Trust statement on 2016/17 prices

26th May 2016

PRICE RISES ACCEPTABLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE, SAYS OXVOX

The 2015/16 season will live long in the memory of every Oxford United fan.

It’s been fantastic to see the club attain automatic promotion to League 1 for the first time since 1996. Along the way we’ve experienced cup runs to the final of the JPT and the fourth round of the FA Cup, famously defeating Premiership Swansea City. Off the field, the club made great strides in its work in the local community and there’s a great sense of belonging.

This turn round in the club’s fortunes is due to the tireless efforts of Chairman Darryl Eales and the Board, manager Michael Appleton, and the players and coaching staff. OxVox would like to add its thanks to those of many others. It’s a great time to be a Yellows fan!

The club has just announced ticket prices for 2016/17. OxVox has been fully consulted during this process and we would like to pay credit to Darryl and MD Greig Box Turnbull for listening patiently and responding constructively to our comments and suggestions. The package is, we think, better for our input.

Given the higher level of football, the substantial recent losses, and the reduced prices last year, we think a reasonable level of price increases is justified, and would be expected and accepted by most supporters. Overall, it’s our view that the prices announced are carefully judged to protect the club’s income streams while offering a good deal for supporters. They stand comparison with the general level of prices in League 1. We don’t think they will discourage new fans, and season tickets remain very attractive in terms of the price per match.

We’re aware that the club needs to be affordable for all fans. Ticket prices are the one cost that fans can’t opt out of – no-one has to buy a programme, food or a replica shirt but everyone needs a ticket for the match. We have a responsibility as a Trust to represent all supporters and in particular groups such as older supporters and families and young people for whom affordability is key. We’ve done this in our comments to the club and in our judgement the club has done a good job of taking our comments on board and safeguarding the interests of all fans.

The club’s next challenge is to compete successfully with other League 1 clubs, some of which are historically much larger. It’s an exciting prospect. We want to see the club build a squad capable of reaching the Championship and then establishing itself in that league. While we understand that no-one likes a price rise, we recognise that higher revenues mean a stronger squad and ultimately a more successful Oxford United.

ENDS