RANGERS supporters who pay for their season tickets in instalments by direct debit are being automatically enrolled for next season, even though the club has yet to notify them exactly how much the price of their seats are due to increase for the next campaign.
Rangers legends Johnny Hubbard and Alex MacDonald, captain Lee McCulloch and young players Fraser Aird and Callum Gallagher launched the club's drive for season ticket renewals yesterday, with chief executive Graham Wallace warning that "an increase in season ticket prices is therefore necessary" after a 33% decrease, then a price freeze, in the last few seasons.
The Ibrox club are bullish about their season ticket numbers, with more than 72,000 sold in the past two seasons and the seventh-highest average attendance in British football in 2013-14, but with former director and would-be owner Dave King giving support to an alternative plan to finance the club via a trust fund, the renewal process is more politically loaded than ever before.
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Fans who pay in instalments were yesterday told that payments will be automatically withdrawn from their account on April 30, May 30, June 30 and July 31, unless they notify the ticket centre in writing that they were withdrawing from the scheme by Monday, April 28, a date which is likely to fall after the conclusion of Wallace's 120-day review of the club's affairs.
Other developments see all juvenile prices in the family section being reduced to £50, while a limited number of value season tickets are being introduced in a dedicated area of the stadium, allowing the club to claim the availability of the lowest adult ticket price in more than 10 years. All season ticket holders will be entered into a new club membership scheme.
McCulloch would not be drawn on supporter-backed plans drawn up by King to pay season ticket money into a trust that would look at alternative ways of providing finance to the board.
"I am not really meant to speak about anything to do with Dave King or anything like that," said the 35-year-old. Wallace was unavailable for interview.