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Sunday, 30th Dec 2018 09:00 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)

Or I guess not at the case maybe as season tickets for the 2019/20 season are now available it will be interesting to see the take up of them given our almost certain position next season in the Championship.

It became the norm as the Premier League years were there for season tickets to go on sale in December (remember the good old days of April opening sales?) because the club wanted to maximise the sale numbers whilst people thought we could remain in the Premier League.

Seats were always a premium in the top division with most games a home end sell out due to this. The championship though is a much different prospect with empty seats always very visible at the Liberty (the attendance number is based on actual ticket sales) and people's interest will continue to wain over the second half of the season as we lose more games than we win and the mid table finish is more and more guaranteed.

That reducing interest will then take its toll on season ticket sales with those who rushed to renew in the Premier League to guarantee a seat taking their chances on more and more available tickets on matchdays next season and thus allowing them to pick and choose their games for next season.

Our 'hardcore' has undoubtedly increased because of the Premier League years and we should remember that we had a good level of season ticket sales as we came through the leagues. Couple that with people wanting to retain the seats that they have had since Day 1 at the Liberty (I am one of those) and you will get a good number of season ticket sales but possibly (no, definitely) not as high as the club will be hoping for.

It has been said in some quarters that the club are optimistic they will retain many of their sales but this will not be the case. My estimate will be that season ticket sales will be between 10-12k for next season with the average gate at the Liberty maybe down to 15-16k although some of this will be dictated by our league position (the higher we are in March 2020 the higher the attendance)

That figure of season ticket sales will continue to dwindle over the next few years if we sustain Championship status (as you would expect) but I do fear that the drop could be more than anticipated.

If the Vice Chairman can tweet that they have dumped the Vetch Field flyer because people were worried where the money was going (and therefore sales were so low) then it will certainly be the case that season ticket sales will reduce.

Ironically the number of games in the Championship will also have an impact. Midweek football is more common place and that does present it's challenges for those attending. I love locally but have missed 4 of the first 12 home league games this season due to varying commitments - if you played that into a normal season missing 7/8 of a home season is a tough call as to whether the ticket is worthwhile renewing (the keeping the seat argument sways it for me just)

It will be interesting to hear what the season ticket sales are come the end of March 2019 although don't expect any public announcement on sales, for most of us the answer will come in August and September next year when the empty seats inside the Liberty will tell their own tale.

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earloberawn added 15:00 - Jan 9
It is reported by Italian broadcaster Sky Italia, the Black Cats have contacted Napoli with an offer to loan De Guzman for the season, with an obligation to buy, likely to be dependent upon a number of performance related factors.


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