Record number of Norwich City season tickets sold
Norwich City fans have snapped up a record number of season tickets for next year's campaign - and supporters' groups today called on the club to use the extra cash to make a last push for promotion to the Premier League.
More than 20,500 supporters had bought season tickets by Saturday's first deadline for the 2011-12 campaign– 2,000 up on last year's previous first deadline record of 18,533.
This season's incredible first deadline total is higher than the 19,250 who bought season tickets to watch the Canaries in the Premier League in 2004-05.
The current total of season ticket holders for this 2010-11 campaign is 21,063 – the highest-ever total in the club's 109-year history.
And it comes despite the Carrow Road club increasing the price of ground season tickets for the next campaign by �1.50 per game in most areas and changing the starting age for adult concessions from 60 to 65.
The club however did freeze prices for young supporters in the Under-21, Under-16 and Under-12 categories in recognition of the tough financial climate for families.
Chief Executive David McNally said: 'These figures are once again testament to the brilliant supporters we are privileged to have at Norwich City.
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'The response from our supporters has been superb.'
Mr McNally pledged that every spare penny generated by season ticket sales would go straight into manager, Paul Lambert's playing budget, and supporters' groups today urged the club to go that extra mile for promotion.
Kathy Blake, secretary of Norwich City Independent Supporters Association (NCISA), said: 'The club is doing its bit within the limitations it has got, and fans have done their bit by backing the club through buying season tickets again.
'We are nicely positioned in the league and I would not criticise anything that has been done this season, but if we could maybe get one more player on loan that would give us the extra push needed.'
Lifetime City fan Roy Blower said the number of tickets sold showed that there was a 'feel good factor' around the club, and demonstrated the quiet confidence fans had that the club could make it into the Premier League next season.
He said: 'The fans have been the 12th man this season, and it's no surprise that record numbers have bought season tickets already for next year.
'If Paul Lambert does get us back-to-back promotions, then he should be given the freedom of the city.'
City boss Paul Lambert said the fans were huge for the club.
He added: 'What they've done in supporting us both home and away has been fantastic during what has happened in the 18 months here.
'To sell over 20,000 season tickets already just underlines their superb support and commitment to the club.'
As reported, the price of ground season tickets in some areas of Carrow Road such as the lounges in the Geoffrey Watling City Stand were increased by more than �1.50 a game for next season, to pay for a refurbishment of the facilities to bring them up to Premier League standards.
City's home game against Preston North End on Saturday attracted 25,572 to Carrow Road, and included the biggest sale to supporters in home areas since the stadium became all-seater in 1992.
The second deadline for season ticket renewals is Saturday, April 9.