After Monday’s confirmation that we’ll be playing in the SPFL Championship for the 2020/21 season, the club now has the ability to speak to the Caley Jags supporters about our plans to exit the lockdown and our abnormally extended close season.
We have said our piece on most of the off the field problems our game has faced since the ill-advised SPFL resolution in April which saw three of our fellow clubs unfairly condemned to a lower division. We have consistently advocated that no club should suffer any additional hardship due to Covid-19. We never waivered in this view but we live in a democracy and as the body of the kirk did not agree with us, we have to abide by the decision of the majority. We feel we can hold our heads up in the knowledge that we tried to do the right thing, however stressful that was.
So as I have said, that is now history, and we now must face the consequences and financial considerations of the decisions made by the SPFL as a whole. The club faces some critical decisions in these most challenging of times, and we are conscious that doesn’t just apply to Scottish Football and ICT, but to individuals, households and businesses across the Highlands.
To that end and in relation to season 2020/21 season tickets, we have made the decision that first and foremost, there will be no increases on last season. Secondly, we are also taking into consideration that our league season will comprise of 27 games as opposed to the standard 36 matches, a deduction of a quarter. As a result, all of our new season tickets will be priced at 75% of last season’s cost.
Clubs will play each other 3 times with a mixture of 2 at home and 1 away and vice versa. Two of our home games will be behind closed doors if the currently projected guidelines remain the same and season ticket holders will be able to view those exclusively on a Caley Thistle online channel. We feel that with regards to pricing, the 75% price point is a fair and logical price in the circumstances and I think that we are the only club to offer this at this time.
For example, a full price adult season ticket in the Main Stand was £328 for the 19/20 campaign. For season 2020/21 it will be priced at £246. Senior Citizen prices in the Main Stand will fall from £267 to £199. For season 19/20 an adult season ticket in the North Stand was £278 and for this coming season, it will be £208 and so on across all price ranges.
A full price range will be published in the next day or two once we confirm the on-sale date but we felt it was important to inform our fans as soon as possible about what we plan to do. Offering this will hit the club’s income significantly but again we feel it’s the right thing to do. We have already been approached by a number of fans who intend to actually pay what the full price would have been should we have been allowed to start our season in August and it is hugely appreciated and if any of you wish to pay any extra as a donation, it too would be greatly appreciated.
I would urge every Caley Jag to please renew their season ticket if they possibly can, and for any lapsed fans or new fans to give us their support to help see us through next season and beyond.
The past two weeks has seen the most successful new strip launch in the clubs 25 year history as we unveiled our new PUMA home kit and the reveal and subsequent reaction to our exciting new main partner Intelligent Land Investments has also been extremely encouraging for everyone at the club. We hope to keep the good news coming in the next few weeks as the fruits of our labour come to some reality and while we have obvious sadness to have lost a number of players as their contracts came to an end, no more so than our club captain Carl Tremarco, the boys have all acted with great dignity and understanding, realising that in another time, we may not have been saying goodbye.
We are also launching two very special late offerings for Father’s Day presents. Your own Limited Edition Oor “Caley” Wullie statue, of which only 25 are in existence in the world and the ICT25 Limited Edition Glenlivet Single Malt, of which there are only 150 left from a 200 run. They are both on sale from tonight on shop.ictfc.com and once again, if you can support the club by making any purchases, we will all be very grateful.
Due to the current financial uncertainty related to the SPFL finances and liabilities, our Chief Executive and I have put a hold on certain aspects of the club’s development plans while we evaluate what we can practically afford to do, that won’t put the long term viability of the club at risk but believe me, the future of the club has to be our priority at the moment.
We must try and create certainty in the most uncertain of times and if tough decisions have to be faced then we will face them with the best interests of ICTFC in mind.
I will end with a bit of great news by saying that we are all thrilled that manager John Robertson has agreed a new contract with the Club. John lost his chance to take us back up into the Premiership when the pandemic struck but with your support, we can give him sufficient backing to make sure that we have the best possible chance to return to the Premiership next season. I’m certain that with a fair wind and with you all back at the Caledonian Stadium, that together, we can do this.
Ross Morrison, Chairman, ICTFC