Premier League clubs have been asked to overhaul ticket pricing policy for away supporters with fans groups demanding significant reductions in time for next season.
Supporters Direct, a group promoting the value of supporter action at clubs across Europe, have written to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore to request that their ideas are included on the agenda for the governing body’s shareholders’ meeting on April 11.
The letter is endorsed by the Football Supporters’ Federation, an organisation representing fans in England and Wales, and by 12 independent supporters’ trusts, including those of Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers, as well as those of Manchester United and Liverpool.
The measures the fans’ groups have called for include:
■ “a standard discounted price” to be put in place for away fans throughout the Premier League.
■ a commercial sponsor to cover any eventual shortfall that clubs would incur through reducing ticket prices for away supporters.
■ children to be allowed into the away section for free, or at a heavily reduced price.
The cost to supporters of following their teams gained national exposure earlier this season, when the £62 charged by Arsenal to Manchester City fans saw the champions return nearly 1,000 tickets from their 3,000 allocation before the fixture at Emirates Stadium in January.
That £62 is the most expensive ticket for away fans in London although Arsenal also sell the cheapest ticket for visiting supporters, charging only £25.50 for some games.
Chelsea have the next highest price band for away fans with tickets starting at £47 and going up to £59.
Tottenham charge between £32-£54 for seats in the away section, Fulham between £35-£49, Queens Park Rangers £30-£55 while West Ham’s prices are between £39-£49.
The Premier League did not comment publicly on the issue but sources at the organisation were keen to highlight that matches in the division were 95 per cent sold out this season, which is higher than last term’s figure of 91 per cent.
The letter sent by Supporters Direct read: “Supporters are increasingly voicing their concern and anger at the cost of supporting their clubs, in particular at away games. The last few months have seen supporters’ dissent increase whether through the proliferation of banners or through away fans voting with their feet by refusing to attend certain games with particularly high ticket prices.
“It is therefore appropriate to listen to the concerns of the supporters via their representative supporter groups. Supporters Direct and the individual supporters’ trusts endorse the work undertaken by the FSF in this regard.
“Action must be taken by the Premier League and their clubs collectively to preserve the significant benefits to the game that the culture of away support brings. This should include considering the prohibitive cost of buying tickets for many away games.”