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What is the worst view in football?

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

When Mark Kennedy got in touch with the FSF complaining of an appalling view during his visit to St Andrew’s to take in Birmingham City v Manchester United it got us thinking – just what is the worst view in domestic football? We’d love to see what examples FSF members have experienced.

Email your pictures to info@fsf.org.uk or via the FSF’s Facebook page.

As a starter for ten we’ve included the picture that Mark sent us (top left), which is what he “enjoyed” during his trip to Brum. There are also a few others below – can you tell which grounds they are? All will be revealed at the end of this article.

Back to Mark and his wife Julie, who are actually Northampton fans, but seeing as their game with Hereford on 28th December was postponed they decided to make the most of a free day by taking in a Premier League game. The evening prior to the match Mark forked out £70.50 online for two tickets – including the obligatory booking and postage fee – even though he was picking them up in person.

“We arrived at St Andrews and collected our tickets before making our way into the ground, quite excited at the prospect of the match that lay ahead. Our joy was short lived when we found our seats which were severely obstructed by part of the old main stand.  When sitting in our seats, the goal at the far end was completely out of view as was the far corner of the pitch making the game impossible to watch when a team was attacking the right wing,” explains Mark.

“I have been following football for around 25 years now and have visited pretty much every single ground in Leagues One and Two plus the majority of Championship and many non-league grounds – over 100 in total. This is by far the worst view I have ever encountered and I would expect far better. I find it an absolute disgrace that Birmingham City Football Club can justify charging £34 per seat for such a diabolical view.”

Mark handily sent us his tickets which, as he correctly points out, give absolutely no indication of any viewing restriction. However, it turns out that Birmingham City’s online booking page includes a tick box that there is “Important Seat Information” pertaining to the seats in question.

Birmingham City say: “In order for any seat which holds a Restricted/Obstructed View to be purchased a customer must either accept or decline the information, by ticking the box. Without ticking this box you are unable to proceed any further with this particular booking. We would always recommend that supporters who are unfamiliar with locations in the stadium make contact with our helpful box office team who are there to advise/assist with bookings.”

So the Blues do acknowledge that the seats are restricted view, albeit with the online equivalent of “always read the small print”. By way of an apology Birmingham City have offered Mark and Julie a free set of tickets for another Premier League match of their choice, so fair play to the Blues for that. We know of many clubs who would have done no such thing and fobbed off the complaint.

However, it would be better if clubs made it absolutely crystal clear from the outset when a view is restricted. Imagine travelling hundreds of miles to see as game and missing the action? Once a goal is missed, it’s missed, the horse has bolted. Fans pay through the nose to experience the live adrenalin rush of the goal and no refund can ever make truly up for missing that.

If you have suffered at the hands of the dreaded restricted view email your pictures to info@fsf.org.uk or let us know via the FSF’s Facebook page.

Did you guess the other grounds? Not all of these views were necessarily sold as “normal” views, many clubs are very open about viewing restrictions. They were:

#1 Anfield (Liverpool)
#2 Kenilworth Road (Luton Town)
#3 The Hawthorns (WBA)

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