When Steve Waggott crunched the numbers, the club’s chief executive realised just how important season ticket sales were to the club.

There is the atmosphere able to be created for matches at Ewood Park, but more importantly in the current climate, every penny, or in this case ticket sold, counts.

Rovers lost £17m in the financial year to June 2018, with Waggott saying the club have to ‘keep an eye’ on the parameters of Financial Fair Play and profit and sustainability, with club’s only able to post losses of £39m for any three year period.

Of the revenue Rovers generate, Waggott says a quarter of that comes from season ticket sales and those bought on matchdays.

He has set a target of 10,000 sales for next season, something he says would be ‘phenomenal’. Prices were frozen from last season, with no sale phases.

Waggott expects a spike in sales, which currently stand at around 2,500, at the end of this month when fans lose the guarantee of keeping their same seat from last year.

Then, the club fell short of projections, selling around 8,750 with a further 300 added when the half season tickets were made available.

“One is the revenue,” Waggott said, explaining the importance of season ticket sales.

“With the season tickets and matchday walk-ups you’re looking at round about 23-25 per cent of our income. If you’re in the Premier League that whittles down to very little. For Championship clubs and below, that is key.

“Also, can we create an atmosphere? Can we get bums on seats? Can we get 2,000 new fans, can we look at the lost generation of fans who have lapsed?

“I’ve met fans at the supporters consultation meeting who are coming back, but those people have to become disciples.”

A key driver for sales this summer could well be the introduction of a new price bracket for young adults which seems to have gone down well with supporters.

For 18-25-year-olds, the 23 Ewood matches are available from £149, with the previous age bracket ending at 21.

Waggott believes that group of supporters can prove the most difficult to retain, with Rovers having learned harder than most the tough task of enticing fans back through the turnstiles once they get out of the habit of going.

“We look at it and have put in so much work to junior membership, getting people involved, and then when they get to 16 or 17 they drop off,” he added.

“They leave school, continue their studies or go to a low paid job and they haven’t got the disposal income to buy the tickets.

“We said why don’t we squeeze it all together and bring the price down because they are the in-between the traditional core support.

“You have to keep them, you can’t let them drift off, otherwise it’s hard to get them back.”

Season tickets, and matchday pricing, of which Rovers will continue with their categorising of games for next season, is always a hot topic at  supporters’ consultation meetings.

Rovers released prices after the approval from the owners, as well as Waggott undertaking historical research in to the pricing strategy.

Season ticket prices, not least in the Premier League years, have been historically low, something the club are continuing to battle with now given the drop-off in revenue from other streams in the Championship.

Explaining the process, Waggott said: “I went right way the back, nearly 10 years, and there were some really interesting stats.

“One was that when you take the early birds prices off, very few buy after the early bird.

“That was a discussion point with the owners because normally you move from an early bird to a standard price.

“I said that if we were to have a price freeze then we couldn’t have a standard price because for 99.9 per cent of the season ticket holders, it would be a price rise, so let’s run it right the way through to August.

“Hopefully with some new signings, additions, excitement, hopefully we can have a good start and then pick up some more.

“In years where we haven’t had an increase between early bird and standard price, we’ve had over 1,000 more season tickets sold.

“We have to target 10,000 sales which would be phenomenal.

“To save your seat will be until the end of June and that’s when the real spike comes.”