CITY fans have two more games before they will have to pay by card only for food and drink at Valley Parade.

The kiosks in the concourses at the stadium will become cashless in time for Rochdale’s visit on October 2.

The changes will take place after Saturday’s clash with Barrow and the Papa John’s Trophy group game against Manchester United under-21s next Tuesday.

But supporters using the bars in the banqueting and hospitality areas will still be able to pay with either.

The planned switch to card payments only in the general kiosks, which are operated by Tiffin Stadium Catering, has received some criticism.

City chief executive Ryan Sparks, though, insisted that the bulk of their sales in the public areas did not involve cash anyway.

He said: “It was not a decision made without our knowledge and was very much a considered one given the facts on the table.

“Sales in the bars operated by ourselves, those in our banqueting and hospitality areas, are split 61 per cent card and 39 per cent cash.

“Sales recorded in the kiosk areas, however, are respectively split 82 to 18.

“The decision has been taken to remove cash payment facilities from the kiosks in the concourses with this in mind – and to ensure more are served as quickly and safely as possible.

“The bars operated in the banqueting and hospitality areas will remain cash and card unless the percentages change dramatically.

“But like every decision made, it is not necessarily irreversible. Figures will be constantly reviewed on a month-by-month basis as the season progresses.”

Sparks believes the move away from cash payments is happening more and more – and not just in football.

“This is becoming industry standard in all sports,” he added. “We are looking at and talking to other clubs in this sport and other sports about solutions they are using.

“Some clubs have got pre-payment cards, some have got tokens – some have even got vending-machine style distribution of food and drink.

“These are all things we are considering for the longer term.

“We are obviously striving to make match-day experience as good as it can be.”