They queued in their hundreds at Stark’s Park yesterday (Wednesday) as Raith Rovers season tickets went on sale for one of the most eagerly awaited league campaigns in years.
Office staff were run off their feet as huge volumes of fans took advantage of the early bird discount for next season’s Championship, which will resemble a mini-Premiership with the likes of Rangers and Hearts already confirmed, while Hibs and Dunfermline could yet join via the play-offs.
Rovers directors chose not to increase season ticket or gate prices, and slashed the cost of a season ticket for all primary and secondary school pupils to just £30.
Eric Drysdale, Raith’s chief executive was delighted with the response from the public on day one of the sales.
“We’ve been absolutely snowed under,” he told the Press.
“We’ve had hundreds of people queuing for season tickets and we’re over the moon to see that a good number of new season ticket holders have been attracted by our offer.
“There have also been a large number of renewals, which we are equally delighted with.
“The club did its best to put forward competitive prices and we’ve tried to cater especially for the younger generation.
“We want to encourage more school children than ever to come to Rovers games next season and be bitten by the bug.
“They will see some big teams playing at Stark’s Park and hopefully they’ll get hooked for life. Raith Rovers-itis can be a lifelong condition!”
Mr Drysdale also stated that Raith are likely to be involved in a number of all-ticket matches next season, both home and away, and those with season tickets will be given preferential treatment.
“All in all there has never been a better time to buy a season ticket,” he added.
Rovers sold 950 season tickets last season and they expect that number to be significantly higher this summer.
Early bird prices are available until 7.30 p.m tonight (Thursday) at the price of Adult - £230; Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons - £115; School pupils - £30.
Meanwhile, Rovers manager Grant Murray has spent the first portion of his increased playing budget for next season by securing the services of five players.
Murray tied up his first new addition of the summer by signing Craig Barr from Airdrie on a pre-contract agreement.
The experienced and versatilte 27-year-old can play in midfield or defence, and spent the first half of last season with Swedish outfit Ostersunds following a successful three year stint at Livingston.
Murray also secured contract extensions for four members of last season’s squad, namely skipper Jason Thomson, striker Calum Elliot, and midfielders Kevin Moon and Liam Fox.
The Raith boss is continuing talks with a number of players, including more potential new faces, as he looks to build a squad capable of competing in next season’s Championship.
Joe Cardle is one member of last season’s squad who has an offer on the table, but the winger has been holidaying with family and has not yet discussed the terms he has been offered by the club.
Cardle was the winner of this year’s Fife Free Press Star Check award, based on a points system awarded after each match, and he was presented with his trophy by head of sport Matthew Elder after the final game of the season at Livingston last Saturday (pictured).
When asked if he would like to continue his career at Raith, Cardle response was, “100 per cent”, but he added: “I’ve not had the chance to speak to the gaffer properly yet.
“It was a funny one joining from Dunfermline last year, but I couldn’t have asked for any better.
“The fans have been unbelievable, the coaching staff have been great, and the training has been fantastic since day one. As for the boys, I can’t big them up enough.
“The club has been great to me and I want to repay that as well.”
Rovers are expected to release some members of last season’s squad once their contracts expire, although the club would not yet be drawn on which players are surplus to requirements.