Home and away – Norwich City fans’ 2019-20 Premier League membership scheme explained
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The devil is in the detail, they say – so how will Norwich City’s new membership scheme work? MICHAEL BAILEY takes you through the key details.
Norwich City supporters know the drill - Premier League football means demand outstripping supply for casual tickets, especially as the Canaries have reached their 22,000 season ticket limit and opted to cap those casual prices at £30 per seat next season.
It's likely if you want a ticket to see City play either home or away in the 2019-20 top flight, you will need to be part of the club's new membership scheme - and here's how it will work.
There are three available - adult, junior and away. For each one, you can choose a standard membership for £35 per year and premier costs £50.
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The primary difference is any home or away tickets will generally go on sale to premier members 24 hours before they are opened up to standard members. Any left will then go on sale to season ticket holders on day three, and the general public a day later.
There will be no official cap on the number of memberships sold, although it is believed the club will keep an eye on sales to ensure the amount of registered members won't cause major problems with ticket demand over the season.
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You don't have to be a member to buy a casual home or away ticket - but the number of members will of course affect where you end up in the queue.
City expect to have 1,500 casual seats on sale for each home game. There will be no tiered pricing - meaning tickets for the visits of Liverpool and Burnley will cost the same, capped at £30 to match the Premier League's rules on ticket pricing for away fans.
For comparison, the last time City were in the Premier League in 2015-16 the club had about 14,000 members - but the visit of Manchester United was the only game that sold out during the sales window for those members.
Last season, City had 8,000 members - all of them entitled to a £10 discount if they buy an adult or junior membership for next season, effectively keeping the cost at the 2018-19 adult level of £25.
Out of interest, a season ticket for next season purchased before the first renewal deadline in general admission areas works out at about £27 per match.
Junior memberships apply to those up to the age of 16 but cost the same as an adult and away membership - making them expensive relative to other clubs.
The idea is to stop the practice of people buying a junior membership on the cheap and then upgrading match tickets to adult seats - seen as enough of an issue by the club to try to prevent it happening.
It means a parent and child wanting to see Norwich City play at Carrow Road in the Premier League next season would need to spend £70 on a pair of standard memberships, to increase their chances of getting tickets - albeit with those home tickets capped at £30 for adults. Three years ago, City's marquee games were priced at about £55 for adults.
City anticipate an average away allocation of 3,000 - although at some smaller grounds this will be much lower.
All you needed a few years ago was 10 relatively recent away ticket stubs to make sure you could buy a ticket for a future high-demand away day. City then moved on to a points-based system that provided a sizeable advantage to home season ticket holders.
Norwich have now scrapped that points system after it provided a few more issues than it solved when demand increased towards the end of last season. In some cases it also prevented people from sitting next to each other if they had different points totals.
So City have introduced a new away membership. If you want to see Norwich City away from home in the Premier League next season, these will give you a hefty foot up the ladder.
But you won't reach the top of that ladder. City have ring-fenced a priority group of 750 people that were either away season ticket holders or went to 10 or more away games last season, and their respective loyalty will be rewarded with the first shot at away tickets next season - providing they buy an away premier membership.
Home season ticket holders will only be able to buy away tickets left after the two priority membership sales windows - unless they also become an away member.
City's new membership packages go on sale from 9am today, available from canaries.co.uk
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