A Sunderland fanzine chief has given his backing to a delegation which is converging on the capital to call for a cut in away game ticket prices.
Fans led by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) will deliver a message to Premier League clubs demanding that the cost of watching your club away from home comes down.
We run buses to away games and a lot of fans will come in to book a place before asking if they can pay when they get their wages, student loans or employment benefits because they can’t afford to at that point.A Love Supreme editor in chief Martyn McFadden
October saw price protests across the leagues which even drew support from Bayern Munich fans visiting Arsenal for their Champions League fixture.
Supporters of top-flight clubs have identified tomorrow’s Premier League shareholders meeting as the next step in lobbying for cheaper tickets.
An open letter calling for a £20 cap on all away tickets will be handed over to bosses, in line with the FSF’s ongoing “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign.
In addition fans will call for an increase in the availability and discounts offered to young adults.
The FSF argues that supporters graduate from concessionary prices to the full adult price band at a time when they are likely to be in education, apprenticeships or minimum wage jobs, making football unaffordable for many.
Clubs are also expected to look at their investment in the Away Fans’ Initiative (ASI) – a scheme designed to help away fans.
At present £200,000 is budgeted per club, per season with many clubs using it to reduce away ticket prices or subsidise travel costs.
Supporters argue that in light of the Premier League’s record-busting media deal – expected to reach £8billion once foreign rights sales are completed – the ASI should be substantially increased.
The FSF says a £1m subsidy per club, per season would allow all away tickets to be capped at £20.
Supporters who are part of SAFC fanzine A Love Supreme (ALS) are backing the delegation, alongside followers of Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur.
ALS editor in chief Martyn McFadden said: “We run buses to away games and a lot of fans will come in to book a place before asking if they can pay when they get their wages, student loans or employment benefits because they can’t afford to at that point.
“You can spend at least £100 travelling the length and breadth of the country to watch Sunderland get slaughtered.
“I know that Sunderland as a club are subsidising some of the cost of going to the Monday game at Crystal Palace later this month.
“Any reduction in prices will be a moral victory which I hope the FSF win.”
Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the FSF, said: “Thanks to their colossal media deal Premier League clubs will be billions of pounds richer than they were only a few seasons ago, and they weren’t exactly poor then.
“If you look at the increase in the domestic media deal alone, it equates to more than £40 for
every single fan, at every single game, over the three season deal.
“There is simply no excuse for them not doing more for football’s loyal supporters.
“A tiny fraction of that income could make a huge difference to travelling fans and young adults.”