Last season, the first shock about life in the Championship for Aston Villa supporters was the price of an away ticket to the opening day clash at Sheffield Wednesday.
The adult away ticket price for Hillsborough was £42.
In light of the Premier League introducing a cap on away ticket prices at £30 last season, it was certainly a bad time to have gotten relegated.
However, nobody expected any club to have the audacity to charge over £40 for an away ticket in the second tier, considering the recent public outcry over away ticket prices, spearheaded by the Football Supporter Federation’s (FSF) ’20’s Plenty’ campaign.
Some Villa supporters decided to protest about Sheffield Wednesday away ticket prices at the game last season with banners and robbers’s mask.
Obviously, with Villa having to endure another season in the Championship, another trip to Hillsborough was on the horizon and we awaited with interest to see how Wednesday would price their tickets.
It wasn’t as bad as last season, but £39 for an adult ticket was still way too high.
Discussing the price at the last Away Fan Consultation Gorup Meeting , supporters decided in consultation with club reps to make a symbolic statement and subsidise the ticket prices to fall in line with the Premier League away cap of £30.
So for the upcoming match at Hillsborough, adult ticket prices are subsidised by £9 and concessionary tickets are discounted by £5, using the club’s away subsidy fund.
The Away subsidy fund is a £50k fund that Aston Villa have provided on their own volition for both of Villa’s seasons in the Championship. It’s something of a continuation of the original Premier League away fund of £100,000 (that ran for three years) that was introduced to help away fans with their costs.
The club’s gesture has essentially became something of a parachute payment for Aston Villa’s travelling supporters, who have been faced with the cost of four extra away fixtures in the Championship calendar.
The Sheffield Wednesday away ticket subsidy follows on from the club also subsidising earlier this season the £39 Leeds United away tickets to the tune of £10, bringing them down to £29.
Whether there will be any further subsidies this season depends on Villa being granted a possible extra allocation at Hillsborough. If so, then the rest of the 50k away fund will cover reducing those. If not, then they’ll be a small amount to cover a future fixture.
Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa Ticket Details
Saturday February 24
Prices: £30 (adults), £24 (O65 and U21), £15 (U17), £10 (U11), £5 (U5)
Please note that adult and concessionary tickets are discounted by £9 and £5 respectively as part of the club’s away subsidy fund
*Thanks to Karl Dixon for the lead picture