Is it not insensitive to charge a ticket price that is a full 40% above the Premier League cap considering Wednesday will also receive TV monies from that game?
Sheffield Wednesday Rip Off
Last season, Bristol City supporters should have been celebrating a return to the Championship as League One winners on the opening day of the season, but Robins fans soon received a bitter pill when their opening day hosts Sheffield Wednesday felt fit to charge them £39 for the privilege.
Many Bristol City fans felt insulted by the price, especially when other clubs fans like Reading would be charged £25 for an away trip to Hillsborough.
“For some of us, it is a matter of principle,” said a statement from the Bristol City Supporters’ Club & Trust.
“It is going to hurt to do this, but the Supporters’ Club & Trust has decided not to attend this game.”
It seems Sheffield Wednesday learnt little from last season lessons.
Today’s announcement that they are charging Villa supporters £42 for the opening match of the season – a match that is also live on Sky TV – is hugely disappointing.
In light of the new Premier League away ticket price cap, is it not insensitive to charge a ticket price that is a full 40% above the Premier League cap considering they will also receive TV monies from that game?
If Wednesday are planning on signing Ronaldo and Neymar in the upcoming weeks then maybe there is some justification to the price, but the fact of the matter is, they are not.
Other Championship club’s are fully aware that Villa fans will travel and will openly fleece them accordingly. It was constantly happening in the Premier League to the ‘Category A’ clubs such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and co, and that was part of the reason the Premier League away ticket cap was fought for.
Aston Villa have set aside a pot for subsidises games, but since this game is ‘an event’ game, being the season opener, they will use the pot more to drive attendances for the less appetising games.
However, it was understood after the recent Away Fan Consultation with the club, that MOMS attended, that reciprocal deals were being sort on price and allocation with Sheffield Wednesday. With the game being televised, it also made sense.
What happened there? I’d like to see a transcript of that discussion, especially when it was first mooted by Villa the allocation would be 3,200 straight off the bat. What exactly has Wednesday’s thought process been.
(UPDATE – an allocation of 4,544 away tickets is available now)
At the end of the day, it’s up to Villa supporters to make their own decision to whether they want their loyalty to be financially exploited by other clubs.
Yes, the Championship isn’t privy to the ridiculous millions in the Premier League, but that is not a reason to excuse the exploitation of fans in Wild West-like pricing structures – where the same team charges £25 to one club’s visiting fans and £42 to another’s.
The bottom line though is a televised Championship game simply isn’t worth £42. In fact, the ironic spin-off is, it’s the kind of attitude in pricing that will kill the Championship’s atmosphere for the TV cameras.
Ultimately, such short-term thinking by Sheffield Wednesday in terms of their pricing will only see them shoot themselves in the foot financially in the long haul.
PS – Note to the Villa board, we need to get out of this league ASAP.
UPDATE: Sheffield Wednesday supporters who suffer the most from their club’s prices have set up a petition calling for a rethink on the prices of the Villa game. You’re encouraged to sign it – here. UTV