Arsenal, Liverpool, and both Manchester clubs have all united together to put the squeeze on their favorite clubs to lower increasingly ball-busting ticket prices.
All of these clubs together, respectively, make up the Football Supporters Foundation. And they’re pissed.
The FSF and crew are arranging meetings between fans of top-flight supporters to lobby a £20-£25 cap for away tickets. Manchester City fans have sent back 912 tickets priced at a whopping, £62 a piece, for the weekend match against Arsenal.
Premier league rules state that all away fans may not be charged more than the home supporters for tickets, which are high enough already, especially for top-tier clubs. Not to mention the difference a Reading or QPR fan would have to pay between home and away to clubs like United or Arsenal may as well be highway robbery. The FSF president Malcolm Clarke believes that the fans have had enough and that the increase in TV revenue should be enough to bring the prices down. The FSF president has said:
“Though we have our club rivalries, what we recognise is that without the rival sets of supporters inside a ground the atmosphere is much poorer,” he said. “We’re going to be launching a campaign within a few weeks, we will be calling for a maximum ticket price in the Premier League for away fans.
“Next season they could knock off £32 from every single ticket, for every single game, for every single supporter in the Premier League and still have the same amount of money that they have this season because of the TV income.”
If only they knew that the top-tier club owners are all protégés of Gordon Gekko!
Supporters of both Manchester clubs, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool are routinely charged the same amount whereas other clubs pay much, much less. For example: Stoke City fans will pay only £32.50 when they visit the Emirates next month.
Duncan Drasdo, the Manchester United Supporters Chief Executive is also fighting the good fight, and making good points such as, the key issue is disparity in prices, with fans of bigger clubs paying more than others.
“The attack on traditional football fan culture continues relentlessly but until recently away support remained as at least one bastion of hard-core support which had remained largely intact.
“However, the threat to the away fan is very clear now and this should concern even the most self serving of club owners as the large vocal away following has long been a hugely attractive aspect of British football.
“If the home club wishes to charge different prices to home fans depending on the opposition that isn’t unreasonable but to charge one set of away fans a higher price than another is clearly inequitable.
“Price categorisation for away fans should be outlawed and this is something MUST has been lobbying for. It has brought together arch rivals such as Manchester United and Liverpool fans who both recognise the essential importance of genuine vocal away fans to the culture of English football.”
The Gooners have been the most vocal about the shit sundae that is high ticket pricing. The poor bastards pay an average of £126 for an individual match day ticket. For games that are considered “Class C” tickets are dirt cheap. For matches involving, mainly, Sunderland, Swansea City, West Brom, Reading, Norwich City, one can purchase a match day ticket for about £25.
A scouse-eh named Martin has followed Liverpool home and away for 12 years and is considering missing his first match in that time period due to the ridiculous prices. Saying: “I don’t think I’m going to buy a ticket for Arsenal. It’s £62, the price is just unbelievable, more than double what it should be. This will be the first time in 12 seasons I’ve seen a price of a ticket and thought I’m not going to get one. Arsenal is not a £62 experience. You’d consider that as a price for an FA Cup final ticket.”
Let’s face it. The matches we watch need the away supporters that you and I loathe so vigorously to be in our respective sanctuaries of football to create the atmosphere and competitiveness that we all love to follow.
So for all these rivals getting together to rage against inflation, I say “Good on ya! Keep it up!”