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Clubs urged to use returned parachute money on away fans

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

This week, we wrote to the chairman, chief executives and supporter liaison officers at each of 20 Premier League clubs, urging them to spend an unexpected bonus on fans and cap away tickets prices at £20 – in line with our Twenty’s Plenty campaign.

With Norwich City being promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, their £24m worth of parachute payments are going straight back to the league’s 20 clubs – each club receiving roughly £1.2m, which could easily fund a £20 away ticket price cap for 2015-16.

At this weekend’s FSF AGM, delegates will vote on an emergency motion brought by The Blue Union demanding Premier League clubs do just that. See our letter to the clubs below, from FSF chief executive Kevin Miles…

Dear Premier League club,

On Monday 25th May Norwich City secured a quick return to the Premier League, beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the Championship play-off final. The Canaries thus re-joined the Premier League and will enjoy all the financial benefits that brings.

As a result of their promotion the Canaries’ parachute payment, a reported £24m, will instead be shared amongst all top-flight clubs. This equates to £1.2m for each club, and we have an idea for how this unexpected windfall could be spent to benefit some of the game’s most loyal fans…

The Football Supporters’ Federation aims to work with clubs and help make football more affordable for fans – particularly those who follow their club on-the-road. Without away supporters we do not believe football would be the great live event that it is. Travelling fans are key to generating the atmosphere that home fans bounce off and vital to the spectacle that TV loves.

Premier League clubs receive billions in media deals and we firmly believe that away fans play a huge role in that. However, there are many barriers for the away supporter. Travel costs and ticket prices make following your team an expensive business – and away supporters also miss out on season ticket-related discounts and special offers.

One of our key campaigns is Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets which was launched in 2013 and aims to make football more affordable for travelling fans, preferably by capping tickets at £20. The contribution of away supporters is recognised but home fans do not miss out as they receive the same offer in the return fixture.

According to our calculations it would cost £20m to implement Twenty’s Plenty at every single Premier League fixture, an average cost of £1m per club. In the past we have been told that clubs budget in three year cycles, in alignment with the Premier League’s media deals, and therefore they could not account for an unanticipated £1m expenditure.

However, Norwich City’s promotion means that every single Premier League club received £1.2m that has not been budgeted to spend elsewhere. We would encourage every club to use this unexpected windfall to make football more affordable for one of the most loyal, hard-pressed groups in football – the travelling fan. Twenty’s Plenty for Away Supporters.

Yours faithfully,

Kevin Miles

FSF chief executive

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