DEWSBURY Rams and their supporters have been given a substantial financial incentive by the club’s leading sponsor regarding the sale of season tickets for next year, writes Trevor Watson.
Eric France Scrap Metals, who are Dewsbury’s main jersey sponsors and also sponsor both stands, have promised that if the Rams sell 500 season tickets, they will give an extra £30 for each one sold. This would mean a further subsidy of at least £15,000.
Last season Dewsbury sold 570 tickets but chairman Mark Sawyer said: “The financial climate is still very difficult and it will be hard reaching that target. We hope supporters will again rally round.”
At the Fans’ Forum, Mr Sawyer told supporters that the Eric France firm was the best shirt sponsor the club have had. He went on: “They feel the sponsorship of us is good for their firm. We wanted some good news. To offer us an extra £30 for each ticket sold is absolutely massive at our level.”
Mr Sawyer said the season tickets would also include a £10 voucher towards the cost of a new replica jersey. This year the Rams are using local firm Ravensport to provide the jerseys.
Mr Sawyer revealed the club would make a small profit on last season and there was more encouraging news when he added: “June of next year is the 10th anniversary of our mortgage with Tetley’s Brewery and that’s when the last payment to them will be made. That date will be a milestone, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
The chairman explained the decision to disband the second team. He said: “It cost us between £20,000 and £25,000 to run despite volunteers with coaching. Very few clubs will have a reserve team next season and we haven’t brought many players through from ours in the past three years.
“The money saved has gone directly towards underpinning the first team. We aren’t spending stupid money but at the same time we have a competitive budget. I hope the second team will return but at the moment we can’t proceed with it.”
Mr Sawyer spoke of the financial value of the Sunday morning car boot sales and praised the backroom staff for their efforts in so many aspects throughout the year. He thanked supporters for sticking by the club through thick and thin and stressed: “That’s what holds us together and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
The chairman went on: “I feel the coaching staff have earned another chance. Warren Jowitt has done a great job over the last three years, let’s be united behind him.”
Mr Sawyer sportingly gave high praise to neighbours Batley Bulldogs and said: “In the 10 years I have been here we have never finished above them. They are well run and we have to look at such as Batley and Sheffield and try to reach their standards. We have to do better, not just to maintain support but to attract others.
“When you see what players are coming in, with one particular high-profile signing, we shall have something to enjoy next season.”
Season ticket prices: Standing - adult £90, concessions £60, juniors £25; Seating - adult £100, concessions £70, juniors £25. Payment can be made in two, three, four, or five instalments. Tickets cover nine Championship home games, two Northern Rail Cup group home games, vouchers to obtain home and away jerseys for £30, two bring a friend for free vouchers and two bring a friend for £5 vouchers. There is also £5 admission to Batley home games not involving Dewsbury.
The junior ticket includes free admission to away league games and all Rams’ Challenge Cup ties up to and including the quarter-finals. Under-18s are eligible for concession prices, proof of age and a passport sized photograph is required.