After the recent announcement that the FA Premier League has secured the largest television rights deal in the history of the sport, the Football Supporters` Federation have launched a campaign to ensure a fairer deal for fans.
The campaign’s principal initial aims are:
* Universal away ticket price of no more than £15 for all Premier League (FAPL) games with £10 for concessions
* A three-season freeze of prices at 2006/7 season levels for both season tickets and individual match tickets for seasons 2007/8-2009/10 imposed by FAPL rule. Encouragement of clubs to cut ticket prices in cash terms over and above the freeze, particularly at the low end.
* The facility fee received for all FAPL televised matches to be used to subsidise tickets prices for all attending those matches.
The FSF wants to emphasise that the campaign isn’t just about ticket prices in the Premier League though. Many prices in the Football League and even in the Conference and below are simply far too high.
The objective of the campaign is to ensure that football again becomes the ‘people’s game’. Prices across the board in this country are absurd.
The recent decision by Fulham to charge Manchester United fans £45 to visit Craven Cottage when earlier in the season Wigan Athletic fans had been charged just £10 shows how clubs are penalising supporters of those clubs with bigger away followings to subsidise a decline in home support. Just in this past week the Birmingham City versus Stoke City Football League Championship game was moved at EIGHT days notice to a Sunday 11.30am kick-off. Potters fans were still expected to pay £30 (£1 more than home fans who were still being asked for an outrageous £29 behind the goal).
During the first six months of the 2006/07 season, eleven of the seventeen Premier League clubs who remain in the FAPL from last season are showing a decrease in average attendances. Of the remaining six, both Arsenal and Manchester United have increased attendance as a result of increased capacity.
We believe that constantly increasing, rip-off ticket prices, along with decreased competitive balance has driven many supporters out of the game, either unable or unwilling to pay out the sums asked. The increasing number of empty seats up and down the country is testament to this. The majority of clubs are refusing to address dwindling attendances, apparently safe in the knowledge that gate receipts contribute only a tiny proportion of income. There are some honourable exceptions. There are plans at Manchester City to dramatically lower children’s prices (but not adults, unfortunately), Bradford City has launched an innovative season ticket scheme and Blackburn Rovers has announced it wants to lower prices. This is all welcome but is NOT enough.
The FSF want to deliver a clear message to Club Chairmen. We want a fairer deal for football fans through a fairer pricing structure which will make football more affordable for all. We want to see IMMEDIATE action by the football authorities to limit ticket prices to no more than £15 for adult away fans in the Premier League, to freeze prices for home fans, reducing prices in the cheaper categories and redistributing the facility fee for televised games by subsidising ticket prices for these matches.
Show your support by signing our petition today.
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