Ahead of this weekend's North London derby, supporter groups from both clubs have come together calling on a cap on away ticket prices and urge their clubs to address their concerns on home ticket pricing...
Ahead of the coming weekend’s North London Derby, organisations representing supporters of both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are making an unprecedented move to speak with one voice on ticket pricing. Fans of the respective clubs agree about nothing generally in the football world. In this case, however, we believe that the game is in danger of pricing out its most loyal and dedicated fans in this country. Many can no longer afford to regularly attend the game that they love.
Both clubs, along with the other eighteen Premier League members, have an opportunity to address this issue, given the huge increase in broadcasting revenue that will accrue from the new collective domestic and overseas contracts.
We back the call of the Football Supporters’ Federation, already supported by a large number of Premier League clubs, for a price cap on tickets for visiting supporters at all Premier League games. We believe that such a cap is the fairest way to reward those supporters who spend much time and money following their clubs all over the country, irrespective of how they choose to travel to games. We also believe that there should be a considerable increase in the amount of money set aside for the Away Supporters’ Initiative (ASI).
In the absence of any other proposal that would be as fair and as effective for supporters, we would urge our own clubs not to block a proposal that would benefit all fans. We also believe that the TV money coming in to the game should be used to address concerns over home ticket pricing. At Arsenal this could mean a minimum of a freeze in all home ticket prices for the duration of the TV contract, until May 2019. At Tottenham Hotspur this could mean no rise in the real cost of attending home games during the season away from White Hart Lane, and the adoption of a genuinely accessible pricing policy at the new stadium.
We would welcome discussions on home ticket pricing as well as issues relating to rewarding loyalty and cutting the cost of attending matches for younger and older supporters, who are often on low incomes. We believe that we speak for the wider fan bases of both clubs, as well as our members, on the issue of ticket prices. A move to lessen the burden on supporters is in the enlightened self-interest of both clubs. The TV product depends not only on full stadiums but passionate, loud crowds as a major part of its appeal. High visiting supporter attendance is crucial to this, as is the attendance of younger less affluent fans. The measures that we propose will promote both.
The forthcoming Premier League shareholders’ meeting presents an important opportunity. We hope it is seized.