Just the ticket at Valley Parade with cheapest seats in country

BRADFORD CITY chairman Edin Rahic has revealed how the club's budget for next term will be dependent on the success of their current season-ticket drive.

Bradford City chairman Edin Rahic (Picture: Tony Johnson).

The Bantams are hoping to smash through the 20,000 barrier for the 2017-18 campaign after pegging prices at £149 for adults if bought before Sunday’s deadline.

So far, more than 12,000 fans have signed up to leave Rahic and co-owner Stefan Rupp hugely encouraged that the campaign will be a success.

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“ It is a case of ‘give and take’,” explained Rahic to The Yorkshire Post about a scheme that will see juniors between 11 and 16 pay £99 before Sunday’s cut-off point and Under-11s just £5. “We have said: ‘Here is the price, support us’.

“Affordable football was a great idea from the previous owners. They took the risk and we thought, ‘Why should we change it? Let’s just go for it’.

“But we also do need the support. There is a risk here, but the response so far has been good.

“Of course, we have to take care of the budget and it would be a negative for us if we only sold 12,000. Then, we would not be able to afford a Charlie Wyke (who City signed in January for £250,000). That is simple economics.

“This way, we will know in May what the budget (for 2017-18) will be. If we do not have the money, we cannot afford the player. If we do, we can buy him. That will be good for planning.”

City have led the way on affordable football in this country since Julian Rhodes slashed prices following the club’s relegation to League Two in 2007.

Despite playing at a lower level and finishing a disappointing 10th, Bradford’s average attendance soared by around 5,000 in that first season to 13,659.

The Bantams have since built on that rise and this season boast more than 18,000 season-ticket holders. Other clubs have now followed suit with Huddersfield Town’s own scheme potentially offering Premier League football next term for less than £200, but Bradford’s deal remains the cheapest in the top four divisions.

As part of the club’s ‘TeamTwenty’ drive, interest has come from all over the world – with some fans snapping up season tickets to pass on to those unable to afford the outlay.

“The interest has been massive,” added Stuttgart-born Rahic. “Atmosphere is very important to us. In Germany, the atmospheres are unbelievable. It doesn’t matter where you go. Stuttgart is in the second league and an average of more than 50,000. It is like Newcastle here.

“You need the right people to create that atmosphere. Football fans are an average (cross-section) of society and we want that in the stadium. If people can’t afford season tickets and they can’t go, the atmosphere suffers.”

City host Walsall on Saturday looking to extend the Football League’s only remaining unbeaten home record, the Yorkshire side having last been beaten at Valley Parade on May 15 last year by Millwall in the play-offs.

Rahic added: “Look at our last game against Swindon. With 10 minutes to go, we were losing, but the fans helped get us two goals. We needed them and they delivered.

“The passion the fans have was clear when we scored the late winner. That was why we bought this club, it was wonderful.”

City’s adult prices rise to £169 from Monday and then go to £199 on April 17 and £299 from April 30.