Premier League Clubs Are Greedy Bastards Ruining The GameStats
Premier League clubs are taking the piss, there I said it.
Why? Because from next season, clubs are looking at 100 million pounds at the very least for playing 38 games, making the Premier League the world’s richest, yet where is the love for the long suffering fans?
The subsidised ticket prices for home and away fans? Subsidised travel for away fans from clubs oozing with cash from every pore? Some acknowledgment from clubs that fans matter, calling them by their proper name, that’s FANS, not customers!
I went on the FSG website like many last week thinking a selling point saying “changing fans to customers” next to the LFC crest was either a joke, or some photoshopped rubbish to get fans going.
But it was true! FSG, the organ that owns one of the world’s great clubs actually sanctioned some berk on a website to call Liverpool fans customers; how disrespectful.
Then we hear the club aren’t just adding a modest fiver to the new tickets on sale for the grand opening of the main stand expansion. Oh no, it’s a full forty quid in some seats, taking relatively modest priced seats into the preserve of the Chelsea and Arsenals of this world, otherwise known as ludicrous price hiking.
I’m all for clubs balancing the books, and paying players the going rate for the entertainment value they give us weekly but where is the continual justification of massive price rises at many clubs when the TV money keeps rolling in?
A great Twitter account I follow (you should too) is @sportingintel. He digs beneath the surface of the bold clubs’ statements, the hard sell, the “we are doing you a favour here, fans”, and he came up with a statistic to back up an argument I’ve being trying to hammer home on talkSPORT for 8 years.
Clubs could let fans in for nothing, still pay players, still turn a profit, still remain competitive.
He did the numbers and suggested that with the TV money from Hong Kong alone next season, every Premier League club could pay for away fans tickets twice over, so in essence, 6,000 Villa fans going to the Hawthorns (3 thousand is max in the Premier League) or the KP or Old Trafford would get in for FREE and it wouldn’t have any adverse effect on the club! How great would that be?!
So why aren’t clubs even knocking a fiver off your ticket? Because they are greedy bastards, it’s that simple.
They know if you don’t pay up, others will, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Liverpool v Man United, a game I did this season. I got onto the Euston to Lime St train and the whole train was packed with Americans, South Africans and Europeans gloating, yes gloating about how much they’d paid for a ticket, who they’d bought it from and it made me sick.
No problems with foreign fans, or growing the league abroad, but why should fans here be continually punished because of supply and demand? Isn’t football supposed to be more than that? A community enterprise as much as a cash cow? Where and when will it end?
Time For Change
Clubs often talk in business speak, buzzwords like sustainability and engagement etc. So what better way for clubs to reach out to fans than give something back? A subsidised game? A football special now and again? A relegation run in or title run in without the hardest of the hardcore having to spend a penny on away run in tickets?
Seems fanciful but as Uli Hoeness said about Bayern Munich and price subsidies “what difference does a couple of million a year mean to us as a club, as opposed to fans working hard and long to scrape together the money for tickets, surely we don’t need to be that greedy?”
And they aren’t.
I asked a Premier League chairman about subsidies, lower prices and giving back. He laughed and said “German model will never work here”.
And that was that.
If that view is shared across the 20 clubs and I believe it is, as the TV money continues to go up, so will the price of the game, to a point only the privileged few get to see our great teams play.
In my view that is not only unacceptable, it’s worthy of making a stand, a protest, some noisy questions, which is why I fully support Liverpool fans’ walkout at Anfield on Saturday.
If we stand and do nothing, our kids will never see what old men like me saw, a birthright rather than a status symbol, namely a ticket to the game.
To every club chairman in the Premier League, stop taking the piss!