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Football Supporters Europe calls for UEFA action over rip-off away ticket prices

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

Both Manchester United and Liverpool fans were ripped off last season by unscrupulous clubs who spotted a loophole UEFA’s regulations which allowed them to charge visiting fans a lot more than home fans in European competition. It isn’t right. The FSF is affiliated to Football Supporters Europe and they have announced their intent to lobby UEFA to close this loophole which penalises fans across the continent. Find out more from FSE…

During the 2017-18 season, football supporters following their team abroad for UEFA Champions League or Europa League matches repeatedly suffered from excessive ticket prices. Over the course of the competitions, a number of clubs set, or attempted to set, prices for away supporters that breached the intent of Article 19 of the UEFA Safety & Security Regulations, which requires away supporters to be charged no more than home supporters seated in a comparable category. 

This resulted in multiple cases when away fans had to pay more than double the effective prices for home supporters. RCS Anderlecht and FC Sevilla even reached the record price of 100EUR in the away sector. Regrettably, at least one case is already recorded this season for the forthcoming fixture between FC Valencia and Manchester United. These unfair, punitive prices raise concerns on the capacity of a growing number of dedicated football fans to follow their club abroad. The presence of those away fans in substantial numbers is a key part of the spectacle and atmosphere of UEFA Club Competitions.

In order to address the current price inflation, we are asking UEFA to amend and clarify Article 19 – Paragraph 3 of its Safety and Security Regulations at the earliest possible opportunity to prevent clubs from using loopholes in the regulation, for example by charging regular season ticket holders or members much less than away fans. The most effective way to make the regulation as fan-friendly as possible would be to change the regulation to: “The price of tickets for supporters of the visiting team must be no higher than the cheapest tickets available for home fans in the respective categories.”

We are also calling on UEFA to continue to enforce its regulation by obliging clubs to compensate the affected fans in cases of a breach of the ticketing regulation. However, early arbitration rather than retrospective disciplinary proceedings would minimise these cases.

We further call on all clubs playing in European competition to adopt self-regulation mechanisms, taking the purchasing power of the respective country of the visiting team into account, therefore encouraging more supporters to travel from countries with significantly lower wages and salaries.

The worrying trend currently observed in the ticketing policy of some European clubs for their away sections requires all stakeholders to come to a common understanding on the reinforcement of UEFA regulations, taking into consideration the interests of all active supporters and the overall cost of travelling abroad for an away supporter, as well as a general rethinking of pricing for European Club Competitions tickets.

#FairPriceForAwayFans

Thanks to Alexsandr Osipov for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to the FSF.

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