Raith slash prices in bid to attract fans back to Stark’s Park

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Raith Rovers have issued a rallying cry to supporters after slashing their prices to the lowest in the Championship.

The club has reduced adult entry to just £15 ahead of the first home game of the league season against St Mirren on Saturday, while under 16s will only pay £5 when accompanied by an adult.

There are also significant discounts for seniors, students, disabled supporters and jobseekers as the club looks to boost attendances at Stark’s Park.

Eric Drysdale, Raith chief executive, said: “We hope the local public will respond to these huge discounts by coming along and seeing how the team – and the club as a whole – is progressing.

“The board hopes this initiative will result in materially increased attendances in 2016/17 that will allow us to maintain discounted prices going forward.

“We have listened to fans’ concerns about the affordability of live football, especially for those with young families, and we have decided to cut prices as low as we possibly can.

“I really hope the local community responds in big numbers.”

The discounts will remain in place for 12 of Raith’s 18 home league fixtures this season, with prices for the eagerly anticipated clashes against Dundee United, Hibernian and Dunfermline announced ahead of each fixture.

Rovers are also reporting record season ticket sales with nearly 1200 fans already signed up, including around 150 new purchasers.

Raith, who are top of the table after the opening round of fixtures, welcome Alex Rae’s Buddies to Stark’s Park on Saturday hoping to build on the impressive victory at Ayr.

Manager Gary Locke expects a tough game against a side who are tipped to make a promotion push this year after a largely disappointing campaign last season following relegation from the Premiership.

“You just need to look at their front four – Shankland and Hardie were both lads we looked at,” Locke said.

“Then they’ve got experience of Sutton and Clarkson, so they’ve got plenty firepower.

“They’ve also got the old head of Webster at the back, so I fully expect them to do well this season.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game but it’s certainly one we’re looking forward to.

“It’s too early to talk about six-pointers. We just need to make sure we put in a similar performance to Saturday - if we do that, we’ve got a great chance of getting the three points.”

While injuries have left Rovers short in defence, Locke is hopeful that competition for places in the forward areas will keep his attacking players at the top of their game.

“You could see at training this week, there’s a wee competitive edge to it, which is great,” he said.

“We’re certainly not the finished article, not by a long way, but we certainly feel we’ve got a little bit of strength in depth.

“We’re short in a couple of areas but you can’t have everything and the budget’s spent, but we certainly feel we have players on the bench that can come on and influence the game.”

The victory in Ayr helped erase the memory of the previous week’s defeat at home to Alloa in the Betfred Cup, but Locke is keen for his players to show more consistency.

“As a manger you’re pulling your hair out sometimes because it’s the same players,” he said.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to try to get consistent levels of performances by working with them on the training ground every day.

“They are a great group of boys to work with – they all want to learn and get better and all have aspirations to play at the highest level, which is great.

“But they’ve got to find consistency, because we can’t go from one extreme to the other or we’ll have a really indifferent season.”