Protesters hopeful over prices

A group of fans believe they have made positive progress in their campaign for lower Premier League ticket prices following a London protest.

Last Updated: 19/06/13 at 21:05

Ticket protest: Fans feel there needs to be change

Ticket protest: Fans feel there needs to be change

Supporters from across the country gathered to demonstrate outside Premier League headquarters this afternoon while a delegation met with the competition's chief executive Richard Scudamore inside.

Disgruntlement over the rising cost of attending matches, particularly away matches, has grown in recent years and notably commanded attention after Manchester City's visit to Arsenal in January.

City returned around one third of the 3,000 tickets they were allocated for the game after fans balked at the £62 price.

Football Supporters Federation chief executive Kevin Miles attended the meeting with Scudamore along with representatives of fans' groups from Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Miles said: "I'd like to say we've won an immediate reduction in all Premier League ticket prices - that's not the case but we have been able to express, in the meeting and in terms of the numbers outside, the strength of feeling on the issue of ticket prices.

"We got a response that was 'willing to listen'. They shared some of our concerns and agreed to ongoing dialogue to try to come up with some solutions.

"We regard this as the start of a process rather than the end.

"We clearly have a lot to do in terms of the clubs. Ultimately the decision-makers within the Premier League are the clubs we support - it's the clubs that set the prices.

"We have to make sure the clubs are left with similar clarity of the feelings on this issue."

The Premier League continues to grow in wealth with a new three-year £5.5billion global television rights deal coming into effect from the start of the 2013-14 season.

Calculations revealed by the FSF show that the increased revenue would be enough to cut the price of every ticket at every game by £51.30.

Miles said: "There is definitely room for manoeuvre there.

"As the meeting showed, even across the bitterest rivalries there is a common feeling on these issues."

The march, which began at Regent's Park and moved on to the Premier League building at Gloucester Place, was organised by the Liverpool group Spirit of Shankly and attracted an estimated 400-500 people.

It was good-natured with most in club colours as beach balls were knocked about amid a vibrant atmosphere.

Paul Gardner, secretary of Spirit of Shankly, said: "We're very pleased.

"There has been a large number of supporters from all over the country - Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United, Spurs, Arsenal and many more.

"Hopefully this is the start of people listening to our concerns.

"It's been a good turnout considering it's a Wednesday and a day of work.

"It's more than we expected and of big impact is the number of clubs being represented today, all wearing club colours, putting aside rivalries and expressing that voice.

"Hopefully this is the start of something bigger and it is important we carry on.

"The Premier League has started to listen to us. How much they act remains to be seen but it is the start of a process and it shows we have a bit of a momentum now and supporters united can make a difference."

Other issues discussed included the prohibitive costs of attending away matches and the moving of fixtures to accommodate TV demands.

The march fitted in with the FSF's own 'Twenty's Plenty' campaign, which has called for a price cap of £20 on away match tickets.The Premier League has previously said it encourages "stretch pricing", where a range of prices are offered to ensure those with lower budgets are catered for.

A statement read: "The Premier League today met with a group of supporters who took part in the demonstration outside our offices.

"It was a positive meeting in which we listened to the group and answered their questions.

"In the meeting we explained that keeping attendances high is our top priority and that encouraging the attendance of locally-based supporters and incentivising away attendance are key parts of that.

"While it is for individual clubs to set their ticket prices, we agreed with the group that we would further encourage stretch pricing at our clubs in order to make Premier League football available to a wide range of supporters.

"We recognise the commitment of attending fans and look forward to further discussing the matters raised with the Football Supporters' Federation."

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