FOLLOWING yesterday’s announcement, Chairman, Lee Power has released the following statement:
“While we understand supporters’ frustration regarding ticket arrangements for the Bristol Rovers replay, what happened on Saturday afternoon was an act of God and beyond the club’s control. I must stress that the club still has a number of costs to meet on a matchday. These costs have increased dramatically due to the fact that this is a derby match. We work closely with the police and the local authorities to make sure that players and supporters enjoy matches at the County Ground in a safe environment and, on this occasion, the costs to ensure this are higher than usual – a figure which has risen even further because the replay will be played in midweek.
If we could reduce these costs then naturally, these savings would be passed down to the supporters however, in this situation, this is not the case. The football club is run on a model of self-sustainability. When additional costs arise, extra revenue needs to be generated to meet those financial demands.
The club have been in regular dialogue with the police and the authorities to try and reduce the costs incurred in staging this re-arranged fixture however, no mutual agreement has been reached. We understand their difficulty in trying to reduce costs as they require the assistance of officers from other counties to police this game.
Our Season Ticket holders support the team week in, week out and make up more than half of our attendance figure on a matchday so we have decided to reward their loyalty with free entry to the replay. It is unfortunate that a number of our own supporters as well as those who made the trip from Bristol Rovers have been affected.
We are following national supporters' groups in confirming - as was quoted in the media yesterday - that clubs do not usually offer any form of refund when the game is abandoned after half-time and not before.
I would like to pay tribute to our groundstaff who do a great job in making our pitch one of the finest in the league. After spending a significant amount of money on improving the pitch this summer there was nothing that they could have done to prevent the heavy rain from causing Saturday’s abandonment.”
The club will not be making any further comment on this matter.