Premier League Away Fans' Fund

AWAY FANS MATTER4

Since its launch in January 2013 Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets has become a rallying cry for fans who want to make their discontent with prices known, especially in relation to away games.

The campaign’s primary aim is to persuade “football clubs at all levels of the game to recognise and reward the amazing contribution of away fans by getting together to agree an across the board price cap on away match tickets of £20 (£15 for concessions)”.

Show your support and sign the petition here – this triggers an email in your name to your club and the relevant league outlining your support for Twenty’s Plenty.

While a maximum of £20 for away tickets is the ultimate target we’re pleased to see that the campaign’s now having an impact on clubs who are now looking at ways of making away games more affordable for their fans.

PL Away Fans' Fund

Premier League clubs have set aside a pot of £12m over the next three seasons which will be used to make games more affordable for away fans, whether it’s for their own or visiting supporters. This equates to £200,000 per club, per season.

This is a step in the right direction (for top-flight fans) and we believe it’s a direct response to Twenty’s Plenty and direct action from supporters at Liverpool, Manchester City, Crystal Palace and many, many more.

Away fans often drive the atmosphere in stadiums – they’re critical to the multi-billion media deals that clubs rely on. Would the Premier League sell all those subscriptions in Asia and North America without the massive contribution that they make?

We don’t think so, and it seems Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has come to the same conclusion.

“In the past five years we’ve seen a 10 per cent decline in away attendance,” said Scudamore. “In the past six months we’ve put a lot of effort into what can be done for away attendance. One of our unique selling points is the away attendance because it creates the tension, the passion, the show.”

Here at the Football Supporters’ Federation we’re happy to call clubs out when they get it wrong but we’re also firm believers in crediting clubs when they take a step in the right direction.

We’ve listed the deals for away fans that we’ve heard of below. The Premier League say all deals should be announced by the end of September so let us know (tickets@fsf.org.uk) if we've missed any.

Premier League Away Fans’ Fund offers:

  • Arsenal’s away fans will receive a £2.50 discount on every remaining away Premier League match ticket. The club will also provide away supporters with a £10 refreshments voucher at an away fixture this Christmas and invest in the away end at the Emirates.
  • Aston Villa offer travelling supporters free coach travel for ten games this season starting with their match against Hull City on Saturday 5th October.
  • Cardiff City will subsidise 30 coaches for Norwich City away so fans only have to pay a fiver. The club are also looking into other deals.
  • Chelsea confirm subsidised travel for at least 10 away games this season including long trips to Everton, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Sunderland.
  • Crystal Palace and Swansea City do a reciprocal deal which means “any adult ticket can be purchased at half-price with every full-price junior ticket”. The Jacks also promise to provide a free hot meal for every travellng fan at St Mary's on 6th October.
  • Liverpool reduce away ticket prices by £2-£4, dependent on the opposition. The decision was taken after consultation with the club’s Supporters' Committee.
  • Norwich City laid on 25 free coaches for the trip to Hull City and have offered half price tickets for Stoke City away.
  • Stoke City offer free coach travel to away fans for all Premier League fixtures. This has already resulted in the Potters taking a club record number of fans to Anfield for a Premier League fixture.
  • Sunderland subsidise away tickets at certain fixtures by £10 and improve the concourse, signage and bar areas for travelling fans. The Black Cats will also produce 40,000 guidebooks for visiting fans with things to see and do while in the area.

The majority of these deals relate to travel and not lower prices, the latter being our preferred option. This is because price cuts help all fans whereas reduced coach travel is only a benefit for those who prefer to travel by coach, from a specific location.

This means supporters who prefer to travel by car, train or other means miss out – as do exiles who don’t travel from their club’s city or town.

One such example is FSF Chair Malcolm Clarke, a Stoke City fan living in Manchester who’ll miss out on his club’s free coach offer precisely because he doesn’t travel to games from Stoke.

However, Malcolm says he’s a “big believer in not letting the best be the enemy of the better” and welcomes the Premier League’s Away Fans Fund.

Malcolm says: “This isn’t a magic bullet but it does make away games a good deal more affordable for some who might otherwise not be able to make it. It shows that clubs can be persuaded to listen to fans. We need to acknowledge that and encourage the clubs to keep it coming!”