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Football fans campaign over ticket prices after Arsenal-Man City furore

Thursday, January 24, 2013
3:11 PM

Rival sets of football fans are to be brought together in a campaign launched today against high ticket prices.

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Cutting the cost of away tickets, with a £20 cap for these seats, would be a powerful way to help make football more affordable, the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) campaign argues.

It could also help halt a decline in away attendances.

The FSF is holding a series of events as part of the Score Campaign: Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets.

Earlier this month Manchester City fans held up a protest banner declaring “£62 where will it stop” at the Emirates Stadium.

City fans had complained at being charged £62 for away tickets for the game, with around 900 tickets returned unsold for the game.

The Metropolitan Police helped Arsenal’s stewards remove a banner, saying it was to prevent a breach of the peace as fans had refused to take it down.

“Those who follow their team away are the distilled essence of the football fan - the hardcore. Without away fans the atmosphere at games dies and football loses a large part of what makes it so special,” FSF deputy chairman Martin O’Hara said.

“Travelling supporters spend the most time and money on their team and that deserves recognition and reward.

“In the short term clubs might make a few extra quid by squeezing away fans dry but long-term vision is required.”

Through a series of meetings to be held nationwide, the FSF hopes it can get sports fans to speak with one voice on the issue.

Mr O’Hara said: “Who wants to go to games without away fans, games without passion?

“We believe that an away ticket price cap of £20 would make football more affordable and halt the decline in away fan attendances.

“The Score Campaign aims to make this a reality.”

More than 4,000 supporters replied to the FSF’s 2012 National Fans’ Survey in which 92.2% of them said ticket prices were too high.

Four out of 10 respondents said they were now attending fewer games because of high ticket prices.

This is an increase on the last survey in 2009, when 25% said they were watching less live football than before.

The Football Association noted that prices are a league and club matter in the first instance.

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