How Are Newcastle United Going To Spend Their £200,000 On Away Fans?
In a rare case of giving something back to the fans, the Premier League came up with a scheme which gives each Premier League club £200,000 each to spend on enhancing their fans’ away travel experience and to help maintain away attendances.
Stoke City are providing free away coach travel all season for their fans
Aston Villa are providing free coach travel to 10 of their Premier League away matches
Chelsea are reported to be subsidising rail travel to a number of away games
Liverpool are using the money to knock between £2 and £4 off every away ticket their fans buy
Newcastle are the club that does the most to deter its fans from travelling to away matches with an extra £30 charge a season to be able to apply for away tickets if you aren’t a season ticket holder, even if you just want to go to a single away match. Plus of course a £1 surcharge on every away ticket NUFC sell to their own fans travelling the length of the country to support their own club. Plus of course taking the minimum of away tickets possible.
Obviously the £200,000 will only scratch the surface but it will be interesting to see in which direction Newcastle point the cash.
It is just a shame that the Premier League clubs as a whole didn’t really grasp the nettle and tackle this problem properly. English football is unique in the atmosphere away fans help generate but even with the relatively short distances to travel, the cost of supporting your team away from home is prohibitive.
The FSF have come up with their excellent ‘Twenty Is Plenty’ campaign, suggesting £20 for every away Premier League ticket and surely with all the cash flooding in from the TV deals, that is more than achievable to help the English football fan in these times of austerity. Rather than the ridiculous notion of charging somebody £40/£50/£60 who is willing to travel the length of the country to help provide an atmosphere for the worldwide TV audience.
Increasingly sterile Premier League crowds would eventually weaken the allure of Premier League football around the world and the last thing EPL will surely want to do is to kill their golden goose.
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