The chairman of the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust has expressed his concerns at the ticket system changes at the Valley.

An “administration charge” of £2.50 has been placed on all purchases made over the phone or in person at the club’s ticket office.

Moreover, this season Adults over-65 and under-21 ticket prices will increase by £3 from two hours before kick-off.

Steve Clarke, the chairman of the club’s Supporters’ Trust, cannot see the logic in the decision, which has been widely criticised by fans.

He told News Shopper: “It seems completely strange. It is obviously more cost effective for the club if people are buying tickets online, but surely a busier ground counterbalances that.

“In terms of the prices increasing from a certain time on matchdays – it’s completely crazy I think.

“They are losing a huge number of season ticket holders this year and I’m not sure this will help attendances at all.

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“There’s no logic to it and it seems as if they are trying to punish fans who haven’t bought season tickets.”

Frustration at owner Roland Duchatelet’s running of the club intensified last season with a number of protests carried out by disgruntled fans.

Several supporters have already vowed to boycott future games until the Belgian sells up, and Clarke fears the ticket changes will further put off fans from coming to the Valley.

He continued: “The extra £3 – will it put people off? Supporters will make a decision based on prices and a variety of things.

“But when they are aware that they have to pay more simply for deciding to turn up later, I fear fans will be put off as a matter of principle.

“It’s insulting for fans who decide to attend a game on the day I think.

“Also, like it or not, a lot of people do not use the internet so this just seems very strange.”

Some fans have been appeased since the end of the season after the club appointed an experienced manager, Russell Slade, and signed three players with Football League expertise.

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However, Richard Pemberton, formerly of the Trust and a supporter of the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD), believes the club have shot themselves in the foot with the ticket decision.

“It seems to be another example of the club shooting themselves in the foot,” he said.

“Making it more and more difficult to purchase a ticket seems strange, especially as the club’s fortunes have taken a hit through relegation.

“It’s all about supply and demand and surely the club wants to get as many people in the ground as possible.”

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Pemberton also raised concerns at supporters opting against attending games because of the extra fee attached to tickets.

He added: “Why should people be punished for wanting to attend a game but deciding late?

“I can understand the club want to get as many advanced tickets booked as possible but I cannot see why people should be punished for deciding to support the club and visit the ground on the day.

“Some people are not capable or confident buying tickets online as well so it’s a shame.”

Charlton fans can escape the extra charges by buying in advance and presenting their tickets on a smartphone, or ordering online.

However, several fans claim the ticketing website is not fit for purpose.

Meanwhile, Charlton have stated that increasing prices on the day has been taken to reduce queues for supporters.

The club said: “Increasing the price on the day of purchase is commonplace within football clubs and the measures have been taken to reduce the massive queues for fans, which put a real strain on the ticket office in the hours leading up to kick-off.”

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