Away Supporters Initiative 2014/15
Posted on 26th September 2014
The Away Supporters Initiative is now into its second season and we’re keen to track what deals clubs are funding. Fans tell us their preferred deals reduce prices, or subsidise travel, and transparency is important.
Last season we tracked as many offers as possible and helped keep the issue of ticket prices and the importance of away fans in the media spotlight. It’s a useful resource which we can point journalists to, so if you know of a deal not listed, please email [email protected].
The Away Supporters Initiative was introduced last season when Premier League clubs agreed to set aside £12m spread over three seasons “to make the matchday experience better for travelling fans”. This equates to £200,000 per club, per season.
Away Fans Matter
Away fans are the beating heart of the matchday experience – they’re central to atmospheres (home fans are always noisier if there’s a loud away following), spend the most following their teams, and are crucial to the Premier League’s £5.5bn media package.
With that in mind we launched the Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets petition in early 2013 which raised awareness among clubs (and media). This resulted in 20,000+ emails sent by fans to clubs and the Premier League/Football League outlining their support for cheaper tickets.
In autumn 2013 the Premier League announced the establishment of the Away Supporters Initiative. The petition also argued that club’s should set up “reciprocal deals” (i.e. if you go to an away game, you receive cheaper tickets, and in return your club offers the same to visiting fans).
Nine clubs followed that model last season, including two from the Championship (Barnsley and Derby County) and seven from the Premier League (Cardiff City, Hull City, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion).
End of the road? Nope
This doesn’t mean we think the problem of high ticket prices is fixed. Far from it, as fans we still pay them at far too many grounds. However, we’re happy to criticise clubs when they get something wrong, so a step in the right direction has to be acknowledged too.
Last season reciprocal pricing saved 31,807 travelling fans £342,260 across 16 fixtures. We’ve already seen 10 top-flight clubs set up similar deals for 2014/15, but as fans we need to maintain that pressure, whether it’s the FSF at a national level (to the Premier League, Football League, Conference, and FA) or supporters (that’s you!) at club level.
Clubs are more likely to listen to their own fans than anyone else, and we will gladly support local campaigns relating to ticket pricing. There’s a few ideas on our site here, although every club’s different, and you might think of something which works better in your neck of the woods.
Twenty’s Plenty FAQs: Twenty’s Plenty does apply to clubs outside of the top-flight and we do think home fans deserve cheaper tickets as well. If you have any other questions that aren’t answered here about Twenty’s Plenty, pop us an email.
Away Supporters Initiative deals:
- Arsenal supporters receive a £2.50 discount on every Premier League away ticket. The Gunners will also provide away supporters with a refreshments voucher worth £10 at an away fixture this Christmas. The club also discount supporter travel to Hull City for the match on Bank Holiday Monday (£10 for the coach trip and they also ran a train at £20 per return/£30 1st class). This followed on from the trip to Man Utd in the FA Cup for a Monday evening game where they ran two trains and 20+ coaches (£10 coach return/£20 train). Visitors to the Emirates will also notice a new, large video screen playing clips for the visiting side.
- Aston Villa announce subsidised tickets to a minimum of five away games during 2014-15, including £5 off Chelsea away. AVFC will also put on five free coach trips for longer away days and midweek games (Crystal Palace, Hull City, Newcastle United, Sunderland, and Southampton).
- Chelsea offer £10 per person travel for every league game outside London and knock £10 off three away league fixtures after consultation with the Fans’ Forum.
- Everton introduce the “Road Trip” initiative at four games (Burnley, Southampton, Crystal Palace, QPR). Depending on number of away games attended in 13/14 the Road Trip offers free coach travel, food, matchday programmes and journeys accompanied by former players. Palace and QPR fans receive meal deals at Goodison Park. The club’s reciprocal deals against Newcastle United and Swansea City are also funded by the ASI. There’s also a £10 discount on all tickets for Evertonians travelling to Chelsea in Feb 2015 and additional ‘Road Trip’ to West Ham including free travel, complimentary breakfast and free giveaways. The club also introduce a team of travel stewards that now go to all away fixtures with Everton supporters.
- Hull City spend their money on the away end, making it an “inviting and welcoming place, and improving the standards and match-day experience for visiting fans”.
- Leicester City discount £10 off tickets for Swansea City away (25th October). The Foxes say they will implement more deals through the season.
- Liverpool reduce ticket prices for their own travelling fans by £2-£4. The club says further benefits to improve the away supporters’ experience “are expected to be” announced during the season. The club also subsidise tickets by £10 for the trip to Old Trafford on Sunday 14th December.
- Manchester City knock 50% off ticket prices for Arsenal away reducing an adult ticket to £32 and offer half price tickets for Chelsea away. The club also provide free coach travel to Crystal Palace.
- Manchester United reduce every away ticket for their fans by £5.
- Newcastle United reduce away match tickets for its supporters who travel to Spurs (Sunday 26th October) and Manchester United (Boxing Day) by £10. Reciprocal deals with Everton, Southampton, Spurs, Stoke City, Swansea City and WBA introduced.
- Queens Park Rangers offer free coach travel and reduced match tickets for the trip to Swansea City on Tuesday 2nd December. There’ll also be free coach travel to Merseyside for the R’s match against Everton on Monday 15th December.
- Southampton – subsidise travel for 7 fixtures (Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Everton, Swansea City, Burnley, Hull City) and tickets for Newcastle United (reciprocal), Chelsea, Manchester City. The Saints provide Christmas-themed food for hundreds of fans travelling on the official, subsidised coaches on Boxing Day and gave out 2,500 branded Santa Hats as a special gift. In the away concourse they purchase t-shirts for each PL club for staff to wear.
- Sunderland offer discounted tickets for trips to Southampton (Saturday 18th October), Crystal Palace (Monday 3rd November), and Spurs (Saturday 17th January).
- Swansea City reciprocate Leicester City’s ticket deal so travelling fans save £10 when they make the return journey. The club say they will also reward fans attending away games with incentives including discounted tickets and travel. Supporters who went to on the opening day’s match get up to £15 off Manchester City away.
- Stoke City offer free coach travel to all away fans from the Britannia, at every single Premier League game, for the second successive season. The club also did a reciprocal deal with did with Newcastle United (tickets £20 adults & £5 concessions).
- Tottenham Hotspur run free coach services to seven away games (saving an average of £27 to those who used it) and subsidise coaches at £10 per head to seven other games (average saving £19). This means a fan could attend all Spurs matches outside London for £70 travel for the entire season. The club also put on free of charge coaches for our regional supporters clubs who took up the offer of one free trip per season. Spurs also organise two flights to Newcastle United and airport/stadium shuttle transfers (minimum saving per fan £95.50). All catering staff in the away section dressed in Toffs/Score Draw retro shirts for 14 of 19 home PL matches to welcome visiting fans.
- West Bromich Albion have informed us they will be offering free coach travel to one game this season (TBC), have organised reciprocal deals with Newcastle and Swansea, and ran ‘Kids for a Quid’ at the Burnley match.
- West Ham United offer free coach travel for two fixtures; £10 discount on two fixtures; reduced booking fees on all away tickets; £5 coach travel saving on all other away fixtures; reciprocal deals with fellow PL clubs; improved in coach travel facilities and entertainment; away end branding to welcome away fans.
– If you know of any deals not included, please email: [email protected]
– We have emailed each club’s Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) and will update the list in due course.