The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) has kicked off their “Twenty’s Plenty” Score campaign to cap away ticket prices at £20.
The FSF met in Manchester last Thursday, for the first of a series of meetings looking at how to make ticket prices more affordable for travelling fans.
According to the the FSF’s 2012 National Fans’ Survey, nine out of 10 supporters think ticket prices are too high. Four out of ten fans said they attended less matches recently because of ticket prices. The FSF believe away fans are also affected by the rising cost of food, transport and accommodation.
Alex Horton, West Bromwich Albion fan and Blogger at Fresh Air Football, said: ‘Ticket prices have been ever increasing over the past few years, alongside the price of food, drink and travel and going to a game is a very expensive proposition for fans nowadays. Away fans are often a club’s biggest fans, travelling up and down the country, and as such shouldn’t be subject to exuberant ticket prices.’
Mr Horton said: ‘There will always be fans who can afford to go, but for a lot of working class fans, they are feeling the cost. If fans are priced out, in particular a clubs’ hard-core away following then a stadium could be quite sedate without the atmosphere created by the away following.’
‘I know some [fans] who have gone on to support local non-league teams, such as a team like FC United as they have been priced out of following Manchester United.’
Many fans feel like they are being priced out of attending football matches. Howard Hockin, Football Blogger, 38, said: ‘Over the past few years, I have gradually been priced out of attending away matches, and now pick and choose just a few a season. Friends who have been going home and away for 30 years are doing similar too, even though some can afford high prices.
Mr Hockin continued: ‘We all know that modern football is all about money, but we should not just sit back and accept being ripped off or resign ourselves to only watching football at home.’
David Lampitt, Chief Executive of Supporters Direct said in a statement: ‘If clubs are earning more, then that should mean that football becomes more affordable and accessible for all fans, as the furore over the cost of away tickets shows.’
G Smith, Arsenal Season Ticket Holder said: ‘I live approximately 50 miles from Arsenal! A friend who sits close to me travels in from Ipswich for every Arsenal home game. The FA, Football league and clubs could arrange attractive public travel ticket prices, either with the price of a ticket or additional.’
Naomi Campbel, 17, Arsenal Ladies Footballer said: ‘In terms of the £20 cap, I don’t think it’s a good idea because any sport is a business, and you need to make revenue somehow, so they know what they’re doing charging such prices away and home.’
Action against ticket prices is necessary according to Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, he said: ‘I recently tabled a motion in Parliament calling on football fans to go to see their local non-league clubs which offer tickets at much more reasonable prices instead of the bigger Premier League teams, in an effort to encourage clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to lower their prices.’
The next Score Campaign: Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets meeting will be held in London on Thursday 31st January at Arsenal Football Supporters’ Club.