Last month we announced plans for a Twenty’s Plenty Weekend of Action which was set to take place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March 2016.
That weekend was strategically very significant as it is the last set of fixtures ahead of a shareholder meeting the clubs scheduled for Wednesday 23rd March 2016. The clubs set league-wide rules at shareholder meetings.
The last shareholder meeting took place in early February and reports suggested that 12 or 13 clubs were in favour of an away price cap of £30. Fourteen or more Premier League clubs need to support something for it to become policy.
Clubs were very close to backing an away price cap.
With that in mind it was clear fans had to turn up the heat and make sure that the issue of away prices was in the media spotlight that weekend, ahead of the shareholder meeting.
At a national level we aimed to replicate October’s Weekend of Action which helped the Twenty’s Plenty message reach millions, flooding Twitter timelines and securing coverage in The Guardian, BBC and Talksport among others. Sky Sports' Martin Tyler even took time out during Arsenal vs Manchester United to discuss the issue.
We have huge faith in the capability of FSF volunteers across-the-country to deliver these messages locally - many plans were hatched and activities planned across England and Wales…
Then on Wednesday 9th March, a few minutes before 1pm, we received a press release from the Premier League which committed clubs to a £30 away price cap. For 24 hours the issue dominated the back pages as the announcement was welcomed by supporters’ groups.
The knock on effect was that the weekend of Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March 2016 immediately became strategically far less significant. Come Wednesday 23rd March clubs will not be debating and voting upon a proposed away price cap as it has already been passed. The very specific reason for targeting 19th and 20th March no longer exists.
However, we understand that some supporters and fan groups wish to promote the Twenty’s Plenty message this weekend. We’re very pleased to have seen Twenty’s Plenty banners displayed at many games over the past few months as the campaign’s profile grew.
At last year’s weekend of action fans made connections and built friendships with followers of rival clubs and some wish to carry out planned activity this Saturday and Sunday. If fans of opposing clubs would like help contacting one another, pop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’re happy to put groups in touch with one another.
The top-flight £30 price cap is a big step in the right direction and everyone should be proud of the role they played to help achieve this. It will save fans millions of pounds over the next three seasons.
The FSF will now consult our affiliated fan groups in the Premier League, Football League and National League to decide what the next steps are to combat high prices.
Thanks @cfcunofficial for the image.