Port Vale: Season ticket price rises to stand, says Keith Ryder
KEITH Ryder says he is determined to boost crowds at Vale Park next season, even though he will not lower season ticket prices if he completes his takeover of the club.
Administrators Begbies Traynor have raised the cost of 2012/13 season tickets by around five per cent.
That means the adult "early-bird" price for all areas except the Lorne Street Stand has risen from £259 to £272.
Ryder today ruled out changing the price rise, which has angered some fans, although he has pledged to review the cost of match-day ticket prices, which are due to rise by £1 to £22.50 for the Lorne Street stand and to £21.50 for all other areas.
"Encouraging attendance at Vale Park has to be a priority for us, which is why we will review matchday entry prices should my purchase of the club be successful," said Ryder.
"Season tickets remain the most cost-effective way to watch Vale for the 2012-13 campaign, which is why the price of these will not change.
"However, it's imperative that we focus on attracting more supporters to the club, which is why we will be looking at the cost of matchday tickets in all areas of the ground.
"I don't think there are any fans who do not wish to see Vale Park as full as possible for the coming season.
"This is the reason we will be looking at a number of initiatives to fill the ground, while being careful not to devalue the cost of a season ticket."
With season tickets already on sale and Ryder's £1.4m deal to buy the club unlikely to go through before the end of June, it is difficult to see how he could have cut prices anyway. However, timing would not be a problem should he want to reduce the matchday admission prices.
Meanwhile, Ryder has pledged to honour the deal which saw at least 15 fans buy lifetime tickets costing from £1,500 to up to £8,000 in 2005.
Club administrator Gerald Krasner revealed last week that Ryder was under no legal obligation to do so, but the Lancashire businessman said: "The fans who bought these tickets did so in good faith and therefore it is my intention to honour these deals.
"These tickets only relate to a small number of supporters, many of whom volunteer at the club for the benefit of Vale, so these contracts will stand."
Ryder, who was at the Globe Arena to see Vale draw 0-0 with Morecambe on Saturday, will address fans during an open forum at Vale Park on Wednesday (7pm).
While declining to talk about his bid to buy the club, he did reveal that he is married, in his 40s, and has three children.
When asked about his business background he added: "I'm a consultant by trade so I work with a number of companies."
Vale boss Micky Adams, below, held brief talks with Ryder on Friday, but admits his plans for next season largely remain on hold.
"It was a nice conversation," he said. Mr Ryder is looking forward to meeting the fans and they will make their own minds up about him.
"But my hands are tied to an extent until the creditors' meeting on April 26 and Mr Ryder's deal is approved by the Football League.
"There are a few obstacles to get past before he is in place."