (north, west and east) move to the lower tiers (yes, that includes me)
  • IF and only if we gain promotion to the Championship this time next season, season tickets for the 17/18 season will be available in the upper tiers once again
  • If fans were required to move from their old (and preferred) season ticket seat for our this coming season in League One, they would then be offered first refusal on that seat as part of the early purchase deadline - as I've already said, the computer system at the club is more than capable of storing and processing this information. If it isn't I'd be really surprised.
  • So, in short, if we get promoted at the end of next season you can move back to where you used to sit in the upper tiers. Simple.
It makes serious commercial sense to close the upper tiers. We're never, ever going to fill the ground in League One so it's really unnecessary to have them open given the extra staffing, catering and general maintenance costs. They could always be reopened for Category A fixtures, cup games and visiting teams with large followings - but only when absolutely necessary.

So that's bottomed off my thoughts on seating but what about the actual prices? Well, if I'm totally honest, a 10% reduction on all tickets is absolutely piss poor and a fucking insult to fans, like me, who have paid to watch this utter drivel week in, week out for the last eight months. I understand our finances are still in serious jeopardy and the club needs to make as much cash as possible, but I really feel as though a Bradford or Wigan model would benefit us more than Deano & Co. metaphorically pissing in everyone's wallets.

This season, Wigan have offered adult fans who renew their season tickets a mouthwatering price of just £179, which, I hope you don't mind me saying, is a fucking outstanding price considering the season they've had. Bradford sold their top adult season ticket at £199 last summer and have seen an average attendance of 18,000 this season - coming in only second to Sheffield United with League One's highest attendance figures. This method has a proven track record and, although it features two teams that could be back in the Championship soon, I am genuinely baffled as to why we haven't even explored an element of it this year. Instead, adult tickets will now cost a maximum of £405. FOUR HUNDRED AND FIVE POUNDS FOR LEAGUE ONE FOOTBALL. ARE YOU TAKING THE PISS DEAN HOLDSWORTH?! DO YOU WANT TO COME AND HAVE SEX WITH MY GIRLFRIEND TOO?! Jesus Christ, what an absolute travesty.

I have no idea how or why the club think a 10% reduction is enough compensation for a ridiculously shite season, but I guarantee we'll have one of the lowest attendances in the division at the start of next season. Today's statement was not a good statement of intent in my eyes, more of a cry for help and a nod to just how much of a financial shit show we're in.

Rant over.