Media round-up: ticket prices in the spotlight
Posted on 10th February 2016
Ticket prices have been a hot topic lately with even David Cameron acknowledging that “there is a problem here when some clubs put up prices very rapidly every year”.
That was on the back of loads of positive coverage about our Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets campaign and the magnificent walk out orchestrated by Liverpool fan groups Spirit of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906.
The Guardian by Owen Gibson picked apart Premier League clubs’ “price stretching” mantras and said: “A cap of, say, £30 for away tickets is a clanging no-brainer in PR terms and in reality has little downside.”
There were further warnings to clubs from our own chair, Malcolm Clarke, reported across the BBC, BT Sport and The Daily Mail. Pricing their loyal and traiditional supporter base, Malcolm said, would be detrimental to clubs in the long term.
Malcolm told PA Sport: “The proposal to have a £30 cap on away tickets was blocked by a number of clubs but with the publicity and focus on the issue there is now a groundswell of support for change.”
The 77th minute walkout at Anfield at weekend drove the coverage. Spirit of Shankly and FSF national council member Roy Bentham wrote for our friends over at Copa 90 about the protest.
High profile figures connected to Liverpool, such as Jamie Carragher and Roy Evans, were criticial of the club and backed the action. Even current manager Jurgen Klopp had to speak on the issue, carefully admitting in a pre-match press conference that such a row over ticket prices was “not what we want”.
Somewhat lost in the post-protest coverage was the plight of disabled fans, who face some of the biggest hikes at Anfield next year. “How can a price rise of such magnitude be justified for people of limited income and limited lifestyle?” asked disabled Liverpool fan Richard Monaghan in The Guardian.
The Evening Standard had a close look at how the Premier League London clubs are “tackling the crisis over ticket prices.” Discussing the FSF’s Twenty’s Plenty campaign, Evening Standard columnist Paddy Barclay said that not just away fans should benefit from the huge TV windfall – clubs have to do more for home fans too.
The Independent’s Ian Herbert and ITV reported that the clubs’ sponsors could be next in line for targeted campaigning by football supporters.
“Liverpool’s commercial partners, including Subway, have already been targeted by an email and social media campaign as fans mobilise against a new price structure which includes some £77 tickets in the redeveloped Main Stand,” noted Herbert.
And finally, David Squires lampoons the Premier League shareholders’ meeting.
Update: Liverpool’s owners have sent an open letter to fans apologising “for the distress caused by our pricing plan” – the letter follows last Saturday’s mass walkout organised by FSF affiliates Spirit of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906.