Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to "look very carefully" at ticket prices in the Premier League amid protests from Liverpool fans over the Reds' announcement of an increase to matchday tickets.
According to the Guardian, at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Cameron commented on the issue after it was brought up by MP Clive Efford. He said:
I will look very carefully at the suggestion the honourable gentleman makes because I think there is a problem here when some clubs put up prices very rapidly every year, even though so much of the money for football actually comes from sponsorship, equipment and other sources so I’ll look very carefully at what he says.
Around 10,000 Liverpool fans staged a walkout of Anfield in the 77th minute on Saturday after the club revealed some matchday tickets were to rise from £59 to £77 and some season tickets were to increase to above £1,000, per Bleacher Report UK:
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Liverpool fans stage a 77th-minute walkout in protest of ticket prices: https://t.co/2elY3zNZGf https://t.co/ZqPZs6SNpr2/6/2016, 5:42:56 PM
According to the MailOnline, an average cheapest season ticket in the Premier League costs substantially more than it would at clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich:
MailOnline Sport @MailSport
Premier League clubs have £8bn reasons to cut ticket prices NOW | @Ian_Ladyman_DM https://t.co/HDtzlgO5Em https://t.co/U6P4a3mwzZ2/9/2016, 9:15:04 AM
ESPN's Tony Malbert gave the full breakdown of season ticket pricing in the division:
Tony Mabert @TonyMabertESPN
Club-by-club 2015-16 season ticket prices (via @premierleague): https://t.co/CUczQSZFrD2/9/2016, 11:01:38 AM
Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, is hopeful the high-profile protest could prompt clubs to lower prices for away fans. Per the Guardian's report, he told PA Sport:
The proposal to have a £30 cap on away tickets was blocked by a number of clubs but with the publicity and focus on the issue there is now a groundswell of support for change.
When the clubs meet again to discuss the issue hopefully it will get the required level of support. It won’t necessarily be as much as we want, but at least a £30 cap on away prices would be a good start.
The Times' Henry Winter is hoping some clubs could be shamed into action:
Henry Winter @henrywinter
Reciprocal arrangements on reduced away ticket prices between some @premierleague clubs will at least shame the greedy rest. #TwentysPlenty2/10/2016, 11:25:47 AM
On home ticket prices—such as those Liverpool fans were protesting—Clarke added:
"The Liverpool protest was about home prices and the picture on home prices is varied—some clubs are still offering some season tickets at under £300, so supporters of those clubs will feel less need to start walking out."
A particular source of ire is that Premier League clubs are set to receive an unprecedented level of revenue when the £5.1 billion TV rights deal kicks in next season, and yet as Matt Scott—financial columnist for Inside World Football—noted, some clubs won't be taking advantage of the cash injection to reduce prices:
Matt Scott @Matt5cott
Regardless of the new TV money flooding the Premier League, Arsenal will not go on a spending spree and they will not reduce ticket prices.2/10/2016, 10:06:55 AM
It's not doom and gloom for fans of every club, though. The Guardian's report noted that West Ham United are reducing ticket prices for next season's switch to the Olympic Stadium, while Newcastle United announced on Tuesday they would be freezing adult season ticket prices and lowering them for under-18s by up to 54 percent.
Nevertheless, the issue has firmly come to the fore in light of the Kop's walkout and now even caught the attention of those in power, which could lead to action being taken.
In the meantime, the effectiveness of Liverpool's protest in raising awareness of the issue could spark more protests.
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