Killing The Golden Goose

It’s not often that something that happens on the terraces ever gets discussed on “Match Of The Day” these days, unless it’s a fat Geordie without his replica shirt on. These days, fans are little more than consumers – paying extras who turn up, buy merchandise, occasionally sing, and leave five minutes before time in order to avoid the worst of the traffic. However, the eerily quiet atmosphere at The Reebok Stadium did provoke comment from Gary Lineker et al on Saturday evening. The reason for this lack of atmosphere was obvious – Manchester City supporters boycotted the match in protest at being asked to fork out £36 for tickets for their match against Bolton Wanderers. Although their recent performances on the pitch have been encouraging, there has been an atmosphere of torpor surrounding The City Of Manchester Stadium this year. Crowds have frequently been 10,000 or more below capacity, and disquiet has been rising as the season has gone on. When City played Bolton at Eastlands in December, Bolton’s travelling support were charged £27 for tickets, but for the return match, the ticket prices were hiked up again and City fans decided to make a stand against this cost. It was a timely reminder to the Premiership’s clubs that they cannot take the regular attendance of people to their expensively constructed temples for granted and that, if they...

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