Ticket watch: Let's stay vigilant on prices

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There’s been a huge focus over the past few years on ticket prices and much headway has been made, particularly in relation to away fans. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot to be done.

With the Championship set to kick-off tomorrow we’ve had a string of entirely understandable complaints relating to prices at that level – most notably Sheffield Wednesday’s £42 tickets for Villa fans.

Elsewhere, the Premier League’s decision to cap away tickets at £30 was a welcome one but, as we said at the time, vigilance is key; we don’t want to see concessionary prices rise. Throughout the Twenty’s Plenty campaign we argued that concession tickets should be capped at £15.

However, despite grabbing their share of an £8bn+ media deal we’ve already seen the odd club deliberately push up kids and OAP prices for visiting fans – take a bow Crystal Palace!

West Bromwich Albion-supporting FSF members have already been in touch to say their enthusiasm for the start of the season has been dampened by the increase in U18 prices for away fans – jumping 25% from £16 to £20.

So what was Palace’s reasoning?

We’d love to be able to tell you but despite contacting the club’s Supporter Liaison Officer on 14th July and sending half-a-dozen emails since then we’ve still had no explanation or reply, other than a vague “we’ll get back to you”. They didn’t.

Of course just because Crystal Palace are rubbish at replying to emails, it doesn’t mean they’re the only offender when it comes to away prices or that they’re not good at other things (for balance they do seem one of the more progressive clubs on safe standing).

But it does bring into focus the fact that some clubs’ ticket offices will push up prices if they think no-one will really notice – well we want to make sure that isn’t the case!

Update: Crystal Palace contacted us in mid-August to explain the pricing for the West Brom game. A Crystal Palace spokesman said:

“The pricing of £20 junior tickets for the West Bromwich Albion supporters was an unfortunate administrative error. The club addressed this mistake before the game by offering a £4 refund to all junior away fans that had purchased at the incorrect price. We apologise for the mistake and any inconvenience caused.

“This season, all visiting supporters will benefit from a discounted rate on Crystal Palace tickets. For a Category A game an adult and a child can purchase tickets for £46, offering a £14 saving from last season. All junior fans attending a Premier League match at Selhurst Park this season will pay just £16 - regardless of who the opposition are or what category the match falls into.

“On Tuesday 23 August at Palace’s EFL Cup match against Blackpool, U12s can come in free if they are each accompanied by an adult or senior concession ticket holder.”

Our affiliates at Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust point out that tickets for their upcoming game at Goodison Park the home club are charging away seniors £21 and juniors £16. That’s a reduction of £7 for seniors and £6 for juniors, in comparison to last season. At the other end of the Seven Sisters Road Arsenal Supporters’ Trust also highlighted U16 prices at the Emirates:

These prices are just a snapshot though and we have asked both the Premier League and the newly-christened English Football League for a full breakdown of all away prices across their competions. That will enable fans to judge prices in their full context and help resolve what is or isn’t “fair” in many supporters’ minds.

  • Whatever the level, we want you to remain vigilant – let us know if there’s any issues relating to your club, or a club you’re visiting, by emailing: tickets@fsf.org.uk

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this story.