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West Ham United drop prices after TV windfall

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

West Ham United have announced they’ll reduce season ticket prices when they move into the Olympic Stadium (2016/17), as a result of the Premier League’s new and improved TV deal. Here’s the FSF’s take…

Since the announcement of the Premier League’s £5.14bn domestic media deal in February – with another £3bn expected from foreign sales – we’ve consistently argued that clubs should use the money to reduce prices for home and away fans.

West Ham United have fired the starting gun on that with the announcement that all season ticket prices will be reduced when they move to the Olympic Stadium.

The club says: “Every Season Ticket Holder sitting in bands 1-4 for the final season at the Boleyn Ground will see a reduction of at least £26 in their Season Ticket price. Band 1 will come down by £26 (-3%), Band 2 by £61 (-7%), Band 3 by £201 (-25%) and Band 4 by £151 (-23%).”

A new band 5 season ticket costing £289 will also be introduced, while U16 season tickets are set at £99. U21s, disabled fans, and over 65s will pay between £250-£450 – more details.

We’d like to see more clubs follow suit.

“West Ham United have thrown down the gauntlet to other clubs – who can offer the cheapest season ticket prices in the top-flight?” asks FSF chair Malcolm Clarke.

With the increase from the new domestic media deal alone equating to £46 for every fan, at every single game, they have more than enough to do it.

This isn’t even just a moral argument, it actually makes financial sense for the club to keep prices low, in order to ensure full stands. Do you really think £8bn TV deals will continue to roll in if the stands are empty?

It’s a truth that the Premier League themselves acknowledge. “Full and vibrant stadiums are an essential part of our competition, and one of the main reasons for the Premier League’s continued success,” says chief executive, Richard Scudamore.

We welcome West Ham United’s announcement and await further details as to the proportion of tickets in the lower price bands and yet-to-be announced prices for away fans.

As Malcolm told the BBC: “Any reduction is welcome, so two cheers for West Ham for that, but before we give them three cheers, we await to see what they do about price categories, what they do about away fans and what they do with ordinary admission.

“We’re hopeful this is the first of many moves by the clubs to significantly reduce ticket prices. We will definitely keep up the pressure to ensure it happens. Now the other clubs have a year to respond, so let’s see who can offer the lowest season ticket in a year’s time.”

This looks a good deal for West Ham United’s season ticket holders, but we’ll keep pushing to bring down prices across-the-board. Young or old. Home or away. Premier League or Football League. Fans of Conference clubs even say prices are too high at times.

Thanks to davidcjones for the image reproduced under CC license.

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