Football clubs criticised over cost of matchday mascot experience
PUBLISHED: 16:50 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:49 20 February 2020
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Premier League clubs including Norwich City have come under fire for the amounts they charge for matchday mascot experiences.
Earlier this week, member of parliament Julian Knight, who chairs the government's sports select committee, hit out at clubs over mascot fees, suggesting it was becoming an experience reserved solely for the most wealthy.
He said: "There may be an argument for charging a very small premium for administration but to charge these type of fees makes being a mascot the preserve of the well-off, completely against the working-class roots of the game."
With a top price of almost £500 to walk out with the captain, the Canaries have one of the highest premiums for the experience in the league - though prices do vary from game to game.
The club also offers one space per game free and the price includes a full kit and a match day ticket.
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Just two clubs in the league - Everton and West Ham United - charge more to be matchday mascot, with prices at Carrow Road ranging between £150 for a pre-season friendly and £499 to be the captain's mascot for category A games.
While the club's charges sit similarly in line with many other top flight sides, some teams - including Manchester United, Manchester City and this weekend's opponents Liverpool - do not charge, instead giving it away through membership prize draws.
However, Robin Sainty, chairman of supporters' group the Canaries Trust, said he could understand why the club has to make the most of it as a financial opportunity.
He said: "It has been well publicised that Norwich City is a self funding club and as a result has to generate as many income opportunities as it can. Being a mascot does provide an unforgettable experience for the young fans that will carry the club in years to come, so like anything similar you would expect it to come at a cost.
"However, I can see the other side of the argument too. Young supporters are so important - they're the ones that will be cheering the club on in future but some families will be missing out of these experiences because of the cost."
Norwich City Football Club declined to respond directly to Mr Knight's comments.
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