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‘Time-warp’ has to end – Quinn
NIALL QUINN says he had to take Sunderland out of its ticket price “time-warp”.
The Black Cats’ chairman begins a series of meetings with lapsed ticket holders urging them to back his new regime by returning to the Stadium of Light.
But he does so only a few days after announcing the first across-the-board season ticket price rises in eight years, with the cost rising by five to ten per cent.
With Premiership television deals reaching new heights, many top flight clubs have faced pressure to reduce seat prices, but Quinn explained why the Wearsiders are going in the other direction.
He said: “While every other club in the land climbed aboard the gravy train, the prices here have been frozen for eight years.
“And so while some other clubs are looking at their ticket prices and having to reduce them for next season, we are in the opposite situation because we found ourselves literally caught in a time-warp.
“As a token gesture, I’ve taken us out of that freeze by increasing the prices by between five and sever per cent – depending on the category of the ticket – to get people away from the idea that we will always be priced the same.
“We can’t afford to do that if we are going to compete.
“We have to strike the balance between being affordable and being able to compete with other clubs.
“I think people appreciate that we can’t call ourselves a big club and move forward if we just let people in the door.
“When the prices were frozen eight years ago, the cost of running the club were a lot less than they are now.”
Quinn wrote to 7,000 former season ticket holders in an attempt to persuade them to return to the Stadium of Light next season and starts his roadshows in Washington and Houghton next week in a bid to win back fans left jaded by the recent disastrous relegations from the Premiership, when the club went down with only 19 and 15 points.
Quinn said: “These roadshows are not popularity contests for me. I’m not going so that I can hear my name being sung.
“I want to get 40,000 people at the Stadium for every home game because I know it frightens the life out of visiting teams.
“It’s not just a plea to get more money in the to coffers, it’s a plea to get fans in to make the club feel big and great again.
“We’re getting there but when the stadium is full and the fans are cheering us on then we will win more games than we would otherwise.
“The fans have a big role to play.”
Sunderland announced a new five-year kit deal with Umbro this week, which be of increasing benefit financially depending on success.
Quinn added: “It’s a great deal and if we deliver as a football club then it is a massive deal for us financially. The fact that a major brand like Umbro has come on board shows that we are moving in the right direction.”