Football Supporters Federation say fan protests must go on

FSF have also backed the campaigns by Arsenal and Liverpool fans recently

Fans Ticket Prices Could Be Paid ForImage Photo Michael Steele/Getty Images

The Football Supporters Federation has appealed to fans across the land to look to Liverpool and Arsenal fans as an example of the campaign against ticket prices working.

Liverpool fans hit the headlines last Saturday when 10,000 fans staged a 77th minute walkout in protest at a planned increase to £77 for top-price tickets.

In response, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group revised their plans and apologised to fans.

Arsenal also backed down over plans to charge season ticket holders extra if they attended the Champions League game against Barcelona on February 23.

According to the FSF, it’s proof campaigns can work – so supporters should continue to protest against unjust treatment by club owners.

FSF organiser Michael Brunskill told Loaded: “What Liverpool and Arsenal both show is that if you have organized supporters groups that speak strongly – with one voice in a co-ordinated way – then it can actually make a difference.”

Bayern Munich fans protest at price of tickets in the Emirates Stadium
Too much But Arsenal actually are one of the cheapest venues for category C games Image Photo Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Brunskill emphasised that Arsenal and Liverpool fans might not have been optimistic when they began their protests.

He said: “You see on Twitter and Facebook after the game comments like ‘You mugs, you can’t change their minds despite walking out, you’ve already bought the tickets.’ And the next thing you know is that actually the owners do care and they are going to change their strategy.

“So it shows if fans do stand together and get organized, it can make a difference.”

Brunskill did admit that such campaigns are only half the battle. The FSF view the next battle as the pricing of tickets for away fans. The organisation launched the Twenty’s Plenty campaign in 2013, stating that the contribution away fans make and the money made by clubs means there should be a £20 ceiling on ticket prices.

The campaign gathered momentum after the £5bn TV deal for the 2016-19 seasons meant an extra £2bn is forthcoming for Premier League clubs.

Burnskill explained: “Our focus is on all the tickets across the league for away fans, because in some ways there isn’t that core, native voice to speak up for away fans. But you have all the different fan groups getting involved with Twenty’s Plenty, and that is starting to make a difference.”

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Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran

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