On Thursday 12th November, a small delegation of fans delivered the letter below to a meeting of the Premier League's 20 shareholder clubs - the first meeting of the clubs since a national weekend of action by fans supporting the Twenty's Plenty campaign...
Dear Premier League clubs,
The past weeks and months have shown that fans feel increasingly squeezed in relation to ticket prices. Our “Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets” protest in October saw activities at every single Premier League club. Supporters of Bayern Munich even backed our call during their visit to the Emirates. Fans are speaking with one voice on this issue and an increasing number of journalists, pundits and players are voicing their concerns too. Ticket prices are too high.
The Premier League is one of the world’s great leagues and it is our firm belief that supporters play a huge role in this, creating a vibrant spectacle in the stands that has helped clubs secure a record-busting media deal.
We believe that away supporters play a massive part in this and, while home fans can also pay high prices, they at least have access to season ticket discounts or locally promoted deals. No such luck for away supporters who have to contend with higher prices and games being moved for TV, resulting in increased transport costs as rail tickets go to waste. Yet their contribution to the atmosphere is immeasurable.
If away numbers decline, atmospheres will stagnate with negative consequences for home fans too. Ultimately it could lead to a reduced media deal - who wants to watch games played in front of empty stands? It is in the clubs’ own interest to ensure football is affordable for travelling fans.
We welcomed the introduction of the Away Fans’ Initiative which showed that it is possible to act collectively while leaving room for flexibility at each club. However, we believe that the Premier League can go further than the £200,000 which has so far been committed per club, per season.
Since the Away Fans’ Initiative was established clubs have signed the £5.14bn domestic media deal with an estimated £3bn in foreign rights to follow. The increase in domestic rights alone equates to more than £40 for every fan, at every single game, over the three year deal. It is a phenomenal amount of money and it is in clubs’ interests to use a small fraction of that to ensure football is affordable for the away fan.
In addition to this we reiterate our call for clubs to increase the availability and discounts offered to young adults. Fans often graduate from concession to full adult price band while they are in full time education, apprenticeships or minimum wage jobs. Price supporters out then and you might lose them for life - football should be affordable to all.
The FSF calls for:
- A £20 cap on all away tickets - Twenty’s Plenty
- An Away Fans Initiative Mark 2, with £1m per club per season set aside primarily to subsidise ticket prices for their away fans
- An end to match categorisation for away fans
- An increase in the availability and discounts offered to young adults.