In consultation with the 19 other Premier League clubs and the Premier League themselves, it seems Aston Villa decided £20 wasn’t exactly plenty when it came to a cap of away ticket prices.
With fans more than making their voices heard when it comes to ticket prices in general, and as gained more traction, away prices in particular this season, the Premier League announced yesterday that member clubs had agreed to a maximum price of £30 for the next three coming seasons – starting with 2016-17.
Not that it matters to us any more!
Of course it’s progress, and for regular away day travellers it will be welcomed and may of course entice a few others to take in an extra away day or two over the course of a year and that should be applauded.
But if the Away Supporters’ Initiative (ASI) back in 2013, that saw for example some clubs subsidise away travel with their ‘invested’ £200,000 whilst others subsidised tickets themselves, was a first step, this £30 cap can only be the second step of many more to come.
The BBC Cost of Football survey for last season showed that even the cheapest ticket prices in the league had broken the £30 mark for the first time, and for cheapest away ticket prices in their results, only eight clubs charged less than £30 anyway.
Seven charged more than £30 – some considerably so.
So whilst the new cap will mean fans will gain for some clubs, it’s only inevitable when away tickets rise to the cap, they will lose out quicker on others.
In general, will a regular away fan actually be any better off over the course of an entire season?
Time will tell.
At a February 4th meeting the decision was taken between clubs that the £30 cap should apply and also that it would be frozen at that level for the next three seasons – and it’s said the decision was unanimous.
In introducing the cap, it will now replace the ASI initiative as referenced above, that figures show helped produce a 9% rise in away attendance figures through the varying ideas it produced.
It would be hoped that whilst it wasn’t the sensible £20 cap called for, that would then have a follow through effect to normal ticket prices, if the new cap can be shown to double the ASI’s % increase then that has to be applauded.
Especially if then, it still has a follow through effect to prices in general because nobody underestimates the impact of the new television deal – and guess what – fans fund that as well.
Either way, fans in the stands deserve a better deal than currently exists.
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