Federation demands action

First published in Sport

FOOTBALL Supporters Federation chairman Malcolm Clarke has called on the Premier League to act collectively to bring down ticket prices.

Fans will march on the league’s London headquarters today to raise awareness of the issue before a delegation from the FSF meets chief executive Richard Scudamore and a representative from the Football League.

It is the second year the group has protested, having highlighted the cost of tickets for away supporters 12 months ago.

Some improvements have been made in that area and while the Premier League has always insisted pricing is an issue for individual clubs Clarke believes that is an excuse.

“The Premier League is the clubs. There are regular club meetings and it is an organisation of clubs so it is a bit ridiculous for them to say (ticket prices) are set by the clubs,” he told Press Association Sport.

“What we want is for the Premier League executives to be putting pressure on the clubs to take some action but if that fails then the responsibility lies with the clubs.

“We don’t make this weird distinction between the Premier League and the clubs.

“It is up to them to take some action on it because it is a bit of a cop out to say they are separate.”

Last year’s march did bring progress with clubs making some concessions to the vast legion of travelling supporters up and down the country and Clarke is hopeful that can be extended.

“It is always difficult to measure these things exactly,”

he added.

“The Premier League has introduced this initiative where the clubs are expected to spend £200,000 a year to benefit away fans but that does not necessarily go into ticket prices.

“That was a small move in the right direction and we hope to keep up the pressure.”

While Premier League pricing may grab the headlines Clarke stressed the cost of a match ticket was an issue for supporters throughout the leagues.

The FSF want action to be taken to prevent many being priced out of the game entirely.

“It is the same old story really. Some clubs have put their prices up again this season,”

Clarke said.

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