Good news for Swans fans this morning with the club announcing that it is to scrap the hated online booking fees for the duration of the 2019/20 season.
Booking fees were introduced last year, both to cover the costs of Ticketmaster, our standard ticket provider, and also to comply with new Government legislation covering credit card charges.
These fees ranged from £1.25 for online transactions to a whopping £2.50 for supporters buying over the telephone or, more bizarrely, in person.
It must be stressed though, the club itself does not make any profit from these charges.
Now though, the Swans are looking to ease the financial burden slightly on fans whilst encouraging more people to purchase e-tickets, thus cutting down on matchday queues at the tricket office, by subsidising that £1.25 charge for online transactions.
This may seem a small thing but it is another example of the improvements occuring under Trevor Birch and further evidence that the man does what he says.
A few weeks ago I sat down with the club Chairman for a general discussion before the Fans Forum held at the Liberty; during our chat Birch mentioned a number of things that he hates about modern football and booking fees was one of them. Indeed, the man went all Victor Meldrew on the subject and I was forced to ready a glass of water in case he literally burst into flames!
Today’s news shows that Birch is quite prepared to do something about those things that rile him just as much as football fans in general and Swans fans in particular and it is to be applauded and welcomed.
Speaking to the club’s official website on the subject Birch said:
The booking fee structure did not sit comfortably with me when I arrived at the club. I was also made aware of how unpopular these fees were with our supporters, even though they just covered our ticketing operation costs.
However, we have taken on board the feedback from our supporters and decided to remove the booking fees for online ticket sales for the rest of the season and shoulder the cost.
While the club will subsidise these fees, the benefit to our supporters is more important. Not only will it slightly ease the financial burden for our fans, but it will also hopefully ease matchday queues and waiting times at the ticket office, resulting in an improved matchday experience.
Booking fees for phone and personal callers to the ticket office will still apply, but hopefully more fans will make use of the online fees concession going forward.
The club has gone one step further too, removing all the booking fees for Kids for a Quid and £5 Under 18 tickets in the Family Stand as it strives to encourage younger fans to help fill the Liberty.
There is plenty of incentive now for people to purchase tickets online, making the most of the convenience as well as reducing the cost – which can be quite steep for anyone buying three or four tickets in person at the ticket office, with a tenner on top of the nominal ticket prices!
As much as anything though it’s the principle of the charge that winds up football fans, not just the financial implication. The removal of one of these charges reduces that resentment a little, and the club absorbing the cost is a point in its favour, especially given the financial strain inflcited by relegation.
It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this has on buying habits going forward.
Whether people now take advantage of the reduced price for buying online or not, today’s news is a decent gesture by the club and it’s one that adds to the growing reconnection between Swansea City and its fans.
In fact…it is just the ticket!
To buy your Swans tickets online just click the link HERE!