The Football Association has announced it will reduce the price of its most expensive concessionary tickets ahead of the 2017/18 FA Cup final.
The announcement follows a meeting with Kat Law, one of the official supporters' representatives on the FA Council alongside FSF chair Malcolm Clarke, and fan representatives of the clubs competing in this year’s semi-final.
Concession savings will be increased from £10 to £25 for those who buy Category 1 or Category 2 tickets for the final on Saturday 19th May. The concession prices for Category 3 or Category 4 tickets for the match will remain at £10 off the regular ticket price.
The FA also agreed that ticket prices for the FA Cup final and semi-finals will not increase beyond the rate of inflation until the end of the 2020/21 competition.
Kat Law is one of the two FA Council fan representatives, co-chair of Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust and a member of the FSF and welcomed the FA’s announcement.
“The movement on concessions for this year's final is to be welcomed, as is the commitment to address the wider issues we raised ahead of next year's competition,” said Kat in a statement backed by Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust and Southampton fanzine The Ugly Inside.
“We are obviously disappointed that the other decisions taken for this year's competition will stand, meaning fans face significantly higher costs. And while the pledge to keep future price increases below Retail Price Index until 2021 is progress, we still believe tickets are priced too high and that ticket price inflation has been too steep.
“What we are encouraged by is the FA's acknowledgement that this year's decisions should not have been taken without proper consultation with supporters. And so we welcome the commitment to discuss pricing for subsequent competitions properly with supporter groups.
“The test of that commitment will come as discussions play out. The FA now has the chance to set the standard for genuine consultation that enhances the reputation of the FA Cup, a competition fans continue to hold dear.”
Supporters also pressed the FA on the potential re-categorisation and allocation of Category 2 tickets for areas directly behind each goal. This is to recognise the contribution these areas make to the atmosphere and spectacle at these games.
The FA committed to reviewing that and the possible introduction of accessibly priced family areas within both the East and West stands ahead of the 2018/19 final and semi final. This will be done via “open and collaborative dialogue with the official supporters' representatives on the FA Council”.
Supporter groups have long argued that football ticket pricing is not an “ordinary” market which follows the usual rules of supply and demand. Football is a monopoly product – fans will not swap teams – and the FA, as the game’s regulator, can set an example and lead the game in rewarding fan loyalty.
Further details relating to the concessions policy at this season’s final – including pricing and eligibility – will be announced following this weekend’s semi-finals by the competing clubs.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.