FEW can say that Guiseley supporters have not been handed value for money on the admission front this season.
The relegated Lions start their National League North home campaign against Chorley at Nethermoor this evening, with many fans having taken advantage of an early season ticket offer – enabling them to watch home matches for the lowest price for a number of years.
The Early Bird adult season tickets were priced at £150, with under-18s and under-11s able to purchase season tickets for just £30 and £10 respectively.
Match-day prices have also dropped from £15 to £13 per game for adults, with under 18s and under-11s paying £5 and £1 per game, provided they are accompanied by an adult.
It is a bold approach by the Lions and something appreciated by the management team, according to joint manager Marcus Bignot, who believes that it has helped to create some positive vibes in the wake of last season’s relegation.
He told the YEP: “There seems to be a good-feel factor at the football club among the supporters.
“The impression we get is that they seem to be encouraged. Ultimately, the supporters are the most important people at a club and it is up to us to create that environment where supporters are happy.
“Credit to the chairman and the board of directors in terms of making that decision. It just helps us as a football club in terms of moving forward together as one and that is key in terms of uniting the club.”
Guiseley kicked off the new season with a narrow 1-0 loss at Boston United on Saturday, but back-to-back home matches against Chorley and AFC Telford now provide a window of opportunity.
The Lions find the National League North a much changed environment from the one they previously left at the end of 2014-15, with several sides having gone full-time, with some stellar names among the division’s ranks, most notably York City and Stockport County.
Guiseley may themselves have reverted to part-time status this season, but Bignot spies hope, even while being pragmatic enough to accept that ‘bumps in the road’ will definitely occur.
On the task for Guiseley, who brought in forward Jack Dyche ahead of their opener at Boston, Bignot added: “It is still a league where you can still be successful, part-time. If you are a semi-professional club, it is about what those players do away from those two evenings.
“That goes back when you are recruiting in terms of getting the right types of characters and personalities who you can trust who will go away and look after themselves and what is required in terms of preparation for that week and game.
“For me, the real test for a club is not the good times when we are winning matches. We will lose some matches this season and those are the times when we are going to be judged as a club.
“I look forward to us, as a club, overcoming those blips and bouncing back.”
Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town, who drew 2-2 in their season opener with Sutton, visit Hartlepool United tonight in their first-ever National League away game.
FC Halifax welcome Barrow, with both sides starting off the campaign with wins at the weekend.