by Rick Everitt
Charlton have increased most home match ticket prices for the 2018/19 season and will impose a new £1.50 booking fee on fans who opt to print match tickets at home.
The biggest increases are aimed at students, who will pay £5 more at “gold” games, although most adult prices have been increased by £1 or £2. The exception is the highest pricing band, in the centre blocks of the east and west stands, where prices are unchanged.
Prices for over 65s/U21s and disabled supporters follow the same pattern, with all U18 and U11 charges unchanged.
Outside the family stand, which the club routinely uses as its advertised price, the lowest priced adult ticket will now be £21 for League One “silver” fixtures, which is a £2 (or 11 per cent) increase in the east and west stands and a £1 increase in the north stand.
The “gold” game adult price will be £24, which is the same increase in each case.
The reduction in the number of pricing bands overall brings to an end the anomaly of the cheapest standard tickets being available in the east and west stands.
Fans buying seats in east blocks C and F and west blocks B, G, L and P will pay £24 for “silver” games and £27 for “gold” games, which is an increase of £1 on last season (4 per cent). Prices in the eight blocks covered by the top band remain at £28 and £31.
The club appears to have targeted students for the biggest increase with a 20 per cent increase to £12 for “silver” games and a 50 per cent hike to £15 for “gold” games, although the revenue impact is unlikely to be significant.
No attempt was made to explain or justify the various increases when the new rates were announced, with staff seemingly hoping that fans would fail to notice them.
More lucrative than the student increase will be the introduction of a £1.50 transaction fee for fans who use the popular print-at-home ticket facility, although it is hard to see how that can be justified in terms of related cost to the club.
If anything it is likely to discourage people from using the purchase route that minimises work for club staff. Fans will pay the same amount to have tickets posted out, up from £1 last season, and for the first time to order online and collect on matchdays.
Buying by telephone will attract a £2.50 fee, as previously.
Charlton say that personal purchases will not attract a booking fee but it is unclear whether this means they have abandoned the widely criticised £3 surcharge for buying at the ground in the run-up to kick-off.
The club is offering a half-price reduction for one of its two home pre-season friendlies against Brighton & Hove Albion and Norwich City if tickets for each are bought online at the same time, although this saving will be offset by the new online booking fee.
There are no details of how a multi-match discount offer might apply to league games, although the club implies that it will.