Geoff Thompson’s message to season ticket holders
SSFC chairman Geoff Thompson today reached out to season ticket holders via email as the renewal period ahead of the 2022-23 campaign was opened.
Below is the content of Geoff’s communication.
Today we launch Our Town Our Destiny, the club’s season ticket campaign for the 2022-23 season.
As promised following our gut-wrenching play-off semi-final defeat to Warrington Town, we have conducted a root-and-branch review of our processes, and we are confident we will enter the new season far better-equipped to last the distance with a vibrant and committed team under the management of Kevin Phillips.
We have been on quite some journey over the last seven years and I firmly believe many more exciting times lie ahead.
With our new main stand and facilities therein set to fully open for the first time in 2022-23, our commitment to improve your matchday experience remains as strong as ever.
It is now in the hands of us all to determine how far our club can progress.
I am steadfast in my belief that our town can sustain a club higher up the pyramid and potentially one day in the Football League, and the response from our community over the last seven years underlines this. Your support has been simply incredible.
I must be open here, though. Our progress has come at a great personal price, and I have been prepared to invest several million pounds and under-write six-figure losses each year to aid our rise on and off the pitch. We are making real progress towards being a sustainable club but that progress is directly dependent on our town and our supporters continuing to back us, as well as potential new investors and sponsors.
I am proud of how far we have come together but these personal losses are unsustainable in the long-term, particularly given a change in my circumstances and a recent close family bereavement which underlined to me how much I must protect my family’s future.
It is in this context that I hope you understand that when we make the difficult decision to implement price increases, it is not done for profiteering purposes or to price out any of our loyal supporters. It is simply to bring us in line with our competitors in the league, maximise the facilities we have and ensure we are able to continue to back Kevin and the management team with a hugely competitive playing budget to aid our pushes for promotion. Every single penny you commit to us is reinvested back into the club.
I am supported by a tremendous off-field team and a dedicated board of directors who work tirelessly to help our drive towards sustainability and aim for continued growth. Contrary to many beliefs, half of our board members are non-executives and therefore act in an unpaid capacity.
Together we have held many difficult conversations over recent weeks, and without wishing to alarm anyone – as said previously, I firmly believe our future is bright – the importance of a positive response to this season ticket campaign is high in terms of our ability to provide a strong playing budget to Kevin for next season.
For the first time since 2018, we have decided to implement an increase to the prices of season tickets and matchday tickets.
This is in response to the significant rising external costs we are all experiencing and all of the challenges the current economic climate presents. We have attempted to keep our prices as low as possible to ensure that for as many of our fans as possible, supporting the club at games remains affordable.
We firmly believe our pricing remains extremely competitive with our fellow clubs in the Pitching In Northern Premier League, particularly given the excellent facilities we enjoy at 1st Cloud Arena following significant investment over the last seven years.
You will notice that we also have an additional option for families next season, with a family section introduced in the main stand for the first time to enable families to attend games at a subsidised rate.
Our destiny is in our hands, and we all have the power to play a huge part in our success next season.
As a current season ticket holder, from today you have a one-week priority period to renew your season ticket before they go on general sale. If your circumstances allow you to do so, renewing your season ticket would help our club immeasurably and be massively appreciated by us all.
Full details of our pricing for 2022-23 – including the option to pay by eight monthly instalments – is below, and you will soon receive another email which includes a website link, where you will be able to renew your ticket by logging into your online account. Should you have any problems doing so, please call 0191 454 7800 or visit the office between 10am and 4pm on a weekday.
I am greatly excited about the future and the role we can all play in it.
I’m also very enthused by the announcements we have prepared for the weeks ahead regarding the potential future of the club, on and off the pitch, and look forward to sharing them with you all.
I must express again how grateful the club – and indeed myself personally – is for the support you have provided so far.
Please continue to back us and champion us however you can with friends and family to allow us to grow our fanbase even further and spread the word of SSFC as far and wide as we can.
Our ambitions as a progressive community club simply would not be possible without your backing.
My ambition to one day complete my role as a custodian of our great club and further our transition to a more fan-owned model remains as strong as ever, because our strength is in our unity and togetherness, and it is our town, our fanbase and our business community which will determine just how high the ceiling is for our club.
The destiny of 2022-23 is in the hands of us all. In my eyes, that is the most exciting thing.
Let’s attack 2022-23 together and show everyone just what South Shields is made of.
Our town, our club, our destiny.
Yours sincerely,Geoff Thompson.