It doesn't take an abacus to realise the amount of money revolving around football is ridiculous. Benteke left for £32 million pounds and Darren Bent earned over £50,000 a week - these are astronomical sums of money that have no right to be involved in anything outside real estate, yet as football fans, we find ourselves talking about these wads of cash on a daily basis; it's the new nature of the sport we love.
If you bring that down to the average fan, the money doesn't make much sense - the billions being chucked at the Premier League by Sky don't really trickle down to fan level - You'll have to go to the ATM for a pint and programme and you're looking at mortgaging your house for season ticket options. Those are extreme examples, but when it comes to down to it - the price of a basic, bog-standard away ticket is too much.
If you're planning to pop up to Anfield for Aston Villa's match with Liverpool on the 26th of September, your ticket will set you back £47 and that's before travel (£21 for a coach from Witton). If you decided to bring your child or eat some food, you're looking at costs of over £100 for one match. God forbid you try and get a few drinks down you.
To put things into perspective, £100 is almost a third of the price of my season ticket (£360), so for four away 'experiences', you could simply save the money and be treated to nineteen home games, and enjoy priority allocations on cup tickets. The math is simple, away tickets and experiences will soon price fans out of football, if they've not been price out already.
What can be done? Well our friends over at My Old Man Said are always raving about ticket prices, but so are the Football Supporters Federation, who are mobilising and uniting behind a #twentysplenty campaign to ensure that clubs across the Premier League are passing bonuses and savings onto fans who want to go to away matches. Twentys Plenty aim to set a goal of reducing costs via subsidies provided by parachute payments and television money so that away fans can purchase a ticket for around £20 - nigh on half of what some away tickets currently cost.
So what can you do? The FSF have laid out some instructions for their 'weekend of action' from October the 3rd to October the 4th (Villa's home game with Stoke City) - I've included them below.
- Email email@example.com with your name and club.
- At some clubs we already have volunteers and we'll put you in touch with them, at other clubs you might be the person to lead the charge. Make contact with the fans of your opponent club (we can help you with that if needed).
- Arrange to meet outside the ground before kick-off, or at a convenient pub/landmark to get some images for the FSF website, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. A picture paints a thousand words and joining forces with rival fan groups to say "Twenty's Plenty" is a strong message.
- Contact your local newspaper to send a photographer and reporter as they will be interested in rival fan groups teaming up on this subject. Let us know if you need help with contacts, we might be able to help.
- We'd also be interested to see any coverage you receive post-protest - send links to firstname.lastname@example.org or @The_FSF. Don't forget to take your own images and share via social media using #TwentysPlenty.