NEWCASTLE Jets have sold 500 more memberships than this time last year and chief executive Lawrie McKinna hopes a price freeze will help set a new club record.
With the season to kick-off on October 21, the Jets have 5467 members on the books.
Champions Melbourne Victory have the most with 17,313, followed by Western Sydney (14,531), Sydney FC (8,478), Brisbane (5,875), Melbourne City (5790) and the Jets.
The Jets boasted 9195 members at the end of last season. The club record is 11,200 for the 2012-13 campaign and came after a major price reduction by then owner Nathan Tinkler and the arrival of former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey.
“We are tracking well and certainly aiming to break the 11,200 mark,” McKinna said.
“We are hoping the members from last season will be back. Membership doesn’t automatically renew unless they have ticked that box on the form. The membership team will be contacting members from last season and our advertising campaign starts soon.
“We have done the right thing on and off the park. The boys have delivered and it would be great if we could beat last year’s figure and go on and get the most ever.”
A crowd of 29,410 packed McDonald Jones Stadium in May for the Jets’ controversial 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory in the grand final. The decider was the culmination of a record-breaking season, in which the Jets notched the most wins and goals in club history.
Given the success, there was the temptation to cash in but McKinna said that would not be fair to the fans who had supported the Jets in difficult years.
“We have stuck by the fans because they have stuck by us,” he said. “Our tickets are the lowest in the league and there is not one price increase.”
McKinna confirmed that the club would be signing a senior keeper to replace Jack Duncan, who signed with Saudi club Al-Qadsiah, and compete with Glen Moss for a starting spot.
“Having two senior keepers was great for us last year and we would like to get someone who can pushy Mossy,” McKinna said. “Someone with first-team experience at a decent level.”