English Championship football club Sheffield Wednesday has launched its ‘Club 1867’ initiative through which fans will gain a free three-year season ticket if the club is promoted to the top-tier Premier League.
The promotional project is part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebration, with every ‘Club 1867’ member to receive a personalised bronze plaque on their seats.
Last season, the English Football League released a revised set of Financial Fair Play criteria, whereby all Championship clubs can post losses of no more than £39m (€43m/$51m) over a rolling three-year period.
Chairman Dejphon Chansiri is urging Wednesday supporters to get behind the new scheme.
If Wednesday does achieve promotion in the 2017-18 season, ‘Club 1867’ members also have the option of using their three-year season ticket in the same term if they want to involve family and friends.
Chansiri said: “A significant part of the attraction of my purchasing Sheffield Wednesday two and a half years ago was the heritage, spirit and history of our club. To have a sense of those things from a distance was one thing, but to be operating right in the heart of Sheffield Wednesday is quite another.
“This is a very special club with very special people and together, we are all trying our best to reach promotion to the Premier League. This was and will remain my target as I have said since the day I arrived at Hillsborough.”
During the 2016-17 season, Wednesday’s fifth consecutive year in the Championship, the club reached the semi-finals of the play-offs, but lost to Huddersfield Town after finishing in fourth position in the table. Wednesday reached the play-off final in 2015-16 but lost to Hull City at Wembley.
“The last two seasons have seen us go to the brink of the Premier League, which has required a significant investment and this is my duty as owner and chairman,” Chansiri added. “I have no problem with that and this season, I will continue do everything possible in terms of the backing I can personally give to the team.
“But as everyone knows, I cannot invest what I would like, so consequently I cannot make our dreams come true alone. I pledge my absolute maximum, which mirrors my complete commitment and Club 1867 gives our fans the opportunity to do the same.
“I understand that it will not be easy for everyone to join this project and I would never seek the backing of a single supporter who cannot afford to do so. But for those that can, all I ask is to show as much support as you can to our lovely club because I cannot take us where we all want to be on my own.”
‘Club 1867’ Kop membership will set supporters back £1,500, while the North Stand sits at £300 more. Meanwhile, the South Stand and the West Stand memberships cost £2,100 and £1,500, respectively.
Image: Ben Sutherland