Well to say that the recent ticket price rises, and the way they were communicated, came as a shock would be dishonest. In fact, it was sadly predictable that the club would talk at length about wider financial pressures while ignoring the lack of investment and short-term thinking that is apparent to any one of us who have watched Pools regularly over recent years. Heavy use of the loan system to cover for a squad that lacks depth, and the declining state of a pitch cared for by the same groundsman who used to win awards, are clear signs that there is no real plan to take the club forward and that any investment that is taking place is mis-directed. The financial burden of the managerial churn alone must be enormous. 

Still, given the size of our support and the income levels in our town, should we be asked to pay considerably more than fans at Woking, Dagenham and Redbridge, Boreham Wood, Altrincham and York? For an extra £60 Poolies could watch Championship football at the Stadium of Light. Clearly none of us would be tempted but it makes you wonder how wisely our season ticket money is spent. 

To make matters worse, ticket prices are probably the most important thing that supporters could be consulted on and yet there has been no attempt to talk to HUST about this. We would have argued that given the lack of progress on the playing side increases should be carefully and transparently justified with an explanation of where the money would be spent. We would have suggested that a better early bird incentive would benefit the club. We would have pointed out that a properly organised payment scheme might encourage some hard-pressed supporters to access season tickets, whereas being told to contact the club to ask for their approval for an individual plan is likely to put them off. We might even have reminded the club that previous cut price season ticket offers boosted attendances so much that match day revenues made up for the shortfall. 

We’d certainly have tried to engage positively, as we always do, but there was no contact by the club to gauge opinion. We’d got used to this approach over recent years but had hoped that the club’s appointment of a supporters’ representative might lead to change. Clearly it hasn’t, but maybe real change isn’t the point of the new ‘board’? Overall, it’s fair to say that, like most supporters, we’re fearful that off the field the club is making no real progress.

Season ticket purchases are, of course, always an individual choice, however it would not be a surprise if fans opted to ignore the poor early bird offer and wait to see the scale of investment on the playing side before parting with our money.

The board of HUST