Fans from across London came together last night (31st January 2013) to discuss the FSF’s Score Campaign: Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets. The idea behind the Score Campaign is simple – we want clubs throughout England and Wales to agree to charge no more than £20 for away match tickets (£15 concessions).
The aims of this meeting, and last week’s Manchester launch, were two-fold: firstly to explain the fundamental ideas and principles behind the Score Campaign, and secondly to tap into the energy, ideas and opinions of fans across the country.
Around 60 supporters attended including individual fans and representatives of supporters’ groups from Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Leyton Orient, QPR, Reading, Spurs, West Ham United and AFC Wimbledon. London is obviously home to many fans of non-London clubs too, with Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Motherwell, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland, Yeovil and York also on show. If you were there and your club isn’t included in this list drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Score Campaign has also received international attention and we were delighted to welcome Marc Quambusch, a German fan who was instrumental in launching the excellent Kein Zwanni initiative. The German magazine 11 Freunde (a rough equivalent to When Saturday Comes) and Russia-2 TV channel also came along to see what it was all about.
Ninety minutes of lively, respectful debate saw partisanship put to one side with a clear consensus that a campaign around ticket prices was absolutely required. Of course there was some disagreement about the best way to go about achieving this. Some favoured boycotts while others argued that visual actions inside and outside of grounds were preferable. There was also discussion around the campaign’s away ticket theme with some feeling it should be broadened to encompass home prices. Others argued that this would dilute the campaign’s focus making it more difficult to achieve any form of success.
The point was raised that many lower league fans might view the campaign as Premier League-centric. This is a concern that we share and is often the result of how ‘fan issues’ are reported in the national media, with an inevitable focus on the ‘big’ clubs. However, fans in the lower leagues do sometimes pay more than £20 for a ticket and, if the Score Campaign was a success, it would benefit them.
The Score Campaign will also be part of an umbrella campaign which looks at the experience of away fans from different perspectives encompassing not just ticket costs but the overall matchday ‘experience’, transport, policing and stewarding issues.
Once the dust has settled on yesterday’s meeting we’ll compare notes with the Manchester event and pull all that together in one (much longer!) piece. Keep an eye on this site, the FSF Facebook page and Twitter feed.
While there is clearly a lot of work for fans to make this happen, there was also a clear appetite to put aside club rivalries and unite for a common cause. The sense that this could be the start of a nationwide movement was palpable. In the coming days, weeks and months we suspect football clubs and the authorities will be hearing a lot more from fans on the issue of ticket prices.