MPs debate: Are young fans being priced out?

The issue of high ticket prices hit Parliament today (Thursday 5th May) as MPs debated whether the game was pricing out the next generation of fans.

“Can I raise Mr Speaker the age of football supporters – the average age of a Premier League season ticket holder is now well into the 40s and there is a real concern that younger people are being priced out of the game,” said Justin Madders MP.

“So can we have a debate please on what more can be done to enable the next generation of football fans to be able to regularly attend Premier League matches.”

Justin is a Manchester United fan and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters to which the FSF is secretariat.

The group aims to support the FSF in representing the interests of match-going fans and ticket prices are high on the agenda.

Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP replied: “He makes a very important point about Premier League prices and I would commend those clubs who are doing work to try and make cheaper tickets available for young people.

"It is of paramount importance in today’s world that football is a family occasion in a way that perhaps it wasn’t a generation ago.

“If we look back to the terrible events of Hillsborough that were described in this House a few days ago it was a different world then.

"Football has become a much more family friendly place, a much more open place – we would not want that to change through high prices.”

While current attendances in the top-flight are high - the Premier League says its “occupancy rate” is 95% - there are genuine concerns from many fan groups that fellow supporters are being priced out. Those in the “young adult” band can be hit hardest as they do not always benefit from concessions.

Prices in the Football League and beyond can be high too. While there are many excellent deals out there which have been met with praise from supporters - such as those at Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town - this isn’t true of every club.

At Hull City the club have chosen to scrap concession prices entirely as part of an overhaul which sees season tickets replaced with a membership scheme, much to their supporters’ bewilderment. It is not clear if the club will offer any type of concession for visiting supporters.