Obscene season ticket prices to be slashed?

Money_4 News reaches us that Premiership chairmen are going to be forced into cutting 'obscene' ticket prices because fans have just about had enough of being the victims of daylight robbery every weekend, and as a result, football has reached a tipping point.

Two top-flight chairmen have expressed the same view, both of whom predict price cuts all round next season. 'It is a serious issue that has reached saturation point across the country,' said Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton. 'We feel duty bound to make a stance by reducing the cost for our season ticket holders, and I'm sure other clubs will follow suit next season and listen to public opinion.' But surely the tickets are inflated at the chairs' behest?

This weekend saw ManYoo fans protesting about the amount being charged to let their fans watch their side at Fulham. They were asked for a whopping £45 to watch their team, and that doesn't include travel and grub... although they hadn't got far to travel from Essex eh? Ho Ho Ho... I'll get me coat. A senior executive from another of the Premiership's 'big four' clubs told Observer Sport that prices could not go any higher. 'Officially we are monitoring the situation,' he said. 'But privately we have realised that ticket prices have reached their maximum, at least in the immediate future.'

These warnings come slap bang in the middle of an attendance slump. Despite an increased capacity at Arsenal and Manchester United, the average attendance is down from last year, and whilst the big four continue to sell out their games, the overall Premiership average is down by more than 1,000 year on year and now stands at 32,775, not including this weekend. What is causing fans to stay away? Well, once, you could watch the footy and not dent the wallet too much, and know exactly when you'd be going out. Basically, high prices and amended kick-off times to enable saturated TV coverage aren't encouraging fans to get down the ground. 

Of course, a lot of money is generated by the TV rights, which obviously help clubs to bring in new players and the like. That said, the Premier League negotiated a new £600million, three-year deal for overseas TV rights to the Premiership. Add the £1.7 billion Sky and Setanta will pay to screen matches in Britain, and the £400m for internet and mobile phone rights, and it seems scandalous that ticket prices continually increase. Each club will be getting around £900m per season (starting in August).

Apart from drops in season ticket prices, a group are also want away matches addressed. The Football Supporters' Federation want a fixed price for all travelling supporters. 'Away fans in England are unique. You would not get 5,000 Milan supporters travelling to Juventus. If prices were to stay in line with the Taylor Report's recommendation, then £15 would be a fair price for those who travel to watch their team.' The report, published in January 1990 in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, stated that 'it should be possible for seating to be £6'. With inflation, that would mean fans paying just £9.60 now, rather than the average of about £30.

So what's the answer? Well, looking at Germany's Bundesliga, the average attendance was approximately 40,000, which is superior to our league matches. In fact, it's about a quarter more fans in through the turnstiles, shouting for their team. German fans can buy tickets for as little as £10 or £15 for all games, and in some cases, terracing is being used, which gives a fan a feeling of real unity, as opposed to the sterile stadia over here. What is interesting is that the Bundesliga is renowned for its competitiveness, with many teams standing a chance of winning it. Should we look at the German model to fix our game? [Mof Gimmers]

February 26, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, News balls, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (2)

Free travel to football matches

Wewillfollow_1 Fans who have experienced the thrill of an away match will know how addictive it is. The trip down, the pre-match pints in a strange pub, being in a strange ground. It's like a holiday with a football match stuck in the middle of it! However, loads give it a wide berth because they can't get a lift down to the games. Well, you needn't fear that any more.

A website called WeWillfollow aims to stop all that worry and hassle by allowing you to offer and request lifts to games home and away, and it’s completely free. Added to that, the site also has a ticket exchange for fans with a spare. It's all rather nice isn't it? To add to the community feeling, WeWillFollow also have a unique 'Exile List' for each club, so if you've drifted away from your club (geographically speaking) you can register as a member on the site and talk to other exiled supporters of your club. With a list of 1000+ supporters clubs too, you need never feel lonely and exiled again! Have a look and sign up with the site now!

January 22, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, League One, League Two, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Non League, Portsmouth, Reading, Scotland, Sheffield United, The Championship, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blog of the week: AVFC Blog, Aston Villa fan site

Picture_1_271 AVFC Blog, an Aston Villa fan site, is 'very proudly claret and blue'. It all looks very professional – they even have competitions to win match tickets – and it's updated at least once a day. It's a must-read for any self-respecting Villa fan.

January 18, 2007 in Aston Villa, What the bloggers say | Permalink | Comments (0)

Aston Villa fans caught having sex in JJB Stadium's disabled toilet. Classy, real classy

Acrylicdisabledtoiletsign An Aston Villa-supporting couple were ejected from Wigan’s JJB Stadium for 'getting busy' in a disabled toilet during Wigan Athletic’s nil-nil draw with Villa on Saturday. Club stewards were called to investigate after moans and groans were heard coming from a loo in the away end of the stadium. Staff at the JJB had become suspicious after noticing the door of the disabled toilets had remained locked for more than half an hour.

A club source said: 'Two Aston Villa fans, a male and a female, were discovered after having spent over half an hour in the disabled toilets in the away end of the stadium… Stewards knocked on the door and asked the couple to come out which they did. They were asked to leave and did so without any fuss. They were quite embarrassed.'

One onlooker said: 'It was quite obvious they weren’t disabled.'

Bloody hell, we didn't realise that watching Villa was quite such a big turn-on. Martin O'Neill must be doing something right.

[Via Socca Critics]

November 23, 2006 in Aston Villa, Funny old game, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (0)

So who wants to see Stefan Postma's sex tape?

Postma3272 As celebrity sex tapes go, this has to be one of the most bizarre we've ever heard about – a tape has emerged of ex-Aston Villa goalkeeper Stefan Postma being taken roughly from behind by his strap-on-wearing girlfriend.

Yes, you read that right – and it's not a sentence I ever thought I'd type :(

There is a NSFW pic after the click. You know, if you're curious…
[Via Fleshbot]

Ouch, that's gotta hurt like buggery. Those Dutch, eh – kinky sorts.

November 20, 2006 in Aston Villa, Babes, Funny old game | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lord Stevens to name innocent clubs?


Lord Stevens is being urged to name innocent clubs today that are not involved in his bungs investigation. Several club chairmen will put their case at a meeting today, arguing that their clubs have been tainted by accusations after Lord Stevens announced that there were a total of eight clubs and 39 deals under investigation.

An FA Premier League shareholders' meeting will take place in London today and there may be a vote forced on the issue. It is thought that the motion to disclose will be passed just because several chairmen will not dare put up their hands to vote against in fear of implying guilt. So, if Lord Stevens does name the clubs, who do you think they'll be? Obviously Bolton will be fancied after the Panorama debacle, but who else is dodgy? [Mof Gimmers]

[via 365]

November 9, 2006 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, News balls, Portsmouth, Sheffield United, The Championship, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (0)

One to watch: Lee Hendrie

HendrieLee Hendrie is on fire at the minute. The Aston Villa misfit has almost single-handedly turned Stoke City's season around since joining them on loan. Hendrie was talked into joining the Potters by his dad, who is friends with Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

Since joining the club at the end of September, Hendrie has bagged three goals in five games and has pretty much been the heartbeat of the team. Expect a few Premiership clubs to make a move in January if Hendrie doesn't extend his stay at the Britannia Stadium.

[Rob Parker]

October 31, 2006 in Aston Villa, Players to watch, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Classic Goal: Dalian Atkinson takes on Wimbledon

Back in 1993, teams though it was fashionable to have your shirt laced up like a Victorian Gentleman. Aston Villa in that case were the height of footballing fashion. Leading their attack was a certain Dalian Atkinson. I have never heard of a Dalian before or since, so he must be a one-off... and so to is this corking goal against Wimbledon in 1993.

[Mof Gimmers]

October 27, 2006 in Aston Villa, Classic Moments, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Southend land dream tie in Carling Cup


Southend manager Steve Tilson got his dream-come-true by landing a tie with Manchester United in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. Speaking after his side's win over Leeds on Tuesday evening, Tilson had said "Man Utd away would be a good reward for us in the next round." Sir Alex Ferguson's side were then promptly pulled from the hat next to Southend, but Saaarfend will be at home rather than away to the Premiership bigboys' reserve team.

"They have nothing to lose and I'm sure it will be a difficult game for us," United boss Ferguson said on Sky last night after his second string beat Crewe 2-1 in extra-time. The last 16 features three all-Premiership ties, with Chelsea's victory over Blackburn seeing them drawn at home against Aston Villa, Watford hosting Newcastle and Everton at home to th eincreasingly impressive Arsenal. Chesterfield's reward for knocking out Manchester City and West Ham is a home tie against Premiership's Charlton. "We are in good form in this competition and at home with a full house we don't fear anybody," said Chesterfield boss Roy McFarland. For the full draw, read over.

Fourth Round Draw:

Birmingham v Liverpool

Chelsea v Aston Villa

Chesterfield v Charlton

Everton v Arsenal

Notts County v Wycombe

Southend v Manchester United

Tottenham v Port Vale

Watford v Newcastle

[Mof Gimmers]

October 26, 2006 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, League One, League Two, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, News balls, The Championship, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford | Permalink | Comments (0)

Premiership goals of the week video

What gets your vote as the best Premiership goal of the week? Our vote goes to Gareth Barry's beauty against Spurs, no question.

October 18, 2006 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Video clips, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (4)