RUNCORN FC Halton's small band of loyal supporters have been told they will have to pay more to watch their team because not enough fans are turning up to home games at the Halton Stadium.
The club says the move has been forced on them by small crowds and the fact that their rent has increased by 50% in the last two seasons.
Starting with the Nuneaton game on December 4, admission to home games will rise by a quid to £8 with £4 concessions.
The club had kept ticket prices to the same level as last season but the move backfired when low attendances continued and this campaign the club has struggled to attract more than a 300 crowd to home matches.
Chairman Dr David Robertson told fans pre-season that the club needed to attract crowds of at least 500 just to cover the rent payable to Halton Borough Council for use of the stadium, which is also home to Widnes Vikings.
A spokesperson for Halton Borough Council said: 'The cost of using the Stadium is a private agreement between Runcorn FC Halton and the Halton Stadium.
'We are not at liberty to discuss the financial details of the tenant at the Stadium.'
A spokesman for the club told the Weekly News: 'This still leaves us with the lowest admission prices in the Conference North.
'We hoped that by keeping the prices the same this season we would attract more supporters. Unfortunately, this has not happened.
'Our admission prices have not been increased since we started playing at the stadium. Meanwhile in the last two seasons alone the rent has been increased by 50%.
'We hope that fans will understand the need for this increase and continue to support us. It would also be helpful if you could bring along a friend.'
Fans will have the chance to meet the Linnets new manager, Alvin Mac-Donald, and his assistant Peter Carroll at a special question and answer session on Wednesday.
The event is at the Halfway House pub in Runcorn and starts at 7pm. Tickets cost £3, which includes a hot pot supper and are available from the pub.
The game against South-port in December 7 has been designated the 'Grand One'. Last season the club trebled its average attendance at a similar event and raised £600 sponsorship.