Putting the record straight on uneducated opinions and assumptions about Hastings United Football Club

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FOLLOWING last week’s article about Hastings United Football Club and your Opinion column and letters published, I wish to correct some facts and assumptions that are incorrect.

The concession price 
rise is not subsidising the free admission for under 21s. One could argue that full paying adults are subsidising the 20 per cent discount offered to over 65s but that argument has not been brought to the fore.

The over 65s are not the vast majority of supporters as Mr Bailey claims. They make up about 25 per cent of supporters. The majority fall into the adult pricing category, around 40 per cent.

The Glaziers state that most supporters have lost confidence in the club. I am not sure what that is based on as I have spoken to a number of supporters at the Pilot Field recently and many over 65s have no problem with the 20 per cent discount we offer and are grateful we offer that discount.

Some have voiced to me their concern at our under 21 policy. Time will tell how successful this will be but I am confident we will see benefits in the years ahead.

The Glaziers also mention the volunteers that no longer volunteer at the Pilot Field. Some volunteers no longer give their time to the club for various reasons. However we now have more volunteers than we have ever had in my 10 years at the club. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their positive contribution to the town’s football club.

Your Opinion column states that supporters pay to watch amateur football. The football is actually semi-professional.

Your Opinion column asks is it fair that ‘Old Joe and his pals’ who have been supporting the club through thick and thin since the 1950s have to pay more? 
Just because Joe is old does not mean he has been supporting the club since the 1950s.

It is an uneducated opinion. Age does not reflect loyalty and we will have some 30-year-olds that have been supporting the club longer than some 65-year-olds.

Your Opinion column is correct though in that there are many other distractions on a Saturday and that is why it is so important for us to make sure that the club has fans in the future and is reflected in our pricing policy. However to suggest now is not the time to charge more would mean a lower budget for players and I agree with Mr Bailey that ‘a good team puts bums on seats not a team run on a shoe string’.

SIMON RUDKINS

Director

Hastings United FC