THE sale of season tickets is one of the biggest drivers of revenue for any sports club.

Warrington Wolves are no different and with 2022 memberships having recently gone on sale, chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick admits the club have "a job on" to entice supporters back to The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

This time last year, uncertainty still reigned supreme with the country – and the world as a whole – still under the vice-like grip of Covid-19.

It was not yet known when – or indeed if – supporters would be allowed back into stadia at any point during the 2021 season.

As it turned out, the turnstiles started to click again in May and once restrictions were lifted altogether in July, The Halliwell Jones Stadium and grounds up and down the country could operate at full capacity again.

Full memberships were capped at 4,000 last year and with no such limit is in place this time around, Fitzpatrick is hopeful sales will return to pre-pandemic levels.

However, despite a "really positive response" from supporters so far, he knows plenty of people remain nervous about returning to packed stadia with the virus still very much in circulation.

"We’ve had a really, really positive response on season tickets. I think that’s due to the new beginnings with new players and coaches," he said.

"It would be nice to hit levels we were at pre-Covid, which was around 7,000. We’re striving for that and hopefully the changes we’ve made will encourage supporters to come back.

"This year is going to be another very challenging year again in terms of getting supporters back in the ground.

"There’s still a bit of nervousness about attending big events and people are out of the habit of coming to games, so we’ve got a job on to bring them back."

Warrington Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick

Warrington Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick

On the whole, 2022 promises to be yet another challenging year financially for the club as it continues to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

Pre-tax losses of around £750,000 were recorded last year while the game as a whole secured loans of just over £32million from the government to keep it afloat.

"Overall, the club’s budget has been hit dramatically. It’s been a very, very difficult time," Fitzpatrick said.

"We’ve had to acquire debt – the RFL did a superb job in getting loans from the government, but they are loans and have to be paid back.

"We had a tremendous response from supporters which made a significant difference to the operation of the club.

"The club has been hit financially, but we’re in a good position. It could have been far worse."