Last night at the Bet365 Stadium wasn’t one of our better first half performances this season and it would be difficult to say otherwise. However, we have to treat it as a bad day at the office, take a good long hard look at it, dust ourselves down and move on to Saturday’s game against Blackburn Rovers and respond with a positive result.
Why the officials disallowed what should have been an equaliser by Josh Magennis I simply don’t know. From the replays it was clear that there wasn’t a foul in the box and the goal should have stood. It was a clear example of six of one and half a dozen of the other. I think we would have gone on to have got at least a draw and shared the points, and maybe all three because at that stage we were getting on top but instead, as we were chasing for a goal, they scored a second late on in the game.
After a slow start in the game I thought we picked up well in the second half and looked much better on the ball but we need to come out faster from the start in the future. In this very competitive league it is very difficult to come back from behind and this is something we must work more on.
Stoke is always a difficult place to go to and we should all remember they were a Premier League club last season and have some very good and expensive players. Most pundits believe it’s only a matter of time before they turn their season around and start climbing the league and l share those views.
I have noticed that my comments earlier in the week about the lower attendances at the University of Bolton Stadium this season have prompted a lot of reaction and debate on social media. I absolutely welcome and encourage this.
The vast majority of the feedback appears to be in relation to the price of matchday tickets, so it may help if I set out the club’s policy on ticket pricing.
The club’s ‘Season Ticket Guarantee’ means that season ticket holders will always get the absolute best value for money when compared to buying tickets on a match-by-match basis. The cheapest season ticket offering during the ‘Early Purchase’ period, in the North Stand Lower Tier, worked out at just £14.13 per match (23 games). Even the most expensive ticket in the East/West Upper Tiers worked out at just £21.00 per match (23 games). Under 18 season tickets worked out at just £3.70 per match when bought during the ‘Early Purchase’ period.
We have to protect that benefit for season ticket holders to reward them for their loyalty and consequently our match day pricing is done on a grading system.
The match ticket price grading system is in place to give the club flexibility on ticket prices where demand for tickets is likely to be high for some games and low for others. For instance; Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Leeds United are likely to attract more supporters than Brentford, Reading and Millwall. Games are budgeted for (grade A – grade D), in accordance with this theory.
We also have to remember that unlike the Premier League, one of the main sources of income for clubs in the EFL is ticket revenue. We have to try to get the balance of pricing right so that we can strive to grow our attendances whilst generating the necessary revenue to not only operate the club on a daily basis but also to invest for longer term success.
As in previous seasons, we’ll be launching a ‘half-season ticket’ in November for our remaining home games in 2019 and I would encourage as many of you as possible to take full advantage of the promotion as it is excellent value.
I really do hope that we can start to see the attendance figures increase, starting from the local derby against Blackburn Rovers. You only have to look back to the Derby game to see how the supporters got behind the team and inspired them to get a great result. There is also no doubt that the 20,000 plus supporters who got behind the team towards the end of our League One promotion run in helped us achieve automatic promotion and I really hope we can repeat this on Saturday evening and go into the international break on a positive high.
Tickets are available to buy from Bolton Central or online by clicking here, or why not try some of our fantastic hospitality packages which can be bought directly from our Sales Team by calling 01204 673761.
Let’s be loud, let’s be proud and let’s get behind the boys on Saturday.