football-protest-1_1664650a.jpgRecent news concerning Newcastle United and Manchester United suggests that the tide may be turning in England towards those bigger clubs taking more notice of their fans.

With The FSF’s Twenty’s Plenty campaign, launched in January 2013 and calling for a £20 ceiling on away match tickets, starting to gather pace and The Premier League’s Away Fans Fund awarding £200,000 each season for the next three years for clubs to spend in helping to increase their away following, Newcastle have publicly stated that Premier League clubs have got their ticket prices wrong.

“Ticket prices are too expensive generally across the Premier League and we believe the right way to encourage people to attend, and to therefore fill stadiums as the Away Fans Fund intends, is to look at charging reasonable prices,” said the Geordies’ Finance Director John Irving.

Newcastle have committed to charging £20 for away fans to visit St. James’ Park should that club treat Newcastle fans in the same way. West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City have so far agreed to the reciprocal pricing structure while following this announcement both Hull City and Swansea have agreed to charge each other’s fans £20 to attend their corresponding Premier League games.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are the latest club to listen to their fans when it comes to exploring the possibility of Safe Standing. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Swansea and Hull have previously backed the campaign and while the reigning champions have not offered their support at this stage, their interest in a review is seen as a positive step.

At a recent fans’ forum, Ed Woodward, recently installed as the new chief executive at Old Trafford, was reported by The Independent newspaper as “expressing a willingness to explore the idea when supporters’ representatives put it to him.”

With a number of supporters concerned at the declining matchday atmosphere in the Premier League, and many fans being priced out of attending games, this news from England is seen as a progressive step towards fans reclaiming their game.

 

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