Inconsistency in ticketing policies mean away fans continue to have their loyalty exploited.
Analysis of ticket price data collected by Football Supporters Europe (FSE) from across the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League from season 2022/23 shows that despite much welcomed recent changes in ticketing regulations, further improvements are needed.
Prices for away fans vary enormously and a significant number of clubs continue to systematically charge the maximum allowed without consideration of the effect it will have on supporters. Average ticket prices across all UEFA club competitions remain stubbornly high, while the availability of standing sectors in Germany had a notably positive impact.
Every season, FSE monitors away ticket prices in UEFA’s club competitions with the assistance of our members and wider network of stakeholders across Europe. The work helps us understand the trends and changes faced by away supporters and provides concrete data with which to make recommendations on more fan-friendly ticketing regulations at all levels of the game in Europe. Any confirmed breaches are raised with UEFA.
Two very welcome amendments in UEFA’s ticketing regulations were introduced after consistent lobbying by FSE in the past few years. After clubs charged fans as much as €119 for away section tickets during the 2018-19 season, in August 2019, UEFA introduced a price cap across its existing club competitions (Champions League – €70; Europa League – €45).
Despite these improved regulations coming into effect, the average price for an away ticket in the Champions League last season was €47 – which is quite a financial hit alongside the price of travel, accommodation, and other trip expenses.
The €47 average prices also hides that a significant number of clubs are regularly charging at or close to the price cap.
The Europa Conference League, launched in 2021-22, originally had a price cap at €35. Following a revision of UEFA regulations, it was reduced to €25 from the beginning of this season, with several additional exemptions and loopholes closed.
During the 2022/23 season, 18% of all Champions League games, 25% of all European League and 9% of all Europa Conference League away tickets were at the price cap. In the Champions League, twelve out of the 32 participating clubs charged the maximum away ticket price of €70 at least once to their visitors last season, with eleven of those matches being group stage matches.
- The average away ticket price per country revealed that only four countries averaged below the average price across the UCL, showing a big inconsistency in pricing.
- Overall, German clubs averaged away ticket prices more than €20 cheaper than the competition average. Away standing sectors were a strong contributor to this, with some tickets priced as low as €15. Unfortunately, a significant number of visiting clubs also declined the away standing option, resulting in higher prices for their fans.
Similar trends were seen for the Europa League and European Conference League.
Based on the data, as well as with emerging trends so far this season, FSE will continue discussions with UEFA and the ECA to update the regulations that govern away ticket prices across UEFA club competitions. Progress in the coming weeks is vital ahead of the new cycle of UEFA Club Competitions which means even more away games for supporters.
FSE Executive Director Ronan Evain said “it is FSE’s firm position that clubs have a responsibility to reward the loyalty of travelling fans and to facilitate affordable pricing, especially considering the increase of revenue for all clubs during the next UCC cycle. We will be monitoring this season’s away ticket prices closely, and continue to drive this message with UEFA and stakeholders.”