FAI CEO John Delaney claims that lessons have been learned from the ill-fated Vantage Club scheme for season tickets and that a new season ticket scheme will bring €12million into the association's coffers.
he Association today launched a new ticket membership scheme, Club Ireland, selling tickets over three years (from €2,000), five years (from €3,000) and 10 years (from €5,000). Family packages will also be sold, from €6,000 to €15,000 for a 10-year ticket.
A decade ago, the FAI had a Vantage Club scheme which priced 10-year tickets between €12,000 and €32,000 and despite a hard-sell attitude from the FAI and pressure from clubs to sell those tickets to members, the scheme had a disastrously low takeup and was later abandoned.
Tickets have been anything but scarce for recent Ireland games, a crowd of just 31,000 in the 50,000 capacity Aviva Stadium for the last home match, but Delaney insists that the new scheme will be more popular.
"Mistakes were made, pricing was made on solid advice but the pricing was wrong, the recession began to bite and lessons have been learned this time, pricing is realistic. It's a good price and it's good value," Delaney said at the launch today of the Vantage Club.
"€5000 for 10 years is great value. If you buy your ticket you are guaranteeing your tickets for the next 10 years but also supporting Irish football and helping to service the debt."
Delaney, who stated that the new scheme will have tickets sold directly by the FAI and not an intermediary like IMG as with the Vantage Club, claimed that the FAI were still in a position to clear their €28m debt by 2020.