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Premier League consider tackling away ticket pricing for 2015/16

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Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said this week that the clubs are looking at a “pervasive” solution to the problem of away ticket prices.

Last week, a fans’ delegation handed in a letter to a shareholders’ meeting of the Premier League clubs, calling for the introduction of Twenty’s Plenty and Scudamore’s remarks were reported by the Guardian from an event with Business Secretary Sajid Ravid, promoting the Premier League’s contribution to the UK economy:

“We do think we probably have a role to play about away tickets. Away ticketing is rather unique, home fans pay a season-ticket price whereas away fans have to pay a single match price 19 times even though a lot of them are consistent, regular away fans. They do have a specific and unique role to play in football.

“Therefore we are having discussions with clubs now about some sort of pervasive away-ticket initiative. Now clubs each invest £200,000 on their away fans going away. We are looking with the clubs at the minute to try to see if there is something more pervasive, something wider and broader. For next season. We are discussing a whole range of options.”

“No I don’t think it’s our responsibility to regulate it,” he said. “The economics of each club are very complex. You could literally measure on one hand the clubs whose ticket pricing you might probably think is a challenge for most people. When you actually get into the reality of it most clubs are working very hard to keep the grounds full.

“What a lot of the clubs in the regions are having to do, as opposed to some of the more privileged clubs in London, is very complex. The problem we have is there is almost no way of coming up with anything that makes any sense centrally because it’s a local economic issue.

“Even if you said: ‘We think it would be desirable for every ticket price to be x’, there are immediately winners and losers in all of that. We don’t feel we have a central role in terms of home ticket prices because of the local economics – some clubs have got 42 different price points.”

Scudamore also gave an interview to BBC’s Newsnight programme, and insisted that attending live Premier League football was affordable – arguing that most people could afford to “go to the occasional game”.

Asked whether the Premier League would replicate the NFL in hosting overseas fixtures, Scudamore said: “There is no plan. But it would be disingenuous to say there isn’t still a will. We thought it was a good idea, the clubs think it’s a good idea.”

One of the remaining hurdles to the scheme, Scudamore said, was integrity of the competition. “If Crystal Palace get drawn in a home game against Manchester United,” he said, “by the time you get to Hong Kong, it won’t feel like a home game with 90% of the ground in Manchester United colours.”

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