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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 15:55 GMT
Gold backs ticket-price reduction
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

David Gold
David Gold says Birmingham will take the initiative on ticket prices
Birmingham City chairman David Gold is "encouraged" by the number of clubs revealing they will reduce ticket prices for hard-pressed fans.

Blues are offering special packages for season ticket holders for Sunday's promotion clash with rivals Cardiff.

Gold told BBC Sport: "We have got to listen to our supporters and they are saying it is getting too expensive.

"I am encouraged by the number of clubs that are already reporting that they are going to reduce prices."

St Andrews has a capacity of 30,009, although only 18,363 saw the Blues beat Leeds 1-0 on Tuesday to go top of the Championship table - and they have average home gates of 21,167 this season.

If we start thinking about our fans I think it will be an important step forward for football as a whole

Birmingham chairman David Gold

Gold said: "Are we disappointed with our attendances? I think we are, but football as a whole is concerned.

"The Football League has announced that it has had the highest attendances in its history across the three divisions.

"Having said that, what we really want is full houses. It is simple economics - price dictates support. We have to address that.

"We have addressed it for our match against Cardiff. We have given a reduction to our season ticket holders so that they can buy up to six tickets at 5 each to bring friends and family.

"We understand that's been very successful and we are hoping for a full house."

Gold added: "We have to find new initiatives to bring back our fans. We have to listen to them and adjust accordingly.

"It is very difficult for a football club to address this individually. If you are reducing prices to increase your following, you will find the club that doesn't do that, your competitor, actually makes more money.

"That then gives them an advantage in the market place when it comes to buying players and offering salaries.

"It has got to be a collective thing organised by the Football League, the Premiership and the Football Association.


"I even saw the Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking about it, but it is all very well talking about it, you have to come up with solutions."

In January, Birmingham manager Steve Bruce warned clubs to protect the magic of the FA Cup by making the competition more affordable for fans.

Blues' third round tie with Newcastle attracted a crowd of just 16,444 and he said: "This was always a big date in my diary but these days it costs far too much for the average fan to watch football."

Since then, Blackburn and Bolton have already said they will reduce prices, while Everton have announced season ticket prices for next season will be reduced by 10% if fans buy early.

Gold said: "We will be addressing it, finding new initiatives.

"But in the main, the reason Blackburn and Bolton are doing it is not because they are philanthropic and concerning themselves about their fan base, they are doing it because they don't have full stadiums.

"They are saying it gives the advantage to the away side if they come to their football club and find an empty stadium. It is almost as though there are more away fans than home fans.

"Clubs have to address this with a degree of seriousness. I am encouraged by it and if we start thinking about our fans I think it will be an important step forward for football as a whole."

Birmingham going for Gold
28 Feb 07 |  Birmingham City
Everton set prices for 2007/2008
28 Feb 07 |  Everton
Man Utd fans plan ticket protest
23 Feb 07 |  Football
Bolton lower season-ticket prices
21 Feb 07 |  Bolton Wanderers
Caborn hails Ewood ticket pledge
27 Jan 07 |  Football
Blackburn to lead price-cut call
24 Jan 07 |  Blackburn Rovers


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