Liverpool and Man United fans to launch ticket price campaign
Concern growing over cost of watching games as Man City return a third of Arsenal allocation
DISQUIET over Premier League ticket prices is growing after champions Manchester City returned a third of their allocation for the match against Arsenal this weekend because they were unable to sell them. And fans from leading clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United are set to put their differences to one side and campaign for a cap on prices.
The tickets City could not sell for the Arsenal game cost £62 each, making them unaffordable for many fans, and supporters say they feel discriminated against.
It is followers of the biggest clubs who are hardest hit, as visiting teams are categorised according to their box office appeal.
"Supporters of both Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham routinely get charged the highest category prices to attend away matches while followers of other sides are able to pay less," explains The Guardian.
When Stoke, a less glamorous side, visit the Emirates, for example, their supporters will be able to get in for just £32.50.
The situation has prompted rival sets of fans to come together to demand a reduction in ticket prices.
A spokesman for Liverpool's Spirit of Shankley supporters group said they were prepared to work with fans of "arch enemy" Manchester United as "Liverpool fans aren't going to change it on their own".
The Manchester United Supporters Trust said all clubs should "recognise the essential importance of genuine vocal away fans to the culture of English football".
Malcolm Clarke, president of the Football Supporters' Federation, told the Guardian that action was imminent. "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."
He added that TV revenue could be used to subsidise ticket prices, and claimed that the extra money coming into the game next season could be used to reduce ticket prices by £32.
Even Arsenal fans, who pay the most to watch their team, back the campaign. "The away fan is disproportionately important," said Tim Payton of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust. "They create the noise, tribalism and the atmosphere."