LEEDS UNITED said money from ticket sales was clearly being used to strengthen the team as the club announced record-breaking season ticket figures for a Championship campaign.
Leeds were closing in on 18,000 season ticket sales at the weekend and have now sold more than for any other Championship season in their history with sales up over 25 per cent on last year.
While the price of season tickets remained frozen for those renewing their subscriptions for the forthcoming campaign, United have increased the prices of matchday tickets for the first time in two years.
But managing director Angus Kinnear said this year’s busy transfer activity made it “clear” that extra money generated from ticket sales was being used to strengthen the team.
United have signed nine new players so far this summer and more arrivals are imminent with the club especially looking to strengthen the team’s defence but also looking at further attacking options.
Off the field, Leeds have introduced a new pricing structure for matchday tickets with games at Elland Road designated either as category B, A or the newly-introduced and most expensive A+.
Compared to last season’s prices, category A and B games will cost between £1 and £2 extra but match-day tickets for A+ games at Elland Road will cost £49 in certain parts of the ground with £39 - in the Family Stand - the cheapest on offer.
But United have said the A+ category ‘will only be used for exceptional fixtures where we judge that demand will outstrip supply.’
The club’s first home of the season - against Preston North End two weeks on Saturday - will be category A.
Highlighting how the additional revenue generated from ticket sales is spent - and explaining the decision to increase the cost of match-day tickets, Kinnear added: “We have frozen season ticket renewals for the past five years and frozen junior match by match tickets since 2010 and now for the first time in two years we have increased the price of adult matchday tickets by around 5 per cent with the average ticket costing £2 more than last season.
“Unlike Premier League Clubs who enjoy a vast income from TV, ticketing revenue is our primary source of income and is the largest single factor influencing investment in the team.
“It’s clear from the business that we have done in the transfer market this summer that all money generated from ticket sales is going straight back in to improving the first team which is vital for an ambitious club like ours which wants to be competitive, yet does not benefit from parachute payments.
“To assist supporters who can only attend occasional matches we will continue our members discount and we will be introducing new cheaper ticketing bundles throughout the season. We will always ensure that, in the round, our pricing is not out of line with other leading clubs in our division.”
Reflecting on a record number of season ticket sales, Kinnear said: “We have been really pleased by the response from supporters and it is great to see season ticket sales grow so significantly ahead of the new campaign.
“We believe Andrea Radrizzani’s takeover, his purchase of Elland Road and the appointment of Thomas Christiansen and our raft of new signings have all contributed to create excitement and optimism.
“Season tickets are by far the most affordable way to support the team, offering up to a 40 per cent discount versus match by match prices.”