City have declared themselves happy despite failing to hit their 9,000 adult season-ticket target before the cut-price deadline.

The late flurry of sales from Sunday’s opening day raised the count to 8,296 adults from a grand total of 10,707.

Joint-chairman Mark Lawn confirmed they would not be pressing ahead with the buy-one-get-one-free promise after falling 700 short of matching last year’s tally. But he insisted the club will suffer no financial shortfall.

Lawn said: “We’ve got 95 per cent of the income we had last year and believe that people paying on a match day will take the revenue over the previous figure.

“We want to thank all the fans for buying season tickets. We really appreciate what they have done.

“We’ll be looking at doing something for the season-ticket holders to thank them for their support and loyalty as the year goes round.

“I don’t think we should be disappointed at all. I’m certainly not.

“In fact, I think the supporters should be congratulated because we’ve already beaten the second-placed team in last season’s attendance table, which was MK Dons with 9,500.

“So without even opening the gates, we’ve already got the highest crowds for this year. We will certainly top the league again on that front and I think the extra 1,500-2,000 who have not renewed will pay through the gates again when we start to show them we are serious about challenging and having a good season.”

Season tickets have now doubled in price to £300.