Football: EPL clubs cap ticket prices to appease fans

Bournemouth fans displaying a poster at Watford revealing their thoughts about away ticket prices. While they did not get the figure they lobbied for, fan representatives have expressed approval at the £30 price caps.
Bournemouth fans displaying a poster at Watford revealing their thoughts about away ticket prices. While they did not get the figure they lobbied for, fan representatives have expressed approval at the £30 price caps.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • English Premier League (EPL) clubs made a climb-down on Wednesday, when they agreed to cap prices for away tickets at £30 (S$59) for the next three seasons.

Four weeks after proposals for a £30 price cap were rejected, the motion was unanimously approved, with the loss in revenue absorbed by the league's new £8.3 billion broadcast deal.

The most expensive away ticket in the Premier League this campaign is £85 at West Ham United, but the new deal will cost certain clubs up to £1.5 million a season, depending on their pricing structure.

The arrangement falls short of the £20 cap that the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) and other groups had lobbied for, but the announcement was applauded by fans. Kevin Miles, the FSF chief executive, said that his group was "very pleased the voice of the fans has been listened to".

While some reservations were initially raised about the specifics of a price cap - with some clubs preferring a continuation of the existing Away Supporters Initiative to take individual measures to subsidise away fans, including travel costs - a consensus for the price cap was reached before the vote.

  • How much did away fans have to pay?

  • Most expensive single away match ticket in the Premier League for the 2015-16 season:

    West Ham: £85 (S$166.80)
    Arsenal: £64 Chelsea: £59
    Manchester City: £58
    Tottenham: £54
    Everton: £48

    Least expensive away ticket:

    West Bromwich Albion: £10
    Watford: £20
    Leicester City: £22
    Stoke City: £25
    Newcastle United: £25
    West Ham: £25

    SOURCE: BBC

In a statement, the Premier League said: "Clubs know that away fans are essential for match atmosphere and thus they have unanimously agreed that more should be done to help away fans."

As one of the campaign's prime movers at club level, Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: "The travelling supporter makes a huge commitment to their clubs; they go to support their team for a large proportion of the 38 Premier League games in a season. It is absolutely right that football, as a family, looks after that group of fans."

At the FSF, Miles said: "The unanimous support of all top-flight clubs is welcome and shows the impact that the collective voice of fans can have."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'EPL clubs cap ticket prices to appease fans'. Print Edition | Subscribe