The 20 English Premier League teams have unanimously agreed to cap ticket prices for away fans to £30 ($43) for the next three seasons.
According to a BBC study, many teams won’t have this issue as eight teams sell some away tickets for less than the cap. On the flip side, nine teams sold their cheapest away tickets for over £30.
The cap was in response to growing complaints among fans of EPL teams on the price of home game tickets as well as away games. Things hit a fever pitch when over 10,000 fans walked out of a Liverpool game at Anfield to protest the pricing of tickets throughout the stadium as well as their new main stand. Liverpool officials talked to supporter group leaders and came up with a solution to ditch the original policy and freeze or lower prices, among other things, for at least the next two years.
Fans have been critical of the ticketing structure for the entire Premier League. Given that the EPL now has a £5 billion ($7.14 billion) worldwide TV deal and teams now earn more money now than 99% of the other teams in the world, fans feel that teams don’t need to rely on ticket revenue as heavily as they used to be. And while they have more and more TV money, teams can use that to make ticket prices more affordable to fans, and specifically local fans, as a means to enhance the atmosphere at the stadium as well as reward local fans who have been supporting their hometown team for decades.
Opponents to lowering ticket prices note that incorporating supply and demand economics and the EPL being a league with more and more appeal worldwide, teams shouldn’t need to because there are many fans waiting in line who would be willing to pay that amount or even more money to attend a game. And once fans stop going to games, the prices will adjust accordingly.
While teams capped away ticket prices at £30, many fans feel that isn’t enough. Many fans wanted to have tickets set at £20 ($28), citing additional travel costs potentially needing to be taken on to attend out of town away games. Most everyone agrees that it’s a step in the right direction but it wasn’t as much of a cap as fans had hoped.
Either way, it seemed like a reasonable compromise for all involved. With the never-ending flow of money funneling into the EPL and the teams, everyone wants a piece of that lucrative pie. While people are eating that pie, fans feel like they deserve a price break and don’t deserve to be priced out, especially when some of them were there in the stands when teams were splitting a cupcake and the money wasn’t there.