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SBD Global/October 18, 2013/International Football

English Premier League Clubs To Introduce Reciprocal Price Deals For Away Fans

Away tickets for some EPL fans are being reduced.

A number of Premier League clubs "are introducing reciprocal deals to reduce the price of tickets for away fans," according to the BBC. Newcastle United has "agreed deals with West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City," while the Welsh club has a further agreement in place with Hull City. Newcastle Finance Dir John Irving said, "We believe the right way to encourage people to attend is to look at charging reasonable prices." Swansea fans will pay a reduced price of £20 ($32) for adults and £5 ($8) for concessions at Hull and Newcastle, "with the same prices in place for the return fixtures at the Liberty Stadium." Traveling supporters from Newcastle and West Brom will both pay £15 ($24) for adults and £5 for concessions "when their teams face each other" (BBC, 10/17). In London, Ian Herbert wrote ManU, Arsenal and Liverpool have said that they will knock between £2 ($3) and £4 ($6) "off the prices their fans pay them for all away tickets." The deals "reveal the substantial savings that reciprocal pricing can deliver for Category A clubs." The agreement with West Bromwich will result in a saving of £24 ($38) (61.5%) for Newcastle fans from the £39 ($63) "they were charged for an adult away ticket when the sides drew 1-1 at the Hawthorns last season." Albion fans will save £11 ($18) (42.3%) compared to the £26 ($42) away ticket price at St. James' Park a year ago. Newcastle's deal with supporter-owned Swansea -- its longest return trip at 719 miles -- will save £15 ($24) (almost 43%) on the £35 ($56) "charged at the Liberty Stadium last season," with Swans fans receiving a third off the £30 ($48) they paid on Tyneside (INDEPENDENT, 10/17).

WELCOMED BY FANS: Also in London, Sam Adams wrote fans have welcomed plans "to cut ticket prices for away supporters." Football Supporters' Federation CEO Kevin Miles said, "The FSF is delighted to welcome the announcement by Newcastle United of their offer of a reciprocal pricing agreement for tickets for away fans at Premier League fixtures. This is a significant breakthrough in turning the concept of affordable prices for away fans into a reality, and Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City are to be commended for taking a lead in this area" (MIRROR, 10/17). THE JOURNAL's Mark Douglas wrote Newcastle's pricing agreement is "a welcome and much-needed step forward for a club that is pledging to play a vanguard role in driving ticket costs south." According to Irving, "[Newcastle Owner Mike] Ashley’s attitude on pricing is driven by one thing: to fill every single seat in the stadium." That means innovative ticket deals, match packages and -- most of all -- "reducing the cost of going to games, both at home and away." This latest idea, a first of its kind in the top flight, "is to try to drive down the cost of going to away matches by agreeing reciprocal deals on prices." It "is being billed as the first shot in a revolution in the way clubs deal with away fans, but it is underpinned by what seems like common sense." Irving: "Price is key. Supporters have a choice on what they want to spend their money on, and if we want to fill the stadium, we need to reduce the price" (THE JOURNAL, 10/17).

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