Newcastle fans being charged £52 to watch the match at Liverpool, has once again sparked a debate about the outrageous prices charged to watch Premier League football.
It is an irony that the league which has the least need to charge high prices due to TV deals that massively outstrip any other, is also the one that charges fans ticket prices that…massively outstrip any other league.
(To feature like John, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views are the author’s own etc etc)
Sadly, England is also the country where football fans are least willing to act as a co-ordinated group to force change.
Many Newcastle fans are outraged that they or their fellow supporters are having to pay £52 at Anfield, but there wasn’t much sympathy flying around for Sunderland fans having to pay £47 in December at St. James’ Park, or indeed Liverpool fans charged £44 a ticket in November, as well as Manchester United supporters no doubt paying similar prices to the mackems when they visited last week.
Pretty much all of the Premier League clubs charge as much as they think they can get away with for any particular game, with ironically the stronger your away support is, being a disadvantage when it comes to ticket prices.
Over in Germany, football fans there find it impossible to understand why English supporters accept the prices charged without putting up more a fight.
Supporters in England can generally be roused when there is a specific issue affecting their own club, but when it comes to fighting something that affects us all – everything falls flat.
The FSF (Football Supporters Federation) are doing their best to try and address the problem but with most Premier League stadiums pretty much full and the vast majority of supporters tied to season tickets, mass action seems a million miles away.
The reality is that only when interest in Premier League football declines at some point in the future and more seats are left empty, will clubs then be motivated to do something across the board on pricing. Particularly when it comes to filling seats to provide the spectacle for those watching on TV around the world.
The problem comes that in the meantime many football fans who are being priced out at the minute may well not be attracted back when eventually prices fall to a more affordable level, people tend to find something else to do with their time or get used to paying nothing and watching on foreign satellite in the local pub.
By that point of course most current owners will have made their money, sold up and moved on.
What is happening in the Premier League may appear to be a massive success story to some, scratch beneath the surface though and in the eyes of many others it is rotten to the core.