Newcastle United Plan £20 Tickets For Every Premier League Away Fan
The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) have fought a high profile campaign attempting to get Premier League clubs to agree a ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ policy on away tickets.
The FSF propose that Premier League clubs should charge no more than £20 to away clubs’ fans.
The idea works on so many levels; what with the state of the economy (nowhere more so than the north east), the travel costs (nowhere more so than for Newcastle’s travelling fans) and of course the ridiculous price levels such as around £50 at Chelsea (many others catching up) and even £45 for Norwich. Newcastle fans paying more than fans of many other clubs because our visit is seen as a more attractive selling proposition.
The Independent have now broken the story that Newcastle United are the first club to embrace the idea and will shortly announce that they are prepared to do reciprocal deals with the other Premier League clubs.
So basically if say….Chelsea charge Newcastle fans £20 to visit Stamford Bridge, United would then also price tickets at £20 for Chelsea supporters to come to St.James’ Park.
Thanks to a large population in a relatively small geographical area (in a football mad country), English football has massively benefited from large away support over the years. This unique levels of away support have been an essential element in helping to create the match atmospheres…that have undoubtedly been a key ingredient in selling the English Premier League to the world.
Armchair fans in every country around the world buy into the culture of English football and while atmospheres have suffered with all-seater stadiums, without away fans they would all but be killed off.
Even the Premier League as a whole have acknowledged that action needed to be taken, especially after a 9.6% fall in away attendance throughout the Premier League last season. It might be only scratching the surface but a small part of the extra TV money (£12m over 3 years) has been set aside to enhance the away supporter experience.
Each club decides how they spend their £200,000 per season but most have decided to put on some free coaches to away matches, or alternatively cut a few quid off ticket prices for their travelling fans. However, when you have say Arsenal using the £200k to knock £2.50 off each away ticket, you can see what a drop in the ocean it is if their supporters are getting charged £50 or more to go to Chelsea etc. Newcastle have said part of their £200k allocation would be used to help disabled fans travel to away matches with plans for the rest of their cash to follow.
If Newcastle go through with their £20 initiative then hopefully it will be a domino effect, with clubs shamed into agreeing to reciprocate as others fall into line. If they refuse then they seem sure to face pressure from their own fans whose hardcore will know that they are been denied the chance of £20 tickets at Newcastle and elsewhere, simply because of the greed of their clubs.
Great initiative by Newcastle United and good to see them taking a lead on this fan issue.
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