Premier League tickets to away fixtures will be capped at £30 from next season, Sky Sports has learned. The 20 Premier League clubs reportedly reached a unanimous decision to introduce the cap back in February, with the £30 limit being revealed today. The deal will run from the start of the 2016/2017 season through to the end of the 2018/2019 season.
This news will be welcomed by fans, with the cost of tickets to Premier League fixtures being a huge talking point this season. The most notable was a high-profile protest taking place at Liverpool’s home ground, Anfield, where thousands of supporters walked out in the 77th minute in protest to the proposed £77 ticket in their new stand. The Liverpool fans were successful in this protest, and now it seems that the Premier League fans have another victory with this latest announcement.
In a statement via the official website, the Premier League announced the reasoning for introducing this £30 cap.
“Clubs know that away fans have a unique status. They are essential for match atmosphere and stimulate the response from home fans that distinguishes Barclay’s Premier League matches from those of other leagues.”
Premier League clubs in new deal for away fans. For next 3 seasons away fans can attend matches for no more than £30 pic.twitter.com/wVgKFbY7TE— Premier League (@premierleague) March 9, 2016
Although many Premier League fans will be delighted with the news, particularly fans of the elite clubs with higher ticket prices, not everyone is entirely happy with the limit set at £30. BBC Sport reports that the Football Supporter’s Federation (FSF) has been calling for a cap of £20 to be introduced for a long time, but their director of communications, Michael Brunskill, sees this announcement as a step in the right direction.
“This shows that clubs will listen to reasonable, well articulated mass movements.”
According to Guardian, the Premier League chief executive, Michael Scudamore, suggested a £30 cap over a £20 cap so that all of the clubs would agree. All 20 of the league clubs agreed to this limit, despite the fact that only 14 need to show support in order for a decision to be made.
The decision all stems from the reaction of the fans this season to the cost of Premier League tickets, with many clubs announcing plans to raise their prices for next season. This uproar was furthered by the fact that a £5 billion television deal was also set to come in next season, claims the Independent.
While away tickets at the grounds of many of the smaller Premier League clubs were in the £30 region prior to this deal (and even lower in some cases), it is at the grounds of the elite clubs where this cap will make an enormous difference and make it possible for fans to show their support on match-days. This season, Arsenal (a club heavily criticized for their prices in the past) charged up to £64 for an away ticket. The other top Barclay’s Premier League teams, including Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City, all charge over £40 for their cheapest visiting ticket.
Perhaps feeling the pressure from fans for the high prices, Arsenal also announced on Wednesday via Arsenal.com that they are freezing general admission tickets for games at the Emirates for the next two seasons. They will also provide a further £4 discount for their travelling supporters, meaning that Arsenal fans will not pay more than £26 to see their team play away from home. Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis was delighted to announce the news.
“We have fantastic support home and away. We know that following the club is a commitment and are always seeking to strike the right balance in our pricing.”
By listening to the fans who have made their voices heard this season, the Premier League has them on the side once again, and the new cap should ensure that the atmosphere at every league fixture is improved from next season at grounds around the country. Many Premier League supporters groups have taken to social media to welcome the announcement.
The price cap will save an LFC supporter approx. £330 a season. SOS membership is just £10 a year. Join here https://t.co/rnZfhMDXMS— Spirit of Shankly (@spiritofshankly) March 9, 2016
[Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images]