Poll: Will money saved by Norwich City’s promotion be used to benefit Premier League supporters?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's promotion back to the Premier League could be about to benefit football supporters around the country, if the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) get their way.
The FSF have sent an open letter to Premier League clubs with a plea to cap tickets for away supporters at £20 this season.
The idea is based on the £24million saved in parachute payments by the Canaries achieving promotion in their first season following relegation in 2013/14, by beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the Championship play-off final in May.
A statement on the FSF website says: 'This week, we wrote to the chairman, chief executives and supporter liaison officers at each of 20 Premier League clubs, urging them to spend an unexpected bonus on fans and cap away tickets prices at £20 – in line with our Twenty's Plenty campaign.
With Norwich City being promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, their £24m worth of parachute payments are going straight back to the league's 20 clubs – each club receiving roughly £1.2m, which could easily fund a £20 away ticket price cap for 2015-16.
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'At this weekend's FSF AGM, delegates will vote on an emergency motion brought by The Blue Union demanding Premier League clubs do just that.'
Pressure from the FSF led to the introduction of the Away Supporters' Initiative by the Premier League for City's last season in the Premier League, 2013/14, with £12m set aside over three seasons 'to make the matchday experience better for travelling fans' – which equates to £200,000 per club, per season.
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That season the Canaries were one of seven clubs to offer reciprocal deals for cheaper away games, along with Cardiff City, Hull City, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion. This was reported to have saved 31,807 travelling fans £342,260 collectively across 16 fixtures.
Last season – when the Canaries were in the Championship – 10 of the top-flight clubs offered reciprocal deals, saving 30,548 fans around £300,000 collectively across 18 fixtures.
Ticket pricing has already been a much-debated topic locally ahead of the new season, after some Crystal Palace fans complained about having to pay £45 for tickets for their club's match at Carrow Road on the opening day of the season.
That has however not prevented the Eagles from selling out their allocation for the match, with the August 8 opener already a sell-out in home and away sections, with Palace selling all of their 2,575 tickets.
The letter is published in full below, for more information visit www.fsf.org.uk.
Do you think Premier League clubs will pay attention to the plea? Cast your vote in the poll above.
Dear Premier League club,
On Monday 25th May Norwich City secured a quick return to the Premier League, beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the Championship play-off final. The Canaries thus re-joined the Premier League and will enjoy all the financial benefits that brings.
As a result of their promotion the Canaries' parachute payment, a reported £24m, will instead be shared amongst all top-flight clubs. This equates to £1.2m for each club, and we have an idea for how this unexpected windfall could be spent to benefit some of the game's most loyal fans…
The Football Supporters' Federation aims to work with clubs and help make football more affordable for fans – particularly those who follow their club on-the-road. Without away supporters we do not believe football would be the great live event that it is. Travelling fans are key to generating the atmosphere that home fans bounce off and vital to the spectacle that TV loves.
Premier League clubs receive billions in media deals and we firmly believe that away fans play a huge role in that. However, there are many barriers for the away supporter. Travel costs and ticket prices make following your team an expensive business – and away supporters also miss out on season ticket-related discounts and special offers.
One of our key campaigns is Twenty's Plenty for Away Tickets which was launched in 2013 and aims to make football more affordable for travelling fans, preferably by capping tickets at £20. The contribution of away supporters is recognised but home fans do not miss out as they receive the same offer in the return fixture.
According to our calculations it would cost £20m to implement Twenty's Plenty at every single Premier League fixture, an average cost of £1m per club. In the past we have been told that clubs budget in three year cycles, in alignment with the Premier League's media deals, and therefore they could not account for an unanticipated £1m expenditure.
However, Norwich City's promotion means that every single Premier League club received £1.2m that has not been budgeted to spend elsewhere. We would encourage every club to use this unexpected windfall to make football more affordable for one of the most loyal, hard-pressed groups in football – the travelling fan. Twenty's Plenty for Away Supporters.
Kevin Miles (FSF chief executive)