Earlier last month the Football Supporters’ Federation heard from quite a few unhappy Hammers who were told that concessionary rates available to home fans for their trip to Villa Park on Saturday, April 18th, 2009 would not all be passed on to the away support.
This has happened before to West Ham fans, and while we’re not suggesting there’s any cloak and daggers going on behind the scenes at either club, we do hope all Premier League clubs put in administration processes to avoid these issues occurring in future. The FSF’s ticketing group would be happy to hear from you if you know of this happening at any other clubs.
Section J (Rule 9) of the Premier League’s handbook states that clubs must offer travelling supporters same price tickets as the home club’s support for ‘comparable accommodation’. But West Ham’s away fans were not offered the Young Adult (which encompasses those aged 17-20) or Student rates which are £7 cheaper.
Credit to West Ham and Villa though, when the FSF informed them of this they amended the prices and have offered refunds to the away fans who forked out extra. Please note refunds need to be claimed before the Villa game, post game refunds won’t be offered. There should be more detail in the next Hammers programme, while their website advises people contact the ticket office to arrange refunds.
Rather than singling out and blaming individual clubs we think all Premier League clubs need to make sure their administration systems take this issue into account as it's a mistake that we think many will be making, we just haven't heard about them all.
While the amounts are fairly small change matchday costs can soon add up and this doesn’t help. However, the principle of this is the most important thing. Premier League crowds are now in their mid-40’s, on average, and rising. Clubs should be doing everything in their powers to make sure some of the least well off fans, who also happen to be the youngest, can afford live football.
Join the FSF today.