The Football Supporters’ Federation will discuss the furore surrounding ticket prices for Sheffield United’s game at Bolton Wanderers next month at its annual general meeting this weekend.
Monday’s announcement that away fans could be charged £30 to watch the League One fixture has provoked an outcry among United followers with many threatening to boycott the match in protest.
A spokesman for the FSF, which has campaigned tirelessly on the issue, told The Star: “Thirty pounds is a lot of money for League One football and many fans at that level clearly feel they’re paying too much. Is there another country on the planet where third tier football costs so much?
“We’d like to see more clubs doing “reciprocal deals” which offer reduced tickets to all travelling fans and it’s something we’ll debating at our annual conference this weekend.”
Wanderers have released 1,165 tickets, priced £28 for adult supporters, ahead of August 6th’s meeting with United. But with demand expected to be high, fans who do not qualify for a discount will be forced to pay £30 if those sell-out.
The match, Chris Wilder’s first competitive fixture in charge of United, also marks Phil Parkinson’s debut in the Macron Stadium dug-out after leaving Bradford City during the close season.
With Premier League clubs recently agreeing to place a £30 cap on away tickets for the next three seasons, the FSF is hoping to extract a similar gesture from the English Football League.
Wanderers’ pricing structure, which was branded “ridiculous” by one United supporter on social media yesterday, means it will cost away fans more to attend the match than a group stage contest at Euro 2016.
Category Four tickets for round 16 of the recent tournament were priced at €25. The cheapest matchday prices at eight top-flight clubs last season, and comparable tickets at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG and Napoli, were also lower.
“Our ticket price campaign - Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets - has ran since 2013 with a focus on travelling fans who face higher travel costs and no season ticket discount,” the FSF spokesman added. “That led to the Premier League agreeing to cap prices at £30 but there’s obviously still much work to be done at Football League level too. Away fans are crucial to matchday atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, the English Football League has encouraged Championship clubs with category one academies to field teams in next season’s revamped EFL Trophy after a number of PL clubs declined invitations to take part. Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all unlikely to join the competition according to sources within the game while West Ham and Newcastle have yet to declare a position.