Derby County fan Bruce Ward 'betrayed' by 100% rise in Rams season ticket price
A RAMS fan says he feels "betrayed" by the club after the price of his autistic son's season ticket was increased by more than £200.
Derby County announced changes to the cost of season tickets on Tuesday, which they said would mean a price freeze for a majority of fans if they renew by April 14.
But the changes will have an impact on some senior and disabled season ticket holders, including Bruce Ward and his son Nathan, 26, who have been going to games together for 15 years.
Mr Ward said he was shocked to learn that Nathan's ticket would be increasing by more than 100%.
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The 59-year-old, of Beech Avenue, Willington, said: "We sit under the screen in the northwest corner of the ground.
"I got the renewal for Nathan's season ticket this week and under the new pricing system the ticket has gone from £180 to £390 to stay in the same place.
"I just cannot believe it, it's appalling. I feel betrayed by the club."
Mr Ward who has followed the team for half a century and is a lifelong season ticket holder, says he has spoken to several other people who have seen their prices rise by as much as £50.
He said: "I just do not understand why they are making this increase in the current climate. If they were spending the money on Messi then we would be supporting them but they aren't."
Under the changes, disabled supporters who are being asked to pay more this season can, instead, buy a £230 seat in another area of the ground. However, when large contingents of visiting supporters are expected, such as for a game against Nottingham Forest, fans in these seats would be asked to sit elsewhere.
Mr Ward said this would still be a £50 rise and would be unsuitable for his son, who likes to have a set routine due to his autism.
Derby County chief executive and president Sam Rush said the club had talked to disabled supporters about the plans to evaluate pricing structures.
He said: "In particular, our disabled supporter liaison officer has held dialogue with many supporters over a considerable period of time."
According to Mr Rush, 80% of fans have had their season ticket prices frozen from this season and a wide range of value packages are also available.
He said: "Our aim has been to bring in as much choice as possible when it comes to watching the Rams.
"Despite reclassification in some areas, many fans, including young adults and disabled supporters are next season benefiting from price decreases.
"The vast majority of fans have had their season ticket prices frozen."