Promotion leads to price rises for St Albans City Football Club fans

St Albans City FC Owners Lawrence Levy and John McGowan in front of the main stand at Clarence Park

St Albans City FC Owners Lawrence Levy and John McGowan in front of the main stand at Clarence Park - Credit: Archant

Sizeable financial losses and a bid to secure talented players have forced St Albans City Football Club to increase matchday admission prices.

Co-owners Lawrence Levy and John McGowan have defended a decision to charge fans a few pounds more, to help support the Saints’ 2014/15 Conference South campaign.

St Albans City’s bid to return to former glories moved a step closer earlier this month when more than 3,000 spectators watched the team beat Chesham United 3-1 to win the Southern League play-off final.

However the squad’s success means added pressure for Lawrence and John.

Despite the men continuing to pay tens of thousands of pounds in support of the local team, ticketing is the only other major source of revenue for the Saints.

In a statement John and Lawrence said: “We are now going to be playing our football at a higher level with the associated additional costs.

“Balancing the finances is a continuing juggling act, [and the] club is far from financially sustainable.

Most Read

“Even with our great cup and trophy runs last season the club made sizeable losses and under Conference rules the owners have to personally guarantee the financial stability of the club going forward.”

Adults will now be charged £3 more, with matchday ticket prices bumped up to £15, while concessions, including for fans over the age of 65, students and unemployed people, have been increased by £2 to £10.

In a move to encourage attendance by young people, the club is offering those aged between 16-21 the chance to apply for a young adults’ membership card which entitles the holder to matchday entry for just £5, half the normal concession rate. And adult season tickets, which will now cost £252, equate to £12 per game, with concessions £168 .

Lawrence said that the Saints were limited when it came to raising revenue as, unlike its competitors, it was operating from an ageing stadium with few facilities and was hampered by various covenants placed upon its base at Clarence Park.

It cannot, as other clubs do, hire out facilities and raise funds by hosting events such as weddings.

Lawrence told the Herts Advertiser: “If we had new grounds with function rooms we would be more sustainable, but we don’t have the facilities to make additional revenue. We are still talking to St Albans district council about moving to different sites.”

While the club has recently re-signed key players, it hopes the extra cash from ticket sales will help it further strengthen the squad by enlisting additional talented footballers.

For more information see the club’s website