The scheme, first piloted in 2013, aims to connect youth football clubs and schools with Swindon Town in order to attract the next generation of football fan through the turnstiles by offering a reduced ticket price for affiliated organisations. Clubs and schools can also benefit with the possibility of cashback on ticket purchases over the course of a season.
Steve Anderson, the club’s General Manager, said: “Attracting the next generation of football fan to the County Ground is a cornerstone of Swindon Town’s plan to grow attendances at the County Ground. We all remember our first experiences of football from a very young age and it’s important that we make sure local youngsters have an easy and affordable way to watch Swindon Town with their peers. The North Wilts Youth Football League have been extremely supportive of our ideas and we look forward to working with them, our own FITC Trust and the Supporters Trust to expand this scheme in and around the borough of Swindon as well as the wider county of Wiltshire and beyond.”
NWYFL Chairman, Andy Ratcliffe, commented: “The Pro Red initiative is one of those rare opportunities in life where it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved. The football club, supporters trust, community office, local schools and the North Wilts league’s junior football clubs all stand to benefit massively from it and it’s brilliant to see everyone pulling together to make it become a successful reality.
“As a major youth league, we’re delighted to have a meaningful, ongoing partnership with Swindon Town FC and the Pro Red initiative means that many of our member clubs can directly benefit from that relationship by getting discounted tickets and unique opportunities to be involved as a club on match days too.
“As everyone knows, there is some sterling work already being done by the parties involved in Pro Red. Hopefully as things move forward and the initiative evolves and grows to everyone’s advantage, it will be imitated by other footballing communities and will be adopted up and down the country.”
Trust Chairman, Steve Mytton, added: "As a Trust we have been committed to promoting Swindon Town throughout schools for several years and Pro Red continues that work. It enables thousands of young families around the town and throughout Wiltshire to get access to reduced price tickets, have some great family days out and hopefully convince those children to be the fans of the future. There is so much competition from Sky Sports and the Premier League but in years to come it would be great to see a packed County Ground on a regular basis. This scheme is the first step to making that dream a reality."
Clive Maguire, Trust Manager at the STFC Football in the Community Trust declared that everyone at FITC would be throwing their weight behind the scheme. “As an organisation that has had a presence in the community in Swindon and the surrounding areas for more than 20 years we can see the potential a scheme like this has in attracting a new generation of football supporter to the County Ground. We reach out to communities where hundreds of children and young adults attend our many and varied courses and workshops. Alongside our own Saturday Team Club, we fully support a scheme that aims to attract more people through the turnstiles at the County Ground.”