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FAO Ch’ship clubs: Take up Reading’s offer and save your fans money

Reading have announced that they are dropping the £20 away ticket price cap for fans visiting the Madejski Stadium – unless other clubs in the EFL offer reciprocal deals.

Since 2016 on the back of the Twenty’s Plenty campaign the Royals have charged away fans no more than £20 per adult, but few in the division have followed suit.

In a statement issued by the club this week, Reading said other Championship clubs would have to commit in advance to offering Reading fans tickets at £20 if they want to take advantage of a similar price at the Madejski.

“Since 2016, we have championed Twenty’s Plenty. However, despite our best efforts, very few other clubs in the Championship have followed suit in their pricing strategy,” Reading said.

“That has resulted in our travelling fans routinely paying well in excess of £20 for the privilege of watching the Royals on the road.

“However, every Championship club will be given the opportunity to offer their fans £20 tickets when their team visits RG2…but only if they commit in advance to a reciprocal arrangement for our loyal away fans in the reverse fixture.”

Away ticket pricing remains a problem in the EFL, particularly in parts of the Championship with many clubs charging prices nearing £40.

With the Premier League expected to renew its league-wide £30 cap on away ticket pricing, the Championship is set to remain as one of the most expensive divisions in the world to be an away fan.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, journalist David Dubas-Fisher looked at ticket prices across the division. Of the 386 Championship matches that took place in the 2018-19 season the vast majority of those games – 80 per cent – had standard, advanced, adult tickets priced at £30 or less. He also found:

  • Some 33 matches had tickets priced between £35 and £40
  • The average cost of an away ticket stands at £27.04
  • The worst offenders were Leeds United who charged visiting fans an average of £37.82 per ticket. Birmingham meanwhile charged £19.12
  • Leeds United fans were charged the most at £29.50 on average, followed by Sheffield United (£29.04). Reading fans were charged the least at £24.85.

What does the FSA think?

It’s clear that a significant number of clubs of the division are charging away fans some eye-watering prices, seriously hurting the average away ticket price. Pricing in the EFL Championship remains a real problem for travelling fans.

The EFL has refused to entertain the idea of a competition-wide price cap, saying that pricing was a matter for each individual club.

“Singling individual cases out can often draw inaccurate conclusions,” an EFL spokesperson said previously. “But the live football experience remains an attractive proposition to millions of people young and old; a fact that is testament to the effort clubs make in working with supporters to devise innovative ways to attracting fans into their stadiums.”

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