Why one Sheffield United fan is helping raise thousands for Children's Hospital in protest at 'outrageous' prices for Burnley game
Like many Sheffield United fans weary from being forced to watch every minute of the Blades’ nightmare season so far on TV in his living room, Dean Hussain could not believe his eyes when United confirmed ticket details for their last game of the campaign at home to Burnley.
With just over 5,000 fans allowed into Bramall Lane for the first time since last March, in the next step of the coronavirus lockdown easing measures, United confirmed that adult tickets would cost £40, with juniors admitted for £20.
United’s tickets were not the most expensive in the division but after a season of such struggle, it was viewed in some quarters as a public relations own goal to price them in such a way.
At least some fans of 12 other Premier League clubs will be able to watch their side for less than £40, with some such as Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea implementing different prices, but Manchester United are charging £30 and even Arsenal’s most expensive ticket will be £35.50.
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Like many, Dean vented his frustration before going one step further and attempting to create some good out of the situation. He set up a fundraising page, inviting fans to donate the money they would have spent on a ticket to a good cause instead, and at the time of writing has raised over £2,200 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital in just a few days.
“I saw so many people disagreeing with the price, and rightly so,” Dean, a Blades season-ticket holder from Frecheville, told The Star.
“Given the season we’ve had and, with no disrespect to Burnley – who are giving their tickets out for free against Liverpool – who we are playing, the general feeling was that, as the previous campaign said, £20 is plenty.
“I know most Blades are itching to get back to the Lane, even if not at full capacity, and may well have paid more, possibly up to the £30 mark.
“But £40 is outrageous.
“I thought we could still pay that amount we would have paid, but instead put it towards a worthy cause.
“The season ticket prices the club have announced for next season are great, so fair play to them on that front. We all love the club and will be there next season, if we’re allowed. But to announce those prices was bonkers.”
United said they had been working for “some weeks” on finalising arrangements for the Burnley game, after prime minister Boris Johnson gave Premier League clubs the go-ahead to welcome fans back for one of their last two games of the current season.
Dean said he would be delighted for the final tally to top £2,500 for the Children’s Hospital, a cause close to his family’s hearts and one he has previously raised funds for, including a trek up Mount Snowdon in July 2018.
“We all know the amazing work that the hospital does, not just for local families but the whole country,” Dean added.
“It’s certainly one that is close to me and my family, and also some friends too. So I decided, why shouldn’t they be the beneficiary?”