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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Robert Elstone says it is vital Everton reach out to the next generation of supporters.

The Club's chief executive stressed the importance of catering for the youngest Evertonians as a new £95 Season Ticket for children in school year six and below was announced.

The Season Ticket, revealed on Tuesday as part of the 2012/13 'Stand Together' campaign, equates to just £5 per Premier League game.

Speaking to evertontv, Mr Elstone said he hoped the offer would encourage more families to take their youngsters along to Goodison Park and prove as big a success as this season's £5 FA Cup ticket initiative.

The CEO also explained why certain supporters will see a slight increase in their Season Ticket price in the coming season, why renewing Season Ticket holders will be rewarded for their loyalty and why he feels the pricing structure and financing offers have once again made Goodison Park Season Tickets affordable to a wide range of budgets.

Watch the above video for the full interview with Mr Elstone, or read a full transcript below.

Season Ticket prices for the 2012.13 campaign have been announced. What are the key highlights?

There are three big highlights for me. The first is a fantastic new price of £95 - £5 a seat for every Premier League game - for junior school children in year six and below. It's a fantastic offer that we hope will encourage big numbers of youngsters to come to Goodison next season. There's also a freeze on all Family Enclosure prices meaning a Season Ticket for any child in year 11 or below is still a very good price at £149. And there's a fantastic Early Bird offer - a 25 per cent discount against the matchday list price for all returning Season Ticket holders of the past 10 years.

The £95 Season Ticket for Evertonians in school year six or below comes on the back of a successful £5 kids’ ticket initiative for the FA Cup games this season…

We've been absolutely delighted by the response to the £5 FA Cup tickets. As many as 18,000 kids have come into Goodison and seen the Blues progress to the quarter-finals and I'm sure that number will go up significantly at the Sunderland game. What that's telling us is that there is lots of demand for young Evertonians and their families to come to Goodison. A key message for me is, if you have a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew, next door neighbours – this is a fantastic price. What better way to spend £95? What better value than £5 for the best quality Premier League football? It's a great way to spend your money, so I really hope that works.

Some supporters will see a slight increase in their Season Ticker price. What are the reasons behind that?

There's no getting away from it - a lot of our adult Season Ticket holders will see a price increase, but we believe it is a relatively modest price increase. We are tasked with driving up our revenues, tasked with finding more money to support everything we do down at Finch Farm. It's about managing the pressure of an ever-more competitive Premier League with the need to continue delivering value for money so we hope they understand the reasons why we're doing it. We also hope they believe it still represents value for money, and we hope they look back on recent seasons where the Club has held and maintained prices and stick with us and continue to support us.

Adult Season Tickets are available from £399 and concessions from £297. That still represents great value for 19 games of Premier League football…

Value for money is absolutely at the forefront of our mind when we set prices. Yes, we're tasked with driving our revenues and looking to increase gate receipts and we have to do that, but we can't do that to the detriment of not delivering value for money. The prices for next season stack up well against our rivals and, in my view, represent a good price compared to what other people are offering.

The Club will be offering a 25 per cent Early Bird discount to any Season Ticket holders of the past 10 years who opt to renew for 2012/13. Why did you feel it was important to reward loyalty?

It's important that we try and encourage as many of those supporters to come back to Goodison Park and we want to make it easy for you to come back in 2012/13. If you weren't with us this season, then here's a good attractive offer, a good discount that means hopefully there are no excuses why you can't consider coming back. But if you are a Season Ticket holder this season then you're also getting the same offer. So it's a combination of rewarding existing Season Ticket holders, while also looking to entice those who were with us before back into the fold.

The Early Bird window continues, meaning supporters will be able to take advantage of discounted prices before the April 20 deadline. Why would you encourage fans to take up those offers?

The Early Bird initiative has been important in the past few seasons because it means that prices are more affordable. It's good because it generates revenues of cash and money for the Club at the time when we most need it - March and April are tough months for us from a cash flow point of view. Clearly it's timed to plug that gap, but it's also a great offer for the fans and if they buy before April 20, then they are getting a very good, solid, hefty discount based on what they would be paying on a match-by-match basis.

There are also financing plans, including a nine-month 0% interest offer and various Direct Debit options. Why is it vital to offer Evertonians these alternative methods of payment?

A lot of our fans are facing tough and uncertain economic times. We also know that finding £400-500 for almost everybody is not easy, so if you're struggling to find that Season Ticket money in one lump sum, here's a different way to do it. It's important we make those offers and put those offers out there. I don't think we want any Everton Season Ticket holder to feel they can't come because they can't find all the money in one go.

Finally, what is your message to Evertonians considering purchasing a Season Ticket for the 2012/13 campaign?

Your support is hugely valued and hugely respected and we hope you come and join us. We would love to see you at Goodison next season and we will give you every reason we possibly can to make sure that it's a fantastic season.


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