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SBD Global/August 15, 2014/International Football

Football Fans March On EPL Headquarters In London, Demand Lower Ticket Prices

A demonstration against ticket prices in English football "kicked off for the second successive summer on Thursday as angry fans marched on the Premier League's London headquarters," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Hundreds of "disgruntled supporters from up and down the country" put club rivalries aside and united in protest against the spiraling cost of attending matches in England. As happened at a similar protest just over a year ago, Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore "made plans to meet with representatives of the demonstrators," including his Football Supporters' Federation counterpart, Kevin Miles. Miles said earlier this week, "Nine out of 10 fans think football's simply too expensive. There's always the odd deal that clubs can quote to play it down, but the truth is supporters tell us they think tickets cost too much. It's not just top-flight football either, fans throughout the leagues tell us prices are too high" (TELEGRAPH, 8/14). In Liverpool, Joshua Taylor wrote Everton’s Blue Union Secretary Simon Magner said, "We want a commitment from the Premier League to put money aside to bring down ticket prices. In an ideal world, all fans would be charged exactly the same as all other clubs in the same league" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 8/14). REUTERS' Martyn Herman reported "according to figures published last month, 11 of the 20 top-flight clubs have increased the cost of their lowest-priced season tickets" for the '14-15 season. FSF Chair Malcolm Clarke said, "Basically, football has eye-watering amounts of money coming in at the top mainly through Premier League media rights but still we see very high prices and prices going up ahead of the rate of inflation. It's about time that the match-day fans, without whom there wouldn't be these big media incomes because that's part of the attraction, got some benefit from this, rather than players and agents." Clarke said clubs are guilty of cashing in on "brand loyalty." Clarke: "Fans will not take their custom elsewhere because of their 100 percent loyalty. Football clubs effectively exploit that" (REUTERS, 8/14).
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