Manchester United and Liverpool fans have called an unlikely truce as they campaign for a wage cap on away ticket prices in the Premier League.
Arsenal tried to charge Manchester City fans £62 to attend the Premier League clash at the Emirates this weekend. Supporters of the biggest tams are often asked to pay more for match day tickets when they visit local and league rivals.
The idea has been generated by the Football Supporter’s Federation and Supporters Direct who are planning a series of meetings between rival supporters groups on the best way forward on the issue. United and Liverpool supporters groups are expected to spearhead the campaign.
It is expected that a planned wage cap of between £20-£25 will be called for, perfectly reasonable considering the extra TV income many sides are likely to receive from next season onwards.
“We're going to be launching a campaign within a few weeks, we will be calling for a maximum ticket price in the Premier League for away fans. Next season they could knock off £32 from every single ticket, for every single game, for every single supporter in the Premier League,” Malcolm Clarke, FSF president, told the Guardian.
The difference can be clearly seen with a direct comparison between Stoke city fans going to Arsenal and Manchester City supporters. Stoke fans are charged around £32 to travel to the Emirates while that figure nearly doubles for the £62 charged to city fans.
It is a very sensible and viable idea which should help local supporters continue to follow their clubs instead of being priced out of the equation altogether.
There is a clear argument that if local supporters of major clubs are excluded from watching football because it’s too expensive, local rivalries will die away because fewer and fewer generations will be brought up watching their local side play.
There is also a clear argument that the atmosphere at football matches is made better by the presence of away supporters, generally creating as much noise as they possibly can when visiting a main rival.
If clubs reach the point where they simply send back an allocation of away tickets then it will not be possible for football to maintain the buzz and excitement which has always been associated with going to a live match.
Is this a good idea? Will it work? Tell us what you think.
image: © joncandy