Dundee fan group leaders have called on fellow supporters to help keep their club going over difficult weeks and months ahead by buying season tickets.
With football in the UK brought to a halt indefinitely by the coronavirus outbreak, the Dens Park club – and every club in the country – is set to be hit with a serious cash flow problem during the shutdown.
Last week, it emerged that Scottish clubs relied on gate receipts for a larger percentage of their income than any other top league in Europe, with top-flight teams bringing in 43% from ticket sales.
Clubs lower down the tree like Dundee are no different and the Dark Blues revealed just a month ago they had suffered a loss of more than £1.8 million following last season’s relegation.
With the current hiatus set to damage the club financially over the coming weeks, Dundee Supporters Association chair Kenny Ross and supporter liaison officer (SLO) John Burke have teamed up to urge fans to snap up season tickets early.
Ross said: “This season isn’t over and we don’t know when the new one will start so we’ll have to wait to see what the governing bodies do but our club, and a lot of others, I’m sure will be struggling in the short-term financially.
“It’s difficult because people are worried about their own futures and finances, I know, but if people want to support the club then the DSA would advocate the best way is to buy a season ticket for next season.
“The club had already made season tickets available before the shutdown, which was quite early, but everything is in place.
“No matter the kind of backing our owners have given in the past, this will be a tough financial period for the club and Dundee fans are no strangers to helping out.
“If a season ticket is too much, and it is a big layout in uncertain times, fans can also buy things online and subscribe to DeeTV to help out – there is an archive of matches on there going back to the 80s if you are missing the fix of watching your team and it works out about 50p a day or something like that.
“As a fan group in the past, we have rallied around the club financially in adverse circumstances.
“This is different, obviously, it’s not hands in buckets time like admin but the club will be in a difficult position over the next few weeks. I know other clubs will be the same.”
A fan for more than 60 years, SLO Burke has already purchased his brief for the new campaign despite not knowing when this season is likely to end or the new one start.
He said: “I’ve been going to Dens since 1959 and my wife Marilyn since 1960 – we thought we’d seen it all up until now.
“We have already bought my ticket for next season as well as a couple for the family – I bought them immediately as soon as this thing came about.
“I would have been buying them anyway and it will help the club with their cash flow over the next few weeks or months if they get season ticket money in.
“I know a lot of clubs will be in the same boat.
“I know people will be wondering about what happens to their tickets for this season and then when the next one starts but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
“What we can do to help out is get the season tickets sales started right now.”
Season tickets went on sale at the start of the month priced at £340 for adults, £230 for O/65, students and disabled fans, £115 for U/18s and just £1 for U/12s. Initially that was to be frozen for the first fortnight on sale, however those prices will remain in place until further notice.
Last campaign the club sold around 3,500 briefs while in the Premiership. Despite relegation to the second tier, sales remained fairly strong this time around with about 3,400 bought by fans.