SWINDON Town have defended a hike in ticket prices for next month’s huge FA Cup clash with Manchester City.

Fans wanting to see Ben Garner’s men take on the Premier League champions will have to pay 50 per cent more for the privilege after ticket details were released on Wednesday night.

CEO Rob Angus released a presentation alongside the announcement explaining the club’s debts – currently standing at £2.5 million – and says the visit of Pep Guardiola’s side on Friday, January 7 could net a £350,000 payday thanks to the pricing structure.

READ MORE: CEO hopes Town debts will be gone in 12 months' time

Adults who sit in the John Trollope Arkell’s or Don Rogers stands will be asked to stump up £35 for the City game. The price of a similar ticket for a League Two fixture is £23.

There are increases across the age categories, with under-18s paying £25 compared with £6 normally.

Mr Angus said: “Obviously when Manchester City come to town, it’s a great opportunity for supporters to see some of the best players in the world up close, but also a great opportunity for the club to increase revenues at a time when we need it the most.

Swindon Advertiser:

“Clem (Morfuni, owner) has already spent nearly £3 million of his own money to takeover the club from the previous owner. He inherited some terrible issues. He’s committed to investing more, but we have to be sensible and careful – he can’t do the job on his own.”

Season and half-season ticket holders will have priority when tickets go on sale on Monday, December 20 - and their seats will be reserved until the following day. They will have the option to buy two tickets each. Fans with six-game flexi tickets and 15 loyalty points will then have the chance to snap up a space in the stands before any remaining tickets go on general sale on Thursday, December 23.

Mr Angus said: “We know how you feel. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, you don’t want to be exploited, and you’ve already sacrificed so much this year.

Swindon Advertiser:

“How can we strike a balance that ensures we get the much-needed income into the club, but makes you feel valued?

“The match will be on TV but there will be many people around Wiltshire and the wider area who want to be in the County Ground. Many will be Swindon Town fans, unfortunately even more will likely be Manchester City or Premier League fans.

We want Town fans!

“Whatever pricing we do, we have to commit to the same costs for Manchester City and the minimum allocated 2,200 supporters that they will bring, so we can’t give Swindon Town fans any preferential pricing.”