Football Supporters Federation’s £20 Away Ticket Campaign
The £1.2bn increase from the domestic TV deal means clubs could subsidise every single ticket at every game by £32.
At first, Aston Villa supporters could be mistaken for thinking that the Football Supporter’s Federation’s (FSF) ‘Score 20’ campaign was all about helping Aston Villa’s number 20 Christian Benteke reach the desired 20 League goals mark next season, after being just one off this season with 19. In some respects, it’s even better than that.
When Norwich City are charging Villa away fans £45, you know football as an industry has gone mad. For Villa’s mid-week League Cup clash against the Canaries last year, the game was £25, and even then they could be accused of being guilty of adding on an unnecessarily fiver to what should have been a £20 game.
Norwich – a notoriously difficult ground to travel to – is not in London, so why are they charging more than most London teams have this season?
Maybe Norwich are just acting in-line with the attempts of Arsenal to charge Manchester City fans a staggering £62 for their away tickets; City fans quite rightly voted with feet, with the club having to return a third of their allocation of tickets (912). In the case of Villa at Carrow Road though, due to the loyalty of Villa’s excellent away support, it leaves them open to exploitation, which Norwich will feel is justified since demand is being met by supply for their £45 price tag.
In other industries the price of live tickets has shot up considerably, especially in terms of music concerts. That price increase is largely to do with music companies initially being slow to react to the evolution of the internet, a loss of income through record sales is being compensated through increased concert ticket prices where a high demand still exists.
Does the same situation have parallels with the football industry and it’s increase in ticket prices?
In short, no.
Gate receipts at games have become less and less important for teams in the Premiership, with it making up less and less of their annual income. Next season the league’s new media deal generated more than £5bn for clubs. The £1.2bn increase from the domestic TV deal alone, means clubs could subsidise every single ticket at every game by £32.
Is it in the thinking of football clubs to filter such riches to the supporters of their club? Hardly. Players will get even richer, agents will cream some off, while fans will continue to pay through the nose for tickets and continue to put up with poor quality food, drink and overall conditions at matches.
Away supporters literally go the extra miles to follow their team. Not only are away prices going up, but fuel and transport prices are too. You don’t get much change out of £100 to watch your team away nowadays. Once upon a time, football was the great working class sport, now it’s getting harder and harder for decent working people on lower-income jobs to afford it, as it increasingly becomes a luxury.
It’s time the clubs with their pockets lined with fresh TV money to start showing some consideration to their supporters’ financial concerns.
As a member of the Football Supporters Federation, MOMS fully backs the ‘Score 20’ campaign to send a message to the clubs and FA. Sign the petition below and let’s get the ball rolling.
20 is plenty!
Follow MOMS on Twitter on @oldmansaid
Follow FSF on Twitter on @The_FSF