Before the game versus Stoke City before the international break Aston Villa fans leant their support to the nationwide Football Supporters Federation (FSF) Twenty’s Plenty campaign to make away tickets no more than £20 across the Premier League and Championship.
The day itself was a big success building awareness amongst millions of supporters via the media.
In the weeks leading up to the protest, MOMS had ran stories on the £50+ Chelsea tickets, which BBC Radio picked up on. Also, we ran a story from a young Villa fan who paid £10 last season to go to Anfield to watch Villa as a 16-year-old, but now aged 17, he was expected to fork out £45. Many other young Villans told MOMS stories too, like a 16-year-old fan from the North Stand, whose dad can no longer afford to go along with him to as many away games as he’d like, leaving him to make treks up to Newcastle on his own.
Also, the day before the Stoke City game, Villa boss Tim Sherwood also sympathised with the financial burden on supporters to follow their team.
Twenty’s Plenty Display
The day itself went well. We organised at 2.15pm with Stoke City supporters (including FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke) a joint display of fan solidarity on the grand steps of the Holte End, which provided a good photo opportunity for press.
A big thanks to all those who got involved, who asked questions and posed in and took pictures. A thanks also to members of the Aston Villa Supporters Trust who helped with arrangements before and on the day.
The North Walk
Then shortly before kick-off, MOMS took the banner to the North Stand, where several young season ticket holders in the Lower North, who voiced their concerns over tickets prices earlier in the week, helped display and parade the banner by walking it along the front of the North Stand before kick-off.
After being subject to some media pressure regarding allowing Stoke City fan’s banner, the club had offered to display the Stoke banner somewhere in the upper section of the away end, where it wouldn’t exactly be too visible.
The club also offered to display (control) the Villa banner in the Holte End, but after displaying the banner outside the Holte, inside the stadium, we wanted to give the fans in the North Stand the opportunity to display the banner close to the away fans, since it was an away ticket issue. Stoke City fans had been asked to pay £41 for the game, after all.
The stewards in the Lower North Stand were very helpful on the day and also voiced their support on the issue of ticket prices. So, a big thanks to them for their understanding and help on the day.
The campaign is obviously on-going, but significantly this is the first time that supporters of all the top flight clubs have come together on an issue in such a way. It won’t be the last time either.
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All the Premier League clubs were given £1.2 million each due to Norwich City’s instant promotion meaning the Canaries didn’t get their parachute payment. This ‘bonus’ money would cover subsidising all away tickets to the tune of £20. Do you think clubs should use it to do this? Vote below…