The media were mostly triumphant but there is more work to be done
10 March ~ The Premier League yesterday announced that they will be capping away ticket prices at £30 for the next three seasons. The news was accompanied by a statement from the Premier League hailing the “unique status” of away fans. “They are essential for match atmosphere and stimulate the response from home fans that distinguishes Premier League matches from those of other leagues,” the press release said, before going on: “Responsibility for them [away fans] is shared between clubs and therefore it is right that there is a collective initiative to help them.”
Reacting to the move, Football Supporters’ Federation chief executive Kevin Miles said: "The FSF is delighted with the announcement of a £30 cap – the FSF has campaigned around the issue of ticket prices along with supporter groups around the country and we're very pleased the voice of fans has been listened to.”
Throughout the media the cap has been welcomed. The Independent called it English football’s “most significant step in a generation to reduce ticket prices”, while Martin Samuel at the Mail Online pointed out that £30 “is still a compromise arrangement”.
Michael Brunskill of the FSF was quoted in the Sun, saying: "This has shown that clubs will listen to co-ordinated fan campaigns if it's done in an intelligent and proactive manner.” The Mirror, meanwhile, called the announcement a “victory for the Mirror”, suggesting that “the hugely popular move came after out Play Fair with Fans crusade”.
Owen Gibson of the Guardian, however, was less triumphant. “The move to cap ticket prices at no more than £30 for away fans is such a no-brainer that to applaud it feels an odd thing to do,” he wrote, before going on: “It might be hoped that this is a staging post towards a more mature relationship between clubs and their fans.”
The price cap is certainly welcome, but it is £10 more than the FSF campaigned for and currently applies only to away fans in the Premier League – there is plenty more work to do yet before tickets across the English game become truly affordable. Tom Hocking
Photo by Simon Gill/WSC Photography: A sign for away fans at the Conference South play-off final between Ebbsfleet and Dover, 2014