UEFA said this week that it would act on the issue of away ticket pricing in its club competitions – suggesting a competition-wide price cap in the Champions League and Europa League.
President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin admitted this week that many clubs in European competition abuse loopholes in the current regulations and raise ticket prices disproportionally for some sets of away fans.
“We know about the problem,” he said. “It would be good to do something to cap prices.
“It’s absolutely not correct that away fans are being charged five times more than the local ones.”
In recent seasons, supporters of English teams travelling abroad have been stung by some eye-watering away ticket prices.
In last season’s Champions League, Sevilla charged Manchester United fans £89 for their trip to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium, which led Manchester United to engage in ‘revenge pricing’ - charging Sevilla fans the same for return fixture at Old Trafford. Liverpool fans who made the trip to Porto were charged £66 for their tickets.
And back in February UEFA ruled against Belgium side Anderlecht, who were made to compensate Bayern Munich fans after forcing the visitors to pay significantly more than home fans.
“The clubs are using tricks to go around the regulations,” Ceferin said. “So maybe the solution is to say what is the highest prices that can be charged to away fans.
“Football is played for the fans - if the fans are treated improperly or not the same as the home fans, that’s simply wrong.”
Ceferin’s comments were welcomed by Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) as a significant step forward. MUST are just one of the many supporter groups across the continent who, along with Football Supporters Europe, have been lobbying UEFA for a competition-wide price caps on away ticket prices.
Vice-chair of MUST Dave Pennington said: “This long overdue progress is the result of our collective concerted actions.
“Our supporters have been subjected to excessive pricing more than any other club and MUST has been at the forefront of supporter campaigning on this issue.
“UEFA’s long awaited acknowledgement now needs to be turned into new rules that deliver unequivocally.
“MUST will continue to work with FSE, our club and others to ensure that this now happens.”
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.