Basket
×

Your basket

Join The FSA

“Fair allocation systems” must remain in face of increasing tourism

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

FSF chair Malcolm Clarke said that fair ticket allocation must remain in place as the number of “football tourists” visiting top-flight fixtures increased to 800,000 last year.

Visit Britain released figures this week showing that 800,000 tourists came to Britain to watch football in 2014 – spending a total of £684m. Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the USA contributed the most visitors.

Speaking to the BBC about the trend, Malcolm said: “From our point of view, it isn’t a problem unless the normal ticket allocation priorities are distorted.

“We know that clubs like foreign fans because they spend a lot more in the club shop. The concern from fans is at the big grounds and the big clubs is that foreign fans are given priority.”

Malcolm was keen to make the distinction between genuine fans of English football clubs, who happen to be based abroad, and the tourists who visit just to experience a football game.

“Atmosphere is created by enthusiastic supporters of both teams.,” he said on the Victoria Derbyshire Show. “There is a distinction between someone who lives abroad and is a fan of the club, like the Norwegian Stoke Supporters branch, and a tourist who goes to the game just to take pictures and buy the two team scarf.”

Malcolm said groups of tourists can have an impact – in recent season with Stoke City’s visits to the Emirates and Stamford Bridge there were groups of foreign tourists in the away section.  “Some of our fans are saying ‘Hang on, how did they get tickets?,” Malcolm said. “I’m not quite sure what the answer is, they certainly weren’t Stoke fans.”

In the face of increasing football tourism and global appeal of the Premier League, Malcolm said it was important that fair ticket allocation systems remain in place and do not give priority to tourists over longterm supporters.

Thanks to Danny Molyneux for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under CC licence.

Related Articles

North west woes: EFL clubs remain in trouble

It’s not just the courts at Wimbledon that are busy at this time of year – a worrying increase in football clubs facing administration and liquidation is creating more work for the High Court in London, as winding up petitions are served against a growing number of clubs unable to pay their debts. 

Reading remain committed to “cost neutral” away ticket cap

Since 2016 Reading FC have backed Twenty’s Plenty by offering away fans visiting the Madejski Stadium £20 tickets – and are challenging other clubs to follow suit.

EFL to broadcast all matches while attendance restrictions remain

The EFL have agreed a “flexible framework” with Sky Sports, to allow all EFL games not already being televised to be streamed online via its iFollow platform.  

UEFA must enforce minimum standards for away fans – survey says

UEFA must implement minimum standards across its club competitions say campaigners after the results of a Europe-wide survey of away fans was published this week.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe