Ben Barbour talks us through why he thinks Football League fans have a right to be angry about ticket pricing:
During the ongoing saga surrounding the price of tickets in the premier league, and the introduction of the away ticket price cap, the media has largely ignored the pricing of the football league. A day after the news of the introduction of a price cap, I looked to purchase tickets for the Leeds v QPR match as a QPR fan and found out that an adult ticket would cost £35. This means that including travel, this fixture could cost in excess of £100. That is £100 for a wet Tuesday at a half empty Elland Road. Concession tickets were more reasonable but still not cheap. However, if prices such as this continue, and Leeds is certainly not a one off, around a third of championship away games next year will cost £30 or over for an adult. We should expect crowds of 350 who travelled that night to become a common feature of championship football.
The premier league has succumbed to media and fan pressure to reduce prices, and a £30 away ticket is good value for money, coupled with the pot of around £200,000 which each club is given to subsidies away games. Away attendance in the premier league will therefore perhaps increase under these new prices-this creates the atmosphere we see on television and is one of the unique selling points of our league and this has been recognised by the premier league.
Premier league clubs can afford to reduce their ticket prices because ticket revenue is an increasingly small proportion of their revenue stream however, in the football league; ticket prices remain the dominant revenue stream for all clubs not receiving parachute payments. This means that soon, maybe even next season, we will see championship clubs having to charge more money for tickets than half of premier league. As this gap in price between the premier league and the football league closes, the frequent sight of half empty championship stadiums will become more frequent.
I hope that next year QPR fans and other fans of championship clubs will not be paying more to go to Brighton away than a trip to Anfield. It seems as if 10 years down the line the championship may follow the trend of European leagues where away attendance is a large minority and the typical English atmosphere that we enjoy today may well become a luxury of the premier league.
Article Written by Ben Barbour