The FA Have Moved One Step Closer To Giving Us Our Game Back
Yesterday, the FA announced that all away ticket prices will be no more than £30 for away fans from next season.
The announcement went a long way to bridging the gap between corporate prawn sandwich eaters and the people that keep football alive.
If you’ve ever been to an away game with your team, you’ll know that it’s a special experience.
There’s something about travelling across the country on a sweaty bus with a few dozen equally dedicated fans, drinking warm cans of beer as you go and being half cut by the time kick-off arrives.
The kind of banter on the coach to whichever away ground you happen to be going to is matched when you get into the away end, too, as you and a few thousand others roar on your boys.
But one thing that was slowly killing these kind of adventures was the sheer price of a ticket.
Clubs were free to charge what they liked, and showed no remorse when conning fans out of up to £60 for an away ticket.
Add into that price the cost of the piss-stained bus you’ve just hopped off, the price of a pie and a pint (up to another £10) and a matchday programme, you’re close to being down £100.
Considering that the away end is usually the shittest part of the ground, sometimes exposed to the elements and often with the worst view of the action, the price was nothing short of scandalous.
The ‘Twenty is plenty’ campaign was soon launched, in a bid to make fans feelings known to the big wigs at the FA. Ironically, their salaries are the only ones big enough to afford a full season of away days.
Protests followed, and Liverpool did an excellent job of walking out of their recent game with Sunderland after 77 minutes, in protest at being charged £77 for a seat in their new main stand next season.
It’s a shame Simon Mignolet seemed to join the protest though, as he conceded two goals to blow a 2-0 lead for the Reds, but that’s another story.
While the protest might not have been directly aimed at away ticket prices, it’s certainly an excellent example of fans trying (and eventually succeeding) to reclaim their sport back from the authorites that seem so out of touch with the beautiful game.
The FA caved into pressure from the fans that keep the game going and pay their wages, although they couldn’t bring themselves to concede total defeat.
Reducing prices to £20 would have been ideal, but the suits at the headquarters had to stick an extra tenner onto the price, just to remind everyone that they’re still the ones in charge.
That will never change, but slowly and surely, the lifeblood of the football are slowly taking back their game.