Ambler: Big discounts would devalue Millwall season tickets

© Edmund Boyden

ANDY Ambler says Millwall will continue to protect the interests of season ticket holders and members and will not offer wholesale discounts to boost attendances.

The average crowd at The Den for Championship fixtures so far this season has been 10,518 – down on last year's figure of 11,484.

It was revealed this week that the Lions had sold around 400 less season tickets than they had done for the previous campaign, but Ambler says he is satisfied with the final total of 6,064.

As the club's chief executive, Ambler has vowed not to devalue season tickets by slashing walk-up prices on a match day – though he says there will be offers available for certain games.

"It was a more difficult season last year and for us to maintain about 95% of season ticket holders is a pretty good figure," he said.

"I wasn't too concerned about the numbers. We hit the 6,000 figure which is where we though we would get to on the back of last season.

"As a club, we will give the best value to season ticket holders and members – and we've always said that. We also brought in the £23 season ticket for U12s across the whole ground for this season.

"Wholesale discounts, as another club are doing on Saturday through Groupon, devalue the season ticket.

"So whilst we will do offers for certain games, particularly on Tuesday evenings when we might do 'bring a friend for a fiver' or 'kids for a quid', I'm not sure wholesale discounting is the right way to go.

"This club offers very good discounts to those who buy a season ticket – an average matchday ticket cost about £13 if you bought the early bird offer.

"I don't want to offer ridiculous discounts because that weakens the benefits of having a season ticket. I'm going to protect that value."

But Ambler believes the problems facing Millwall are simply part of a wider trend in the Championship, pointing to ongoing economic problems as a major factor.

"I think ticketing and attendances are big issues right across the league," he said. "Attendances are generally down, barring some of the teams that are doing really well.

"Attendances are down at The Den; the economy has certainly impacted this year more than it did the previous year, and people are picking and choosing what they spend their money on.

"I also think we had a feel-good-factor summer with the Olympics and a lot of people got involved in and spent a lot of money on that.

"Some people are feeling the pinch and are spending their disposable income on other things, and it's down to us to recognise that.

"The other side of things is that we feel we are very competitive price-wise compared to other clubs.

"A good example is Crystal Palace; we haven't sold-out our allocation yet for the game later this month, but they're charging £32 for a ticket. A year ago I think we'd have sold-out by now."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

54 thoughts on “Ambler: Big discounts would devalue Millwall season tickets

  • October 5, 2012 at 10:38
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    Attendences are not going to hit anywhere near 15,000 until Millwall improve and that's the figure they need to be competitive. It's a small catchment area but then so is Charlton and look at their home attendences. They were getting more when they were in League one than Millwall in the Championship. Why ? Simply because they had the foresight to develop support in Kent and bus them in free of charge.
    It makes me laugh, and from a staunch Millwall supporter it pains me to say this but plans to increase the capacity at the Den to 25,000 pending promotion to the Premier league are absurd. Who is going to sit in these seats ? We can't even half fill a 20,000 stadium and we're not going to until the boardroom at Millwall wake up and smell the coffee. Even at the old Den when in the old Division One in the late eighties the home attendence never exceeded 16,000.
    You can't compete at Championship level by signing players on loan and then losing them. It was no coincidence that the Kane loan last season literally transformed the end of the season and now he's gone and we're struggling again. Jackett can only play his hand with the cards he's got but to sell two left backs and then thrash around for a replacement is ludicrous. Now, with Robinson injured we're hearing about his influence being missed and reasons why the back four are always found wanting. That's because the back four are not good enough at any level let alone the championship.
    You get out what you put in. Signing players that aren't good enough-they're cheap but that's a false economy- is not going to push Millwall up the table.

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  • October 5, 2012 at 16:45
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    Correct

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