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Baker: Engagement Is Vital

14 May 2014

Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker discusses Season Tickets & the relationship between players and supporters.

The relationship between the players and the supporters is high on the agenda here at Cheltenham Town at present.

Players want to be loved, fans want to see passion and when the two combine it is often a recipe for success. This has perhaps been missing during the 2013-14 campaign but it is most certainly high on the agenda ahead of the new campaign with Mark Yates aiming to restore that bond and Paul Baker keen to reward loyal supporters.

As fans begin to buy their season tickets for the new campaign hard work is underway to re-build a squad capable of competing in Sky Bet League 2 in 2014-15 and the chairman has reiterated how important it is to have season ticket holders onboard.

"Season tickets are critical and they set the agenda on what playing budget we can afford," explained Paul.

"We know we haven't had a great season but I hope the fans have longer memories and remember that we have had lots and lots of good seasons. We've held the prices and put in some additional benefits and bonuses and I think the barbecue we are organising down at Seasons (the training ground) for a chance to meet the new players is a really nice thank you to season ticket holders.

"We do consider them as major stakeholders in the club so we want to treat them properly and we want as many to renew as possible."

Season ticket sales, as Paul explained, will be hugely important as Mark Yates begins to build a new squad for next season and the Cheltenham chief even hinted in an interview with the Gloucestershire Echo today that a new face could soon be on his way.

New signings will undoubtedly be greeted with passion by the Whaddon Road faithful but it's also important that new players buy into the club and give their all - something Paul Baker is absolutely keen on following a tough season.

"High on the agenda for us player engagement," Paul continued.

"It is something that has come out of the fan forums recently and it something I have been conscious about too. I think the directors have drifted away a little from the playing squad because we've always been much closer than we have been. There has been a fragmentation within the club and that is not how Cheltenham Town should ever be - it should be far more collective and together.

"The players need to understand that they need to work to engage with the fans to get them on their side and I think Byron Harrison made a very real effort (at the end of the season) to go an acknowledge the fans and it really worked for him."

Watch Paul's full interview on Robins Player here.

For information on 2014-15 season tickets, click here and show your support this summer.

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