Tickets for this season’s FA Cup semi-finals have gone up by as much as £20 each while tickets for the final are subject to price hikes of up to £30.
The cheapest tickets remain at £30 for the semi-finals and £45 for the final but other price bands have seen steep rises, with the most expensive semi-final tickets now £80 (from £60) and top-price final tickets up from £115 to £145.
Fans of the four semi-finalists – Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Southampton – are unlikely to be impressed by the changes, with Spurs fans perhaps the most aggrieved after the eye-watering season-ticket price announcement for their first season at the new White Hart Lane.
The FA have defended the change after a three-year price freeze.
Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations, said on the FA website: “The cheapest tickets for these matches will remain the same as in 2016 and 2017, £30 for the semi-finals and £45 for the final.
“This season we made the decision to increase the price of some tickets in the stadium. This is the first time that we have raised the price of tickets for Emirates FA Cup semi-final and final ties in three years.
“The Emirates FA Cup semi-final and final are some of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar and these new prices are in line with many of these events.
“It’s always important to remember that The FA is a not-for-profit organisation where every pound and penny of profit is reinvested back into every level of football in England. If you’re buying a ticket for the semi-final or the final you are directly investing in the future of the game in this country.”
Manchester United fans in particular also face the difficulties associated with returning home after a 5.15pm Saturday kick-off should the game go to extra-time or penalties.
“We understand the challenges of a 5.15pm Saturday kick-off for some fans,” said Ambler.
“It currently means that it could be difficult to get the last train back from London to Manchester, should the game go to extra-time and/or penalties.