Some Fleetwood Town supporters want to be up front

Andy Pilley
Andy Pilley
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Fleetwood Town fans have raised concerns about their inability to pay up front for the club’s new take on a season ticket, the ‘Onward Card’.

The initiative, which will see supporters pay via direct debit after entering into a credit agreement with a finance company, Zebra Finance, goes on sale on June 1.

Supporters purchasing a card can access all 23 home league games each season and other benefits.

However, many fans are unhappy at the club’s decision to remove the option of paying the full amount up front for the 2018/19 League One season; the first under new head coach Joey Barton.

Instead, the only way to purchase a card is by opting into an initial 10-month contract.

Once that expires in July 2019, they will enter a 12-month deal for the 2019/20 season.

The club say there is an option to opt out every summer as they switch to a method normally favoured by gyms in a bid to entice new fans – but a number of supporters are unhappy.

And Dave Walsh says the fans just want an option to pay all in one go.

He tweeted: “Not a popular move judging by the number of comments on the Cod Army Facebook page. I think the club underestimated the number of people who prefer to pay up front and may not have the facility to pay direct debit. Fans want a choice of how to pay and they aren’t getting it.”

Martin Crane added: “Just seems an absolutely bizarre decision to not offer a choice. Monthly payments suit me fine, but circumstances in the past would have meant I’d have preferred up front.”

In contrast, some see it as another example of Pilley’s generosity with away coach travel once again expected to be subsidised.

Sam Heaney wrote: “Proves Andy Pilley is a man of the people and not a rich snob. I love it.”

Ryan Lea is not against the pay monthly scheme but wants an option and some clarity.

He said: “I’m all for a pay monthly scheme but they should also provide the up front option. Lack of details, faqs etc have left many with questions and made it a farce.”

Paul Fullbrook did not see the fuss, tweeting: “Not really a problem is it really, every household has at least one direct debit anyway.”

Though ‘Steve a Cod Head’ says the lack of other football expenditure in the close season is why he wants to pay up front.

He said: “Paying up front is the only option I would do as June is a month with no other football expenditure @ftfc I buy 2.”

Others are not happy with the D block section in the centre of the Parkside Stand becoming ‘premium, meaning a ticket is £30 a month, or £300.

Last year sections A-D were all the same price with an early bird price of £240 and £270 afterwards.

Section A will now be a designated family slot with family tickets on offer ranging from £52.80 per month for two adults and two children to £26.40 per month for one adult and child.

Sections B and C in the Parkside will remain at £24 per month (£240), though section D has increased.

Rich tweeted: “It’s disappointing (there is) no option to pay up front; seems a few other fans think the same. Also D block (is) now premium seats so this monthly cost over 10 months (is a) lot higher than last year’s season ticket price.”

James Gregory echoed that view: “Ridiculous having to pay monthly. The decision to make D block premium (is) a bit unfair on the regular season ticket holders who have been there years.

The idea of signing up to a pay monthly scheme is worrying for some.

‘Justa Guy’ wrote: “It works for me with having two disabled kids. However I don’t understand: one, why cannot anyone, wanting to, pay up front?

“Two, my credit rating is 780 (give or take five); can I pay monthly? Three, do I have to agree to some form of loan? Four, can I do this online or have to go into (the) shop?”

‘Wheellix’ added his concerns about signing up.

He said: “IMHO, the failure to allow for an up front purchase without a loan arrangement is a mistake and may discourage renewals. I am reluctant to enter into a credit agreement that I flat out do not need.”

Anyone with questions can ring 01253 775080 but existing season ticket holders have until 5pm on June 18 to secure their seat.