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Thread: Leicester could face record points deduction

  1. #1

    Leicester could face record points deduction

    Revealed: Leicester City could face record-breaking points deduction in first season back in Premier League after losing Enzo Maresca to Chelsea

    The Foxes have made a swift return to the English top flight by winning the Championship and securing automatic promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking. However, the club are facing some major problems ahead of their return to the big time. Title-winning manager Enzo Maresca is expected to move to Chelsea to replace Mauricio Pochettino as boss, while the club could be hit with a massive points deduction for alleged financial rule breaches.

    Leicester could be hit with a deduction of "anything between six to 15 points," according to The Telegraph. A hefty sanction would do serious harm to the team's hopes of staying in the top flight, particularly with a new manager needed in the summer. Former Chelsea boss Graham Potter and West Brom manager Carlos Corberan are potential candidates to replace Maresca

    Premier League sides Nottingham Forest and Everton were both hit with points deductions in the 2023-24 season. The biggest penalty in Premier League history to date is Portsmouth's nine-point deduction in the 2009-10 campaign, which sealed their relegation to the Championship

  2. #2

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    It will probably have a negative effect on their summer recruitment too.

  3. #3
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    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by BLUETIT View Post
    Revealed: Leicester City could face record-breaking points deduction in first season back in Premier League after losing Enzo Maresca to Chelsea

    The Foxes have made a swift return to the English top flight by winning the Championship and securing automatic promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking. However, the club are facing some major problems ahead of their return to the big time. Title-winning manager Enzo Maresca is expected to move to Chelsea to replace Mauricio Pochettino as boss, while the club could be hit with a massive points deduction for alleged financial rule breaches.

    Leicester could be hit with a deduction of "anything between six to 15 points," according to The Telegraph. A hefty sanction would do serious harm to the team's hopes of staying in the top flight, particularly with a new manager needed in the summer. Former Chelsea boss Graham Potter and West Brom manager Carlos Corberan are potential candidates to replace Maresca

    Premier League sides Nottingham Forest and Everton were both hit with points deductions in the 2023-24 season. The biggest penalty in Premier League history to date is Portsmouth's nine-point deduction in the 2009-10 campaign, which sealed their relegation to the Championship
    They can more or less keep clubs down now, FFP is just to keep the biggest clubs at the top of the Leagues, no more Jack Walker or Roman Abramovich title winners in the future.

  4. #4

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by North Cardiff Blue View Post
    They can more or less keep clubs down now, FFP is just to keep the biggest clubs at the top of the Leagues, no more Jack Walker, Vincent Tan, or Roman Abramovich title winners in the future.
    Very sad that

  5. #5

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by North Cardiff Blue View Post
    They can more or less keep clubs down now, FFP is just to keep the biggest clubs at the top of the Leagues, no more Jack Walker or Roman Abramovich title winners in the future.
    Or Sam Hammam, would we have been able to spend nearly £2m on Peter Thorne, nigh on a million for Kav & Andy Campbell, half a mill on Gavin Gordon & David Hughes and others? Transfer fees that would be eye watering even today for a third division club. Mind you Hammam’s financial antics may have caused more heartache than a points deduction.

  6. #6
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    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    The more Americans that take ownership of the Premiership clubs the more votes they’ll have when they propose that the Premiership is closed to promotion and relegation and the introduction of increasing forms of gouging money from the paying public.

    Already discussions about tiered pricing and introducing four quarters to generate more revenue.

    FFP and Profit and Sustainability will be out of the window in the chase for the ‘stars’.

  7. #7
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    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by light up the darkness View Post
    The more Americans that take ownership of the Premiership clubs the more votes they’ll have when they propose that the Premiership is closed to promotion and relegation and the introduction of increasing forms of gouging money from the paying public.

    Already discussions about tiered pricing and introducing four quarters to generate more revenue.

    FFP and Profit and Sustainability will be out of the window in the chase for the ‘stars’.
    Spurs are trying to phase out the pensioners discount for season tickets, all the rest will follow, it's money they want not loyalty long term.

  8. #8

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by North Cardiff Blue View Post
    Spurs are trying to phase out the pensioners discount for season tickets, all the rest will follow, it's money they want not loyalty long term.
    It goes deeper

    Towards the end of his reign as Premier League head honcho, Richard Scudamore wore a look of resignation. Sat in a meeting with supporters from across the division, the man who owned enough political savvy to tear up Whitehall privately admitted that his currency had run out.

    Rail fares were an issue. Still are, actually. Worse than ever. There were calls for the league to lobby for more flexible ticketing or suggest a subsidy system to their member clubs to mitigate spiralling costs of following a football team. Whether it was reasonable to expect that is somewhat moot, because Scudamore’s answer revealed everything about the culture of boardrooms in our top flight.

    ‘I’m not going back to the well so soon,’ he told those in the room. Case closed. Scudamore was described as appearing exhausted after a lengthy battle to twist the arms of executives to cap away tickets at £30. He managed it but the energy to go again, with 20 clubs all presenting different needs, problems and varying degrees of obstinance? Even for him, the answer was a resolute no.


    That £30 cap is set for a review next year. Some clubs wanted it bumping up to £35 the last time it was renewed, in 2022, but were warned against the PR backlash for the sake of a fiver. It’s one to watch amid a culture war over season ticket prices that has lit a fuse underneath fanbases up and down the land.

    Here lies one of the most critical issues in the sport: as the Premier League modernises, Americanises, a depth of feeling festers that those who have contributed to our country’s spectacle and that envied soul are being eased aside. Slowly, but surely.

    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
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    Perhaps now, at this moment in time – as football races painfully clear of the working man and woman – is when enduring the constant rises, the chipping away at dwindling disposal incomes, stops for the sake of the next generation.

    ‘You look around the Kop and everybody is 40, 50, 60,’ Spirit of Shankly’s Paul Khan says. ‘There are hardly any kids getting into the game. This is every club, I worry about the future.’


    ‘The problem is nobody controls or owns this problem,’ one industry insider said. ‘Who can change the policy? An individual club isn’t going out of their way to do it. And the Premier League doesn’t have any interest in trying to change it on behalf of supporters. Clubs won’t think twice about giving their second-choice left winger an extra £15,000 a week for a new contract. Don’t even blink. And then charging fans an extra £15 a ticket to pay for it.’

    Ange Postecoglou took on the 'plastic fans' trolls - and tore them to shreds, writes IAN LADYMAN

    Look at many Premier League clubs’ plans for next season and fans aren’t happy. Arsenal and Tottenham are not inviting any new OAP season-ticket holders – and are doing away with the idea of discounts for them. Manchester City’s incremental rises – with different percentage increases spread across the Etihad Stadium in a move described as ‘divide and conquer’ – continue. A second mortgage might be handy to watch Fulham from their new stand, at £3,000 the most expensive ticket in Britain. Liverpool are fearing rises in the coming weeks.

    Manchester United’s have gone up for the second year running after a long freeze. Chelsea are expecting hikes, Aston Villa the same and also disgruntled by the removal of long-standing fans in the Holte End for hospitality. Brentford’s going up 10 per cent, Burnley even more. The list goes on and on. All condemned and all feeding into an idea one high-profile executive was privately championing over a decade ago.

    His club didn’t want season ticket holders. They could fill the stadium of over 40,000 people with those signing up to membership schemes – access to matches sold at a premium. First, with an initial fee to join and then by making bigger mark-ups on tickets for individual matches. ‘Matchday revenue increases 30 per cent overnight that way,’ he said. Another has told staff not to worry about ‘local’ fans in a heartland of their city and focus instead on global reach.

    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    ‘The number of season tickets at the Etihad is 36,000 and that is only going to go down,’ a spokesman for City fan group 1894 said. ‘The only way City can beat Arsenal for matchday revenue is if there are no season tickets at all; 60,000 people paying £70 or £80 per ticket per game. That’s what some people at the top of the club want.’

    Mail Sport has spoken to representatives of fan groups from each of the current top six and the prevailing feeling is that the increases across the board – termed as inflationary by clubs – epitomise a tax on loyalty. A tax on the duty of being a football fan. Walking away from a season ticket for a year or two is not an option for many: with waiting lists in the thousands, those who give them up may never get the chance to return.

    ‘You can’t look at match-going fans as a market as you would in any other business,’ Duncan Drasdo of Manchester United Supporters’ Trust says. ‘It’s a monopoly, you haven’t got consumer choice. If you push too hard to maximise ticket revenue you will damage that relationship. I don’t think it makes sense to squeeze that revenue. It creates resentment. Following the Green & Gold protests (against the Glazer family’s ownership) in 2010 we had a prolonged freeze and no doubt a lot of that was down to fan protests.’

    The Football Supporters’ Association appear alert to the cause, with sources there talking openly about ‘exploiting fans because of demand is a slap in the face’ and a disparaging outlook on some fan advisory boards, which were implemented recently to improve communication. ‘Some pay lip service and just do what they want anyway,’ a source says. ‘Or tell the board 20 minutes before as a “heads up”. That’s not a heads up, is it? We want the dialogue beforehand.’

    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One fan who sits on such a board at their club adds: ‘They call it a consultation when actually it’s a fait accompli.’

    Listening to the anger this week, demonstrations don’t feel far away. ‘Absolutely,’ Chelsea Trust’s vice-chair Dominic Rosso says. ‘It’s happening everywhere. These are the sort of supporters who are going to be pulling you over the line when you’re up against it. Look at Anfield. While I think everybody can admit wasn’t as loud as it once was, how many extra points does Anfield earn Liverpool a season?

    ‘Those extra points can be the difference between finishing seventh and fourth. That is a lot more money from broadcasting revenue than you would get from additional matchday sales. Clubs can’t seem to get their head around it. It’s causing stadiums to become lifeless and soulless.’

    Tottenham fans have already made their feelings clear. A protest at general admission prices, staged before August’s victory over United, brought dialogue with the club. ‘They met us and said they didn’t want to be in that position again,’ said Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust chair, Martin Buhagiar, now bemused by the decision to scrap OAP concessions. ‘There was almost an acknowledgement that they’d got it wrong. So to act like this now feels odd. With the concessions, there is this belief within clubs that all retired people are rich! It’s so strange. Tin hats on and deal with it, hoping we forget about it.’

    Spurs upped their season tickets by an average of six per cent, the same as Arsenal and City. The OAP debacle brought banners during the defeat at Fulham – “Save Our Seniors” – and more are expected when Luton Town arrive in north London on Saturday.

    ‘Their business model creates criticism,’ Buhagiar adds. ‘It feels like a step backwards. We’ve worked out the six per cent makes them between £3-4million a year. They make that three or four times over from one Beyonce concert. Stop exploiting loyalty.’ The margins at other clubs are even smaller – raising the question of why clubs appear determined to alienate fans. City and Arsenal earned £2.4m for each Champions League group stage win this year, more per match than their ticket hikes for an entire season. Asked about City’s 100 per cent record in the competition, Pep Guardiola replied: ‘For (CEO) Ferran Soriano, for the money: he's so happy, that's for sure!’

    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Buhagiar suspects Spurs saw Arsenal’s strategy on concessions and followed them in. While there are good things done by clubs – Spurs are among those who have scrapped booking fees – they become more insignificant when placed alongside the headline figures. A ticket share system, where fans not attending can earn a refund with the seat then sold on, has its merits and is working at some clubs, including United. Across the road, City supporter groups are encouraging a boycott of theirs.

    Old Trafford’s stadium occupancy has risen from 85 per cent to 94 since its introduction in a division full of clubs whose attendances are based on tickets distributed rather than through the turnstiles. A growing number now say supporters must have their ticket used – be it by themselves or sold back to the club through exchanges – a certain amount of times a season or risk losing it. While simple, it can create anxiety for fans.


    In isolation, the majority of price rises are not astronomical but remain at odds with the cost of living crisis felt by all, and most acutely by ‘legacy fans’ – a phrase coined by the ill-fated European Super League. Statistics revealed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this month show that more than seven million households are at risk of being unable to afford enough food. More than four million children are living in poverty. Football has always been a reflection on society and several Premier League clubs have fan-led foodbank initiatives outside their stadiums before home matches.

    ‘There’s a disparity between the community around Villa Park and the riches inside,’ Aston & Nechells Foodbank’s Kerry Lenihan says. ‘It’s poverty-ridden, one of the highest in the country. A lot more people are struggling than we realise. I have a lot of fans who come to me privately who don’t want to speak to their family about it but are worried about affording heating and food.

    ‘That poverty line is much higher now. Football is an escape from that reality but if people are priced out of that then there is nothing to fall back on.’

    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    Lenihan discusses how Aston Villa changed their number of price brackets from six to four, losing the cheapest two. She impresses an ‘annoyance’ at how Holte Enders are being ‘forced out of their seats’ for hospitality. ‘My mum and dad sit behind the dugouts and are fully expecting to be moved along for premium seats,’ she adds. ‘My dad’s said he just won’t go if that happens and he’s been going down for 50 years. It’s forcing people out to chase the money. I’ve got a few friends who just can’t afford it now.’

    Khan adds: ‘Utilities have gone up but why pass it onto the average supporter? A couple of quid a game makes a difference for an ordinary fan. What about adding another £50 onto a £5,000 hospitality seat? Given the increased commercial and TV revenue, should we actually be campaigning for a decrease? I’ve asked our members for a yes or a no.’

    Profit and Sustainability rules have dominated this season and matchday revenue is somewhere executives can make gains in order to stay within the spending limits. Supplemented by a booming ‘tourist’ market, which in the cases of Tottenham’s South Korean groups – the club sell an estimated 2,000 Son Heung-min shirts a game – should be celebrated. Brighton can’t print enough Kaoru Mitoma kits. ‘We love the overseas fans,’ Buhagiar says. ‘But when Son goes, they’re going to go too. The club takes advantage of those supporters without a strategy. What happens when that player leaves?’

    Studies by Visit Britain five years ago detailed that 1.5million tourist visits were football related, spending £1.4billion for the economy. The Etihad recorded 87,000 of those visits and that figure will have doubled or trebled since as their global appeal skyrockets. Anfield and Old Trafford were, at the time, over 200,000 each.

    Yet compared to the finances from the broadcasters, it’s small change. They still plough on and one area has been removing concessionary tickets for future seasons at Arsenal.

    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    ‘To remove the option altogether… what are they doing?’ Arsenal Supporters’ Trust Tim Payton asks. ‘Where’s the custodianship and recognition of lifetime loyalty? The club are doing a lot at the moment to reconnect with the fans but is this filtering through to the decision makers?

    ‘They’re just trying to squeeze more money. A free marketeer would say it’s because of demand. But the government has decided (with the independent regulator) that there is a social fabric, a golden thread that recognises that supporters need to be looked after.’

    In what is framed as an attempt to offer choice to fans, City have introduced a flexi-gold ticket, which preserves a seat for a £150 membership fee and then gives the option of picking and choosing matches, paying full general admission prices. ‘The premium seems like it’s taking advantage of people,’ City Matters chair Alex Howell says. ‘At what point does the success on and off the pitch get passed to supporters?’

    City, the Treble winners, posted record revenue and profits this year. ‘What a great opportunity it would have been to reward our loyal, long-standing season ticket holders with no increase,’ official supporters’ club chair Kevin Parker says. ‘Instead City has decided to ignore that – almost certainly knowing that the exact same fan base are so loyal they will renew despite the increase. This one will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many.’

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  9. #9

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by BLUETIT View Post
    It goes deeper

    Towards the end of his reign as Premier League head honcho, Richard Scudamore wore a look of resignation. Sat in a meeting with supporters from across the division, the man who owned enough political savvy to tear up Whitehall privately admitted that his currency had run out.

    Rail fares were an issue. Still are, actually. Worse than ever. There were calls for the league to lobby for more flexible ticketing or suggest a subsidy system to their member clubs to mitigate spiralling costs of following a football team. Whether it was reasonable to expect that is somewhat moot, because Scudamore’s answer revealed everything about the culture of boardrooms in our top flight.

    ‘I’m not going back to the well so soon,’ he told those in the room. Case closed. Scudamore was described as appearing exhausted after a lengthy battle to twist the arms of executives to cap away tickets at £30. He managed it but the energy to go again, with 20 clubs all presenting different needs, problems and varying degrees of obstinance? Even for him, the answer was a resolute no.


    That £30 cap is set for a review next year. Some clubs wanted it bumping up to £35 the last time it was renewed, in 2022, but were warned against the PR backlash for the sake of a fiver. It’s one to watch amid a culture war over season ticket prices that has lit a fuse underneath fanbases up and down the land.

    Here lies one of the most critical issues in the sport: as the Premier League modernises, Americanises, a depth of feeling festers that those who have contributed to our country’s spectacle and that envied soul are being eased aside. Slowly, but surely.

    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
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    Perhaps now, at this moment in time – as football races painfully clear of the working man and woman – is when enduring the constant rises, the chipping away at dwindling disposal incomes, stops for the sake of the next generation.

    ‘You look around the Kop and everybody is 40, 50, 60,’ Spirit of Shankly’s Paul Khan says. ‘There are hardly any kids getting into the game. This is every club, I worry about the future.’


    ‘The problem is nobody controls or owns this problem,’ one industry insider said. ‘Who can change the policy? An individual club isn’t going out of their way to do it. And the Premier League doesn’t have any interest in trying to change it on behalf of supporters. Clubs won’t think twice about giving their second-choice left winger an extra £15,000 a week for a new contract. Don’t even blink. And then charging fans an extra £15 a ticket to pay for it.’

    Ange Postecoglou took on the 'plastic fans' trolls - and tore them to shreds, writes IAN LADYMAN

    Look at many Premier League clubs’ plans for next season and fans aren’t happy. Arsenal and Tottenham are not inviting any new OAP season-ticket holders – and are doing away with the idea of discounts for them. Manchester City’s incremental rises – with different percentage increases spread across the Etihad Stadium in a move described as ‘divide and conquer’ – continue. A second mortgage might be handy to watch Fulham from their new stand, at £3,000 the most expensive ticket in Britain. Liverpool are fearing rises in the coming weeks.

    Manchester United’s have gone up for the second year running after a long freeze. Chelsea are expecting hikes, Aston Villa the same and also disgruntled by the removal of long-standing fans in the Holte End for hospitality. Brentford’s going up 10 per cent, Burnley even more. The list goes on and on. All condemned and all feeding into an idea one high-profile executive was privately championing over a decade ago.

    His club didn’t want season ticket holders. They could fill the stadium of over 40,000 people with those signing up to membership schemes – access to matches sold at a premium. First, with an initial fee to join and then by making bigger mark-ups on tickets for individual matches. ‘Matchday revenue increases 30 per cent overnight that way,’ he said. Another has told staff not to worry about ‘local’ fans in a heartland of their city and focus instead on global reach.

    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    ‘The number of season tickets at the Etihad is 36,000 and that is only going to go down,’ a spokesman for City fan group 1894 said. ‘The only way City can beat Arsenal for matchday revenue is if there are no season tickets at all; 60,000 people paying £70 or £80 per ticket per game. That’s what some people at the top of the club want.’

    Mail Sport has spoken to representatives of fan groups from each of the current top six and the prevailing feeling is that the increases across the board – termed as inflationary by clubs – epitomise a tax on loyalty. A tax on the duty of being a football fan. Walking away from a season ticket for a year or two is not an option for many: with waiting lists in the thousands, those who give them up may never get the chance to return.

    ‘You can’t look at match-going fans as a market as you would in any other business,’ Duncan Drasdo of Manchester United Supporters’ Trust says. ‘It’s a monopoly, you haven’t got consumer choice. If you push too hard to maximise ticket revenue you will damage that relationship. I don’t think it makes sense to squeeze that revenue. It creates resentment. Following the Green & Gold protests (against the Glazer family’s ownership) in 2010 we had a prolonged freeze and no doubt a lot of that was down to fan protests.’

    The Football Supporters’ Association appear alert to the cause, with sources there talking openly about ‘exploiting fans because of demand is a slap in the face’ and a disparaging outlook on some fan advisory boards, which were implemented recently to improve communication. ‘Some pay lip service and just do what they want anyway,’ a source says. ‘Or tell the board 20 minutes before as a “heads up”. That’s not a heads up, is it? We want the dialogue beforehand.’

    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One fan who sits on such a board at their club adds: ‘They call it a consultation when actually it’s a fait accompli.’

    Listening to the anger this week, demonstrations don’t feel far away. ‘Absolutely,’ Chelsea Trust’s vice-chair Dominic Rosso says. ‘It’s happening everywhere. These are the sort of supporters who are going to be pulling you over the line when you’re up against it. Look at Anfield. While I think everybody can admit wasn’t as loud as it once was, how many extra points does Anfield earn Liverpool a season?

    ‘Those extra points can be the difference between finishing seventh and fourth. That is a lot more money from broadcasting revenue than you would get from additional matchday sales. Clubs can’t seem to get their head around it. It’s causing stadiums to become lifeless and soulless.’

    Tottenham fans have already made their feelings clear. A protest at general admission prices, staged before August’s victory over United, brought dialogue with the club. ‘They met us and said they didn’t want to be in that position again,’ said Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust chair, Martin Buhagiar, now bemused by the decision to scrap OAP concessions. ‘There was almost an acknowledgement that they’d got it wrong. So to act like this now feels odd. With the concessions, there is this belief within clubs that all retired people are rich! It’s so strange. Tin hats on and deal with it, hoping we forget about it.’

    Spurs upped their season tickets by an average of six per cent, the same as Arsenal and City. The OAP debacle brought banners during the defeat at Fulham – “Save Our Seniors” – and more are expected when Luton Town arrive in north London on Saturday.

    ‘Their business model creates criticism,’ Buhagiar adds. ‘It feels like a step backwards. We’ve worked out the six per cent makes them between £3-4million a year. They make that three or four times over from one Beyonce concert. Stop exploiting loyalty.’ The margins at other clubs are even smaller – raising the question of why clubs appear determined to alienate fans. City and Arsenal earned £2.4m for each Champions League group stage win this year, more per match than their ticket hikes for an entire season. Asked about City’s 100 per cent record in the competition, Pep Guardiola replied: ‘For (CEO) Ferran Soriano, for the money: he's so happy, that's for sure!’

    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Buhagiar suspects Spurs saw Arsenal’s strategy on concessions and followed them in. While there are good things done by clubs – Spurs are among those who have scrapped booking fees – they become more insignificant when placed alongside the headline figures. A ticket share system, where fans not attending can earn a refund with the seat then sold on, has its merits and is working at some clubs, including United. Across the road, City supporter groups are encouraging a boycott of theirs.

    Old Trafford’s stadium occupancy has risen from 85 per cent to 94 since its introduction in a division full of clubs whose attendances are based on tickets distributed rather than through the turnstiles. A growing number now say supporters must have their ticket used – be it by themselves or sold back to the club through exchanges – a certain amount of times a season or risk losing it. While simple, it can create anxiety for fans.


    In isolation, the majority of price rises are not astronomical but remain at odds with the cost of living crisis felt by all, and most acutely by ‘legacy fans’ – a phrase coined by the ill-fated European Super League. Statistics revealed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this month show that more than seven million households are at risk of being unable to afford enough food. More than four million children are living in poverty. Football has always been a reflection on society and several Premier League clubs have fan-led foodbank initiatives outside their stadiums before home matches.

    ‘There’s a disparity between the community around Villa Park and the riches inside,’ Aston & Nechells Foodbank’s Kerry Lenihan says. ‘It’s poverty-ridden, one of the highest in the country. A lot more people are struggling than we realise. I have a lot of fans who come to me privately who don’t want to speak to their family about it but are worried about affording heating and food.

    ‘That poverty line is much higher now. Football is an escape from that reality but if people are priced out of that then there is nothing to fall back on.’

    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    Lenihan discusses how Aston Villa changed their number of price brackets from six to four, losing the cheapest two. She impresses an ‘annoyance’ at how Holte Enders are being ‘forced out of their seats’ for hospitality. ‘My mum and dad sit behind the dugouts and are fully expecting to be moved along for premium seats,’ she adds. ‘My dad’s said he just won’t go if that happens and he’s been going down for 50 years. It’s forcing people out to chase the money. I’ve got a few friends who just can’t afford it now.’

    Khan adds: ‘Utilities have gone up but why pass it onto the average supporter? A couple of quid a game makes a difference for an ordinary fan. What about adding another £50 onto a £5,000 hospitality seat? Given the increased commercial and TV revenue, should we actually be campaigning for a decrease? I’ve asked our members for a yes or a no.’

    Profit and Sustainability rules have dominated this season and matchday revenue is somewhere executives can make gains in order to stay within the spending limits. Supplemented by a booming ‘tourist’ market, which in the cases of Tottenham’s South Korean groups – the club sell an estimated 2,000 Son Heung-min shirts a game – should be celebrated. Brighton can’t print enough Kaoru Mitoma kits. ‘We love the overseas fans,’ Buhagiar says. ‘But when Son goes, they’re going to go too. The club takes advantage of those supporters without a strategy. What happens when that player leaves?’

    Studies by Visit Britain five years ago detailed that 1.5million tourist visits were football related, spending £1.4billion for the economy. The Etihad recorded 87,000 of those visits and that figure will have doubled or trebled since as their global appeal skyrockets. Anfield and Old Trafford were, at the time, over 200,000 each.

    Yet compared to the finances from the broadcasters, it’s small change. They still plough on and one area has been removing concessionary tickets for future seasons at Arsenal.

    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    ‘To remove the option altogether… what are they doing?’ Arsenal Supporters’ Trust Tim Payton asks. ‘Where’s the custodianship and recognition of lifetime loyalty? The club are doing a lot at the moment to reconnect with the fans but is this filtering through to the decision makers?

    ‘They’re just trying to squeeze more money. A free marketeer would say it’s because of demand. But the government has decided (with the independent regulator) that there is a social fabric, a golden thread that recognises that supporters need to be looked after.’

    In what is framed as an attempt to offer choice to fans, City have introduced a flexi-gold ticket, which preserves a seat for a £150 membership fee and then gives the option of picking and choosing matches, paying full general admission prices. ‘The premium seems like it’s taking advantage of people,’ City Matters chair Alex Howell says. ‘At what point does the success on and off the pitch get passed to supporters?’

    City, the Treble winners, posted record revenue and profits this year. ‘What a great opportunity it would have been to reward our loyal, long-standing season ticket holders with no increase,’ official supporters’ club chair Kevin Parker says. ‘Instead City has decided to ignore that – almost certainly knowing that the exact same fan base are so loyal they will renew despite the increase. This one will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many.’

    Premier League
    Share or comment on this article: Why Premier League clubs want to kill off season tickets - is yours at risk?
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    Is anyone going to sit and read through all of that, particularly as it's concerning other clubs in a different league to us?

  10. #10

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_Flock_of_Five View Post
    Is anyone going to sit and read through all of that, particularly as it's concerning other clubs in a different league to us?
    Why quote and repeat it????
    My lunch is nearly up and all I've done is scroll down this page on my phone

  11. #11

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by fugsyphil View Post
    Why quote and repeat it????
    My lunch is nearly up and all I've done is scroll down this page on my phone

  12. #12
    International
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
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    North Cardiff ha ha
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    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by BLUETIT View Post
    It goes deeper

    Towards the end of his reign as Premier League head honcho, Richard Scudamore wore a look of resignation. Sat in a meeting with supporters from across the division, the man who owned enough political savvy to tear up Whitehall privately admitted that his currency had run out.

    Rail fares were an issue. Still are, actually. Worse than ever. There were calls for the league to lobby for more flexible ticketing or suggest a subsidy system to their member clubs to mitigate spiralling costs of following a football team. Whether it was reasonable to expect that is somewhat moot, because Scudamore’s answer revealed everything about the culture of boardrooms in our top flight.

    ‘I’m not going back to the well so soon,’ he told those in the room. Case closed. Scudamore was described as appearing exhausted after a lengthy battle to twist the arms of executives to cap away tickets at £30. He managed it but the energy to go again, with 20 clubs all presenting different needs, problems and varying degrees of obstinance? Even for him, the answer was a resolute no.


    That £30 cap is set for a review next year. Some clubs wanted it bumping up to £35 the last time it was renewed, in 2022, but were warned against the PR backlash for the sake of a fiver. It’s one to watch amid a culture war over season ticket prices that has lit a fuse underneath fanbases up and down the land.

    Here lies one of the most critical issues in the sport: as the Premier League modernises, Americanises, a depth of feeling festers that those who have contributed to our country’s spectacle and that envied soul are being eased aside. Slowly, but surely.

    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
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    Perhaps now, at this moment in time – as football races painfully clear of the working man and woman – is when enduring the constant rises, the chipping away at dwindling disposal incomes, stops for the sake of the next generation.

    ‘You look around the Kop and everybody is 40, 50, 60,’ Spirit of Shankly’s Paul Khan says. ‘There are hardly any kids getting into the game. This is every club, I worry about the future.’


    ‘The problem is nobody controls or owns this problem,’ one industry insider said. ‘Who can change the policy? An individual club isn’t going out of their way to do it. And the Premier League doesn’t have any interest in trying to change it on behalf of supporters. Clubs won’t think twice about giving their second-choice left winger an extra £15,000 a week for a new contract. Don’t even blink. And then charging fans an extra £15 a ticket to pay for it.’

    Ange Postecoglou took on the 'plastic fans' trolls - and tore them to shreds, writes IAN LADYMAN

    Look at many Premier League clubs’ plans for next season and fans aren’t happy. Arsenal and Tottenham are not inviting any new OAP season-ticket holders – and are doing away with the idea of discounts for them. Manchester City’s incremental rises – with different percentage increases spread across the Etihad Stadium in a move described as ‘divide and conquer’ – continue. A second mortgage might be handy to watch Fulham from their new stand, at £3,000 the most expensive ticket in Britain. Liverpool are fearing rises in the coming weeks.

    Manchester United’s have gone up for the second year running after a long freeze. Chelsea are expecting hikes, Aston Villa the same and also disgruntled by the removal of long-standing fans in the Holte End for hospitality. Brentford’s going up 10 per cent, Burnley even more. The list goes on and on. All condemned and all feeding into an idea one high-profile executive was privately championing over a decade ago.

    His club didn’t want season ticket holders. They could fill the stadium of over 40,000 people with those signing up to membership schemes – access to matches sold at a premium. First, with an initial fee to join and then by making bigger mark-ups on tickets for individual matches. ‘Matchday revenue increases 30 per cent overnight that way,’ he said. Another has told staff not to worry about ‘local’ fans in a heartland of their city and focus instead on global reach.

    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    ‘The number of season tickets at the Etihad is 36,000 and that is only going to go down,’ a spokesman for City fan group 1894 said. ‘The only way City can beat Arsenal for matchday revenue is if there are no season tickets at all; 60,000 people paying £70 or £80 per ticket per game. That’s what some people at the top of the club want.’

    Mail Sport has spoken to representatives of fan groups from each of the current top six and the prevailing feeling is that the increases across the board – termed as inflationary by clubs – epitomise a tax on loyalty. A tax on the duty of being a football fan. Walking away from a season ticket for a year or two is not an option for many: with waiting lists in the thousands, those who give them up may never get the chance to return.

    ‘You can’t look at match-going fans as a market as you would in any other business,’ Duncan Drasdo of Manchester United Supporters’ Trust says. ‘It’s a monopoly, you haven’t got consumer choice. If you push too hard to maximise ticket revenue you will damage that relationship. I don’t think it makes sense to squeeze that revenue. It creates resentment. Following the Green & Gold protests (against the Glazer family’s ownership) in 2010 we had a prolonged freeze and no doubt a lot of that was down to fan protests.’

    The Football Supporters’ Association appear alert to the cause, with sources there talking openly about ‘exploiting fans because of demand is a slap in the face’ and a disparaging outlook on some fan advisory boards, which were implemented recently to improve communication. ‘Some pay lip service and just do what they want anyway,’ a source says. ‘Or tell the board 20 minutes before as a “heads up”. That’s not a heads up, is it? We want the dialogue beforehand.’

    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One fan who sits on such a board at their club adds: ‘They call it a consultation when actually it’s a fait accompli.’

    Listening to the anger this week, demonstrations don’t feel far away. ‘Absolutely,’ Chelsea Trust’s vice-chair Dominic Rosso says. ‘It’s happening everywhere. These are the sort of supporters who are going to be pulling you over the line when you’re up against it. Look at Anfield. While I think everybody can admit wasn’t as loud as it once was, how many extra points does Anfield earn Liverpool a season?

    ‘Those extra points can be the difference between finishing seventh and fourth. That is a lot more money from broadcasting revenue than you would get from additional matchday sales. Clubs can’t seem to get their head around it. It’s causing stadiums to become lifeless and soulless.’

    Tottenham fans have already made their feelings clear. A protest at general admission prices, staged before August’s victory over United, brought dialogue with the club. ‘They met us and said they didn’t want to be in that position again,’ said Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust chair, Martin Buhagiar, now bemused by the decision to scrap OAP concessions. ‘There was almost an acknowledgement that they’d got it wrong. So to act like this now feels odd. With the concessions, there is this belief within clubs that all retired people are rich! It’s so strange. Tin hats on and deal with it, hoping we forget about it.’

    Spurs upped their season tickets by an average of six per cent, the same as Arsenal and City. The OAP debacle brought banners during the defeat at Fulham – “Save Our Seniors” – and more are expected when Luton Town arrive in north London on Saturday.

    ‘Their business model creates criticism,’ Buhagiar adds. ‘It feels like a step backwards. We’ve worked out the six per cent makes them between £3-4million a year. They make that three or four times over from one Beyonce concert. Stop exploiting loyalty.’ The margins at other clubs are even smaller – raising the question of why clubs appear determined to alienate fans. City and Arsenal earned £2.4m for each Champions League group stage win this year, more per match than their ticket hikes for an entire season. Asked about City’s 100 per cent record in the competition, Pep Guardiola replied: ‘For (CEO) Ferran Soriano, for the money: he's so happy, that's for sure!’

    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Buhagiar suspects Spurs saw Arsenal’s strategy on concessions and followed them in. While there are good things done by clubs – Spurs are among those who have scrapped booking fees – they become more insignificant when placed alongside the headline figures. A ticket share system, where fans not attending can earn a refund with the seat then sold on, has its merits and is working at some clubs, including United. Across the road, City supporter groups are encouraging a boycott of theirs.

    Old Trafford’s stadium occupancy has risen from 85 per cent to 94 since its introduction in a division full of clubs whose attendances are based on tickets distributed rather than through the turnstiles. A growing number now say supporters must have their ticket used – be it by themselves or sold back to the club through exchanges – a certain amount of times a season or risk losing it. While simple, it can create anxiety for fans.


    In isolation, the majority of price rises are not astronomical but remain at odds with the cost of living crisis felt by all, and most acutely by ‘legacy fans’ – a phrase coined by the ill-fated European Super League. Statistics revealed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this month show that more than seven million households are at risk of being unable to afford enough food. More than four million children are living in poverty. Football has always been a reflection on society and several Premier League clubs have fan-led foodbank initiatives outside their stadiums before home matches.

    ‘There’s a disparity between the community around Villa Park and the riches inside,’ Aston & Nechells Foodbank’s Kerry Lenihan says. ‘It’s poverty-ridden, one of the highest in the country. A lot more people are struggling than we realise. I have a lot of fans who come to me privately who don’t want to speak to their family about it but are worried about affording heating and food.

    ‘That poverty line is much higher now. Football is an escape from that reality but if people are priced out of that then there is nothing to fall back on.’

    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    Lenihan discusses how Aston Villa changed their number of price brackets from six to four, losing the cheapest two. She impresses an ‘annoyance’ at how Holte Enders are being ‘forced out of their seats’ for hospitality. ‘My mum and dad sit behind the dugouts and are fully expecting to be moved along for premium seats,’ she adds. ‘My dad’s said he just won’t go if that happens and he’s been going down for 50 years. It’s forcing people out to chase the money. I’ve got a few friends who just can’t afford it now.’

    Khan adds: ‘Utilities have gone up but why pass it onto the average supporter? A couple of quid a game makes a difference for an ordinary fan. What about adding another £50 onto a £5,000 hospitality seat? Given the increased commercial and TV revenue, should we actually be campaigning for a decrease? I’ve asked our members for a yes or a no.’

    Profit and Sustainability rules have dominated this season and matchday revenue is somewhere executives can make gains in order to stay within the spending limits. Supplemented by a booming ‘tourist’ market, which in the cases of Tottenham’s South Korean groups – the club sell an estimated 2,000 Son Heung-min shirts a game – should be celebrated. Brighton can’t print enough Kaoru Mitoma kits. ‘We love the overseas fans,’ Buhagiar says. ‘But when Son goes, they’re going to go too. The club takes advantage of those supporters without a strategy. What happens when that player leaves?’

    Studies by Visit Britain five years ago detailed that 1.5million tourist visits were football related, spending £1.4billion for the economy. The Etihad recorded 87,000 of those visits and that figure will have doubled or trebled since as their global appeal skyrockets. Anfield and Old Trafford were, at the time, over 200,000 each.

    Yet compared to the finances from the broadcasters, it’s small change. They still plough on and one area has been removing concessionary tickets for future seasons at Arsenal.

    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    ‘To remove the option altogether… what are they doing?’ Arsenal Supporters’ Trust Tim Payton asks. ‘Where’s the custodianship and recognition of lifetime loyalty? The club are doing a lot at the moment to reconnect with the fans but is this filtering through to the decision makers?

    ‘They’re just trying to squeeze more money. A free marketeer would say it’s because of demand. But the government has decided (with the independent regulator) that there is a social fabric, a golden thread that recognises that supporters need to be looked after.’

    In what is framed as an attempt to offer choice to fans, City have introduced a flexi-gold ticket, which preserves a seat for a £150 membership fee and then gives the option of picking and choosing matches, paying full general admission prices. ‘The premium seems like it’s taking advantage of people,’ City Matters chair Alex Howell says. ‘At what point does the success on and off the pitch get passed to supporters?’

    City, the Treble winners, posted record revenue and profits this year. ‘What a great opportunity it would have been to reward our loyal, long-standing season ticket holders with no increase,’ official supporters’ club chair Kevin Parker says. ‘Instead City has decided to ignore that – almost certainly knowing that the exact same fan base are so loyal they will renew despite the increase. This one will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many.’

    Premier League
    Share or comment on this article: Why Premier League clubs want to kill off season tickets - is yours at risk?
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    Just in case anyone missed it

  13. #13

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Closed shop and the end of season tickets and price breaks for fans are an inevitability at the top level IMO - the Americans and the Saudis aren’t buying clubs for the amount they are for anything other than a guaranteed return and a way to squeeze as much money out of them as possible. A fan from down the road isn’t paying what a tourist will pay for a seat or what they will pay in the club shop 38 times a season.

    The only thing left is to quibble over the details and when it happens, but I think it’s more likely that teams are playing mid season games regularly abroad within the next 5 years than not.

  14. #14

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by fugsyphil View Post
    Why quote and repeat it????
    My lunch is nearly up and all I've done is scroll down this page on my phone

  15. #15

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by BLUETIT View Post
    It goes deeper

    Towards the end of his reign as Premier League head honcho, Richard Scudamore wore a look of resignation. Sat in a meeting with supporters from across the division, the man who owned enough political savvy to tear up Whitehall privately admitted that his currency had run out.

    Rail fares were an issue. Still are, actually. Worse than ever. There were calls for the league to lobby for more flexible ticketing or suggest a subsidy system to their member clubs to mitigate spiralling costs of following a football team. Whether it was reasonable to expect that is somewhat moot, because Scudamore’s answer revealed everything about the culture of boardrooms in our top flight.

    ‘I’m not going back to the well so soon,’ he told those in the room. Case closed. Scudamore was described as appearing exhausted after a lengthy battle to twist the arms of executives to cap away tickets at £30. He managed it but the energy to go again, with 20 clubs all presenting different needs, problems and varying degrees of obstinance? Even for him, the answer was a resolute no.


    That £30 cap is set for a review next year. Some clubs wanted it bumping up to £35 the last time it was renewed, in 2022, but were warned against the PR backlash for the sake of a fiver. It’s one to watch amid a culture war over season ticket prices that has lit a fuse underneath fanbases up and down the land.

    Here lies one of the most critical issues in the sport: as the Premier League modernises, Americanises, a depth of feeling festers that those who have contributed to our country’s spectacle and that envied soul are being eased aside. Slowly, but surely.

    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    Fans are increasingly subject to season ticket price increases, with Fulham charging £3,000 for one in their new Riverside stand
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    A number of Premier League clubs are anticipated to be set to raise their prices very soon
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
    Clubs are increasingly prioritising fan membership, with price raises to season ticket-holders feeling like a 'loyalty tax'
    TRENDING

    Grayson Murray cause of death revealed
    230.1k viewing now

    Man United players RATED after another dramatic season
    18.2k viewing now

    Kylie Kelce confronted by 'drunk' fan after being 'harassed for photo'
    129.3k viewing now

    Perhaps now, at this moment in time – as football races painfully clear of the working man and woman – is when enduring the constant rises, the chipping away at dwindling disposal incomes, stops for the sake of the next generation.

    ‘You look around the Kop and everybody is 40, 50, 60,’ Spirit of Shankly’s Paul Khan says. ‘There are hardly any kids getting into the game. This is every club, I worry about the future.’


    ‘The problem is nobody controls or owns this problem,’ one industry insider said. ‘Who can change the policy? An individual club isn’t going out of their way to do it. And the Premier League doesn’t have any interest in trying to change it on behalf of supporters. Clubs won’t think twice about giving their second-choice left winger an extra £15,000 a week for a new contract. Don’t even blink. And then charging fans an extra £15 a ticket to pay for it.’

    Ange Postecoglou took on the 'plastic fans' trolls - and tore them to shreds, writes IAN LADYMAN

    Look at many Premier League clubs’ plans for next season and fans aren’t happy. Arsenal and Tottenham are not inviting any new OAP season-ticket holders – and are doing away with the idea of discounts for them. Manchester City’s incremental rises – with different percentage increases spread across the Etihad Stadium in a move described as ‘divide and conquer’ – continue. A second mortgage might be handy to watch Fulham from their new stand, at £3,000 the most expensive ticket in Britain. Liverpool are fearing rises in the coming weeks.

    Manchester United’s have gone up for the second year running after a long freeze. Chelsea are expecting hikes, Aston Villa the same and also disgruntled by the removal of long-standing fans in the Holte End for hospitality. Brentford’s going up 10 per cent, Burnley even more. The list goes on and on. All condemned and all feeding into an idea one high-profile executive was privately championing over a decade ago.

    His club didn’t want season ticket holders. They could fill the stadium of over 40,000 people with those signing up to membership schemes – access to matches sold at a premium. First, with an initial fee to join and then by making bigger mark-ups on tickets for individual matches. ‘Matchday revenue increases 30 per cent overnight that way,’ he said. Another has told staff not to worry about ‘local’ fans in a heartland of their city and focus instead on global reach.

    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    The number of season ticket holders at the Etihad is just over half their 53,400 capacity
    ‘The number of season tickets at the Etihad is 36,000 and that is only going to go down,’ a spokesman for City fan group 1894 said. ‘The only way City can beat Arsenal for matchday revenue is if there are no season tickets at all; 60,000 people paying £70 or £80 per ticket per game. That’s what some people at the top of the club want.’

    Mail Sport has spoken to representatives of fan groups from each of the current top six and the prevailing feeling is that the increases across the board – termed as inflationary by clubs – epitomise a tax on loyalty. A tax on the duty of being a football fan. Walking away from a season ticket for a year or two is not an option for many: with waiting lists in the thousands, those who give them up may never get the chance to return.

    ‘You can’t look at match-going fans as a market as you would in any other business,’ Duncan Drasdo of Manchester United Supporters’ Trust says. ‘It’s a monopoly, you haven’t got consumer choice. If you push too hard to maximise ticket revenue you will damage that relationship. I don’t think it makes sense to squeeze that revenue. It creates resentment. Following the Green & Gold protests (against the Glazer family’s ownership) in 2010 we had a prolonged freeze and no doubt a lot of that was down to fan protests.’

    The Football Supporters’ Association appear alert to the cause, with sources there talking openly about ‘exploiting fans because of demand is a slap in the face’ and a disparaging outlook on some fan advisory boards, which were implemented recently to improve communication. ‘Some pay lip service and just do what they want anyway,’ a source says. ‘Or tell the board 20 minutes before as a “heads up”. That’s not a heads up, is it? We want the dialogue beforehand.’

    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    The 2010 protests against the Glazer ownership by Manchester United fans temporarily froze price increases
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One notable supporter of the cause was club legend David Beckham, then on loan at AC Milan
    One fan who sits on such a board at their club adds: ‘They call it a consultation when actually it’s a fait accompli.’

    Listening to the anger this week, demonstrations don’t feel far away. ‘Absolutely,’ Chelsea Trust’s vice-chair Dominic Rosso says. ‘It’s happening everywhere. These are the sort of supporters who are going to be pulling you over the line when you’re up against it. Look at Anfield. While I think everybody can admit wasn’t as loud as it once was, how many extra points does Anfield earn Liverpool a season?

    ‘Those extra points can be the difference between finishing seventh and fourth. That is a lot more money from broadcasting revenue than you would get from additional matchday sales. Clubs can’t seem to get their head around it. It’s causing stadiums to become lifeless and soulless.’

    Tottenham fans have already made their feelings clear. A protest at general admission prices, staged before August’s victory over United, brought dialogue with the club. ‘They met us and said they didn’t want to be in that position again,’ said Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust chair, Martin Buhagiar, now bemused by the decision to scrap OAP concessions. ‘There was almost an acknowledgement that they’d got it wrong. So to act like this now feels odd. With the concessions, there is this belief within clubs that all retired people are rich! It’s so strange. Tin hats on and deal with it, hoping we forget about it.’

    Spurs upped their season tickets by an average of six per cent, the same as Arsenal and City. The OAP debacle brought banners during the defeat at Fulham – “Save Our Seniors” – and more are expected when Luton Town arrive in north London on Saturday.

    ‘Their business model creates criticism,’ Buhagiar adds. ‘It feels like a step backwards. We’ve worked out the six per cent makes them between £3-4million a year. They make that three or four times over from one Beyonce concert. Stop exploiting loyalty.’ The margins at other clubs are even smaller – raising the question of why clubs appear determined to alienate fans. City and Arsenal earned £2.4m for each Champions League group stage win this year, more per match than their ticket hikes for an entire season. Asked about City’s 100 per cent record in the competition, Pep Guardiola replied: ‘For (CEO) Ferran Soriano, for the money: he's so happy, that's for sure!’

    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Spurs have recently come under fire for their decision to scrap OAP concessions next season
    Buhagiar suspects Spurs saw Arsenal’s strategy on concessions and followed them in. While there are good things done by clubs – Spurs are among those who have scrapped booking fees – they become more insignificant when placed alongside the headline figures. A ticket share system, where fans not attending can earn a refund with the seat then sold on, has its merits and is working at some clubs, including United. Across the road, City supporter groups are encouraging a boycott of theirs.

    Old Trafford’s stadium occupancy has risen from 85 per cent to 94 since its introduction in a division full of clubs whose attendances are based on tickets distributed rather than through the turnstiles. A growing number now say supporters must have their ticket used – be it by themselves or sold back to the club through exchanges – a certain amount of times a season or risk losing it. While simple, it can create anxiety for fans.


    In isolation, the majority of price rises are not astronomical but remain at odds with the cost of living crisis felt by all, and most acutely by ‘legacy fans’ – a phrase coined by the ill-fated European Super League. Statistics revealed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this month show that more than seven million households are at risk of being unable to afford enough food. More than four million children are living in poverty. Football has always been a reflection on society and several Premier League clubs have fan-led foodbank initiatives outside their stadiums before home matches.

    ‘There’s a disparity between the community around Villa Park and the riches inside,’ Aston & Nechells Foodbank’s Kerry Lenihan says. ‘It’s poverty-ridden, one of the highest in the country. A lot more people are struggling than we realise. I have a lot of fans who come to me privately who don’t want to speak to their family about it but are worried about affording heating and food.

    ‘That poverty line is much higher now. Football is an escape from that reality but if people are priced out of that then there is nothing to fall back on.’

    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    There is a vast disparity between the world outside Villa Park and the microcosm within it
    Lenihan discusses how Aston Villa changed their number of price brackets from six to four, losing the cheapest two. She impresses an ‘annoyance’ at how Holte Enders are being ‘forced out of their seats’ for hospitality. ‘My mum and dad sit behind the dugouts and are fully expecting to be moved along for premium seats,’ she adds. ‘My dad’s said he just won’t go if that happens and he’s been going down for 50 years. It’s forcing people out to chase the money. I’ve got a few friends who just can’t afford it now.’

    Khan adds: ‘Utilities have gone up but why pass it onto the average supporter? A couple of quid a game makes a difference for an ordinary fan. What about adding another £50 onto a £5,000 hospitality seat? Given the increased commercial and TV revenue, should we actually be campaigning for a decrease? I’ve asked our members for a yes or a no.’

    Profit and Sustainability rules have dominated this season and matchday revenue is somewhere executives can make gains in order to stay within the spending limits. Supplemented by a booming ‘tourist’ market, which in the cases of Tottenham’s South Korean groups – the club sell an estimated 2,000 Son Heung-min shirts a game – should be celebrated. Brighton can’t print enough Kaoru Mitoma kits. ‘We love the overseas fans,’ Buhagiar says. ‘But when Son goes, they’re going to go too. The club takes advantage of those supporters without a strategy. What happens when that player leaves?’

    Studies by Visit Britain five years ago detailed that 1.5million tourist visits were football related, spending £1.4billion for the economy. The Etihad recorded 87,000 of those visits and that figure will have doubled or trebled since as their global appeal skyrockets. Anfield and Old Trafford were, at the time, over 200,000 each.

    Yet compared to the finances from the broadcasters, it’s small change. They still plough on and one area has been removing concessionary tickets for future seasons at Arsenal.

    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    International stars like Son Heung-min bring their compatriots with them - but with a transfer, that revenue could soon be lost
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    When season ticket prices are raised, fans are unwilling to renounce their bond with their club
    ‘To remove the option altogether… what are they doing?’ Arsenal Supporters’ Trust Tim Payton asks. ‘Where’s the custodianship and recognition of lifetime loyalty? The club are doing a lot at the moment to reconnect with the fans but is this filtering through to the decision makers?

    ‘They’re just trying to squeeze more money. A free marketeer would say it’s because of demand. But the government has decided (with the independent regulator) that there is a social fabric, a golden thread that recognises that supporters need to be looked after.’

    In what is framed as an attempt to offer choice to fans, City have introduced a flexi-gold ticket, which preserves a seat for a £150 membership fee and then gives the option of picking and choosing matches, paying full general admission prices. ‘The premium seems like it’s taking advantage of people,’ City Matters chair Alex Howell says. ‘At what point does the success on and off the pitch get passed to supporters?’

    City, the Treble winners, posted record revenue and profits this year. ‘What a great opportunity it would have been to reward our loyal, long-standing season ticket holders with no increase,’ official supporters’ club chair Kevin Parker says. ‘Instead City has decided to ignore that – almost certainly knowing that the exact same fan base are so loyal they will renew despite the increase. This one will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many.’

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    I didn't know you were writing a novel.

  16. #16

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Basically you/we are all customers , in a successful premier league side , expendable customers .
    Tourists spend more money than life long fans , on their seats and in the club shop.
    We saw it when we went to the chosen land in the lovely red strip .
    Protest all you like , there were customers happy to sit in your seat adorned in red .
    Its an entertainment business and YOU are a customer no matter what your standing.
    Why sell the seat to a loyal OAP on discount when it can be sold to a tourist for a far better return.

    The only problem with the business over anything model is when you slip back into the dungeon league and suddenly the
    loyal fans have a value again.

  17. #17

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    It's no coincidence to me that, over the last 10 years, non-league attendances (i.e. tiers 5 to 10 and beyond) have been steadily growing. Not only are the tickets cheaper, but the match day experience is far more authentic.

    German football really did itself a huge favour with that 50+1 rule.

  18. #18

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy the Jock View Post
    Basically you/we are all customers , in a successful premier league side , expendable customers .
    Tourists spend more money than life long fans , on their seats and in the club shop.
    We saw it when we went to the chosen land in the lovely red strip .
    Protest all you like , there were customers happy to sit in your seat adorned in red .
    Its an entertainment business and YOU are a customer no matter what your standing.
    Why sell the seat to a loyal OAP on discount when it can be sold to a tourist for a far better return.

    The only problem with the business over anything model is when you slip back into the dungeon league and suddenly the
    loyal fans have a value again.
    Met a family from Audenshaw, Manchester on holiday over 30 years ago. He was a Man Utd fan who reckoned his club didn’t want him anymore even then. He’d stopped going to home games due to this, he described his match day experience before he packed it in as very much the same as mine, few pints with his mates, get in the ground about 20 minutes before kick off, straight off for a few pints after the final whistle. He reckoned the club wanted coaches from places all over, pulling into the car park behind the superstore, going in, spending a fortune on tat, watching the game, back in the superstore post match, getting on their buses and off home. Two weeks later coaches from other parts would repeat the process.
    The club weren’t satisfied with local fans just paying their entrance fee, the aim was to milk the tourists. Him and his mates still went away where he said you were among genuine fans. No doubt there’s all sorts of hoops you need to jump through nowadays to get an away ticket now, I s’pose though.

  19. #19

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by splott parker View Post
    Met a family from Audenshaw, Manchester on holiday over 30 years ago. He was a Man Utd fan who reckoned his club didn’t want him anymore even then. He’d stopped going to home games due to this, he described his match day experience before he packed it in as very much the same as mine, few pints with his mates, get in the ground about 20 minutes before kick off, straight off for a few pints after the final whistle. He reckoned the club wanted coaches from places all over, pulling into the car park behind the superstore, going in, spending a fortune on tat, watching the game, back in the superstore post match, getting on their buses and off home. Two weeks later coaches from other parts would repeat the process.
    The club weren’t satisfied with local fans just paying their entrance fee, the aim was to milk the tourists. Him and his mates still went away where he said you were among genuine fans. No doubt there’s all sorts of hoops you need to jump through nowadays to get an away ticket now, I s’pose though.
    Those were two thoughts that went through my head whilst typing .
    The away fans pretty much stayed true to blue , wearing red was on the whole frowned upon on away days , it felt more like the Cardiff I felt I had signed up for .

    I have watched Newport a few times over the years , it feels a little less corporate , actually a lot less corporate .
    But, its just the general football experience diluted.
    Look at Wrexham , Man City, the loyal supporters are the dinosaurs , bring on the tourists.

    Even at grass roots football there is a hierarchy of those with the most money are King .
    Friend of mine manages Taffs Well .
    They cant afford to pay much more than expenses to their players ,so they cultivate local young lads,
    who disappear off to the teams paying £200 a game when their talent flourishes .
    Not a supporters / customer example but definitely how football is.

  20. #20
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    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by splott parker View Post
    Met a family from Audenshaw, Manchester on holiday over 30 years ago. He was a Man Utd fan who reckoned his club didn’t want him anymore even then. He’d stopped going to home games due to this, he described his match day experience before he packed it in as very much the same as mine, few pints with his mates, get in the ground about 20 minutes before kick off, straight off for a few pints after the final whistle. He reckoned the club wanted coaches from places all over, pulling into the car park behind the superstore, going in, spending a fortune on tat, watching the game, back in the superstore post match, getting on their buses and off home. Two weeks later coaches from other parts would repeat the process.
    The club weren’t satisfied with local fans just paying their entrance fee, the aim was to milk the tourists. Him and his mates still went away where he said you were among genuine fans. No doubt there’s all sorts of hoops you need to jump through nowadays to get an away ticket now, I s’pose though.
    Next step will be the increase in TV rights for the biggest clubs, maybe pay per view for individual matches, fill the grounds then sell a match day experience to fans at home.

  21. #21

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Bluebird View Post
    Closed shop and the end of season tickets and price breaks for fans are an inevitability at the top level IMO - the Americans and the Saudis aren’t buying clubs for the amount they are for anything other than a guaranteed return and a way to squeeze as much money out of them as possible. A fan from down the road isn’t paying what a tourist will pay for a seat or what they will pay in the club shop 38 times a season.

    The only thing left is to quibble over the details and when it happens, but I think it’s more likely that teams are playing mid season games regularly abroad within the next 5 years than not.
    People have been saying this sort of thing for about twenty years. Same as the European Super League.

    As for the tourists, do they really want to watch Villa, Palace, Brighton, Wolves, Fulham, Everton, etc?

  22. #22

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lone Gunman View Post
    People have been saying this sort of thing for about twenty years. Same as the European Super League.

    As for the tourists, do they really want to watch Villa, Palace, Brighton, Wolves, Fulham, Everton, etc?
    I think they do if they’re playing a bigger club but probably applies more to London based clubs. Fulham certainly has that section next to the away fans which they designate the tourist / neutral section

  23. #23

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lone Gunman View Post
    People have been saying this sort of thing for about twenty years. Same as the European Super League.

    As for the tourists, do they really want to watch Villa, Palace, Brighton, Wolves, Fulham, Everton, etc?
    There were plenty when we were in the premier league.
    A lot of local tourists as well .

  24. #24

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy the Jock View Post
    There were plenty when we were in the premier league.
    A lot of local tourists as well .
    I'm pretty sure every club has tourists from time to time. Indeed, I've been to watch teams in Germany, France and Spain as a tourist. But the notion that tourists could or would replace local supporters is just ludicrous as far as the vast majority of clubs are concerned.

  25. #25

    Re: Leicester could face record points deduction

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lone Gunman View Post
    I'm pretty sure every club has tourists from time to time. Indeed, I've been to watch teams in Germany, France and Spain as a tourist. But the notion that tourists could or would replace local supporters is just ludicrous as far as the vast majority of clubs are concerned.
    Most of the Sky 6 have been reducing ST numbers and making more tickets available online via agencies etc. whereby a 'tourist' will pay 2 or 3 times what a ST brings in for a single game..

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