VAUXHALL Motors are hoping to win over a new generation of fans by giving free admission to all children next season.
The club hopes the bold plan will capture the imagination of young supporters whose parents are priced out of taking them to watch Premiership football.
Club chairman Alan Bartlam reckons the offer could draw in larger crowds, making for a better atmosphere at the Motassist Arena and leading to greater matchday revenues in future.
Bartlam said: “We are not trying to change anyone’s allegiances, but most of the youngsters local to this club support Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United, etc.
“They are rarely, if ever, going to get to a game at Anfield, Goodison Park or Old Trafford and if they do it will be a special treat because it is so expensive to go and watch Premiership football.
“We are offering them the chance to make us their second team and see what some people would regard as real football, close up in intimate surroundings, at a club where you can actually get to know the players, to get a real matchday experience week-in, week-out.”
The initiative will be kick-started with a letter to every school in the area. Under the terms of the offer, anyone under the age of 16 will be admitted free to Motors’ Blue Square North (BSN) matches next season.
The Motormen’s average home attendances were the lowest in BSN last term. While AFC Telford United topped the attendance charts with 1,990 per game, Motors averaged just 188. But despite the low crowds, the club continues to punch well above its weight and last season finished 11th – the highest placing in their history.
Bartlam added: “We have had a great campaign and we want to use our success to grow and build the club up.
“Getting the younger generation in will help.
“They may just buy a programme on their visit, but if they come regularly and meet friends then it will become a habit which hopefully will continue through their lives.”
Motors’ preparations for the 2009/10 campaign have been hit with the news that defender Rob Marsh-Evans, whose arrival at the Motassist Arena for a second spell just before Christmas triggered their play-off push, has signed a two-year deal with Southport.
“It is disappointing as we hoped he would sign but they have more money to offer him and, at this stage, their ambitions are greater,” said Bartlam. “But we are working to change that.”