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Fanbanner gegen hohe Ticketpreise im Arsenal-Stadion gegen Liverpool

Finally: a wave of supporters' protests unleashes in England.

Anfield, Old Trafford oder White Hart Lane – these are only three names of football's dreamy castles. Every football supporter thinking of them probably gets shiny eyes. But they are dreamy castles, you can hardly afford anymore. For years, it seemed as if English supporters had accepted the fact to cultivate their fan culture not inside the stands but solely in the pub nearby the stadium. Confronted with ticket prices at GBP 60 (approx.. EUR 69) onwards though, this is an understandable reaction.

But now, organised protest is kicking-off and for the first time, after a long time, it's also raising public attention. 

The protests were triggered by horrendous ticket prices for away supporters at Arsenal. Manchester City supporters were supposed to pay GBP 62. Martin O’Hara, Vice-Chair of the English FSE member and national fans’ organisation Football Supporters Federation (FSF) considers this a disgrace: „Travelling supporters spend the most time and money on their team and that deserves recognition and reward. In the short term clubs might make a few extra quid by squeezing away fans dry but long-term vision is required.“ Man City supporters reacted appropriately and 900 tickets of their away allocation were sent back.

Everywhere in England, protests are emerging against existing ticket pricing policies of the clubs. The FSF is coordinating these protest actions, elaborated a petition that can be signed online and started a nation-wide campaign.

Under the motto „Twenty‘s plenty for away tickets“, supporters are calling for a fair ticket pricing policy, very similar to the German fans‘ campaign “Kein Zwanni für nen Steher” (No Twenty Euros For a Standing Ticket), or as O’Hara puts it: „Who wants to go to games without away fans, games without passion? We believe that an away ticket price cap of £20 would make football more affordable and halt the decline in away fan attendances.“

The work of the FSE members from Supporters Direct (SD) that are campaigning for more fan ownership inside clubs as well as the reheating discussion on the reintroduction of standing areas inside English stadia should also prove helpful with the current protest activities. Only recently, a commission which reviewed evidence around the traumatising tragedy of Hillsborough, opposed the findings of the document which went down in football history as Taylor Report.

As a consequence of this report, standing areas on the island were abolished. The commission now, however, drew the conclusion that neither standing nor the fans were the actual root cause of the catastrophe. More and more professional football clubs in the UK, among them Aston Villa and Sunderland, are supporting their fans in their efforts to put pressure on politicians: again, the FSF took up the coordinating role for joint protests for the cause with their Safe Standing Campaign. 

Hence, there is a lot going on on the island at the moment. Further news and info can also be found on the websites of FSF and SD: 

www.fsf.org.uk
www.supporters-direct.coop

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