Ryan White takes us through why so many fans are outraged about ticket pricing:
The pricing of tickets has been one of the biggest issues on the majority of football supporters’ minds lately, and there are plenty of reasons why this is the case.
The Premier League recently introduced a £30 limit for away tickets which for some is a massive victory but for others, tickets are still way too expensive – and that’s for home and away matches across the top four divisions of the English football pyramid.
Arsenal have been one of the clubs to come under a lot of scrutiny in the wake of ticket pricing, as some seats at the Emirates can cost up to £100. Being a fan of football I do tend to watch most, if not, all Premier League games televised and what I do regularly notice is the lack of atmosphere from home supporters at the Emirates Stadium. Now this could be down to a few factors; design of stadium meaning further away from pitch, lack of performance etc. However, I bet a large percentage of the poor atmosphere is down to who is actually watching the game and from what I can notice there are a lot of tourists. Compare that to a team like Norwich, AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, their atmospheres are a lot better most of the time because loyal supporters are not being outpriced unlike those at Manchester United and Arsenal. I can’t remember who exactly it was who said it but they mentioned that top-flight football was becoming a tourist’s game rather than a supporter’s game.
Burton Albion, however, are a good example of how to put fans first when it comes to ticket pricing. The Brewers have frozen season ticket prices for current holders for the second year running, meaning if they are to get promoted this season to the Championship some fans are going to be watching football in the second tier of English football for the same price as they were paying for League 2 football.
Gillingham, the team I support, charge me £20 to watch them play. I am a very loyal supporter of the Gills but for just £2 extra I could watch Premier League leaders Leicester City. The problem is football is becoming too much of a business to club owners. Chairmen and owners are looking to make the largest possible profit and that is evidently shown by what I wrote earlier about Arsenal. Saying that, not all club owners are all money-grabbers. For example, Burton or even Liverpool when fans decided to walk out in protest to ticket price proposals made by the hierarchy at the Merseyside club. That ended in Liverpool deciding to freeze the price of tickets, rather than go ahead with the proposed £77 for next season.
I do feel though we are taking a step in the right direction. In the BBC’s Price of Football 2015 study, 70% of tickets analysed were either frozen or reduced. In my opinion this is still not good enough because those tickets may have been frozen or reduced, but by how much? Not much I can assume.
Comment your opinions, it would be great to hear.