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Opinion

Wigan v Newcastle – Why away fans are being charged extra money for tickets

4 years ago
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When Wigan v Newcastle tickets went on sale last month, we pointed out that Wigan fans could buy tickets in advance for £20/£18/£10/£5, yet Newcastle supporters buying them would have to pay £25/£22/£20/£10.

The prices are especially bad when it comes to Under 18s and Under 11s, with young Newcastle fans paying twice what their Wigan counterparts are paying if buying tickets in advance.

As you can see below, the EFL rules state that away fans must have ‘the same opportunity to take advantage of pre-booking discounts that apply to home supporters’.

EFL Rule  34.2.2 states:

‘Tickets are to be made available on a sale or return basis and must be ordered by the Away Club at least five weeks before the League Match to which they relate.

The Home Club must deliver those tickets to the Away Club at the latest four weeks before the League Match to which they relate.  Where any match is arranged at shorter notice the above steps shall be taken as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Visiting Supporters should also have the same opportunity to take advantage of pre-booking discounts that apply to home supporters.’

However, after asking the FSF (Football Supporters Federation) for their advice/opinion, they approached Wigan Athletic and got the following explanation:

I can confirm that we (Wigan Athletic) are offering a special discount to home supporters for this match as permitted under EFL Regulation 34.2.11, which states:

Discounts or special promotions (in each case for one match only) made available to supporters of the Home Club must also be made available on a similar basis to visiting supporters provided always that each Club shall be permitted to designate four (4) Matches per Season as ‘local promotion’ Matches where this Regulation shall be deemed not to apply.  Clubs shall notify The League of the Matches so designated as and when they are designated.

 I can confirm that the fixture in question has been designated as one of our four ‘local promotion’ matches and we have notified the EFL and Newcastle United accordingly.

 I trust this satisfies your query but please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information.

 Regards

Thanks very much to the FSF (a great organisation, join HERE for free) for the enlightenment but a few points…

The first one of course is, fair enough the home club using this game to encourage more Wigan supporters to get to games, but surely (especially on a midweek December night!) they could and should have extended this to the near five thousand Newcastle fans who will be putting around  £100,000 into Wigan’s bank account.

Secondly, if the EFL are going to allow these special promotions, surely it should be on condition that they have to offer the same prices to away supporters.

Thirdly, I doubt whether Newcastle fans will be seeing any of these ‘local promotions’ any time soon – averaging well over fifty thousand at SJP and half season tickets set to kick in, I can’t see Mr Ashley rushing to put on any offer.

Fourthly, when Wigan released the ticket information/prices, there was no mention as to it being one of these ‘local promotions’ which are allowed to avoid the usual ticket pricing rules.

Looking around I see a number of Championship clubs have got an offer on over the festive period, including Forest who are offering half price tickets for their upcoming match with Barnsley.

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