Day: January 7, 2013

If We’re Angry About Ticket Prices, We Need To Stop Buying Them

There is an element of truth universally acknowledged about the fact that tickets for football matches are too high, but the extent to which they are too high is still frequently shocking. Liverpool supporters travelling to London for their match against Arsenal at the end of this month will have to pay £62 for entry into The Emirates Stadium (although this should probably be seen within in the context of the eye-wateringly high prices that are charged for matches in London in a general sense), while West Ham United supporters who were planning to travel to Old Trafford for their FA Cup Third Round replay next week might consider doing otherwise once they see that the home side will be charging £45 a ticket for those West Ham supporters that are hardy enough to make a trip north to Manchester on a midweek evening in January, and the added irony to this is that Manchester United’s travelling supporters were only charged £20 for their tickets at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon. There are few supporters – in particular, but not exclusively, those of Premier League clubs – who don’t have a tale of woe of some description about being forced to pay a price that is unreasonable to the point of extortion for the sometimes dubious pleasure of watching a match live, and we could easily fill a couple...

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That Was The Weekend That Was – The FA Cup Third Round

Throughout the entirety of its existence, the FA Cup has acted as a barometer for the state of the game in England. From 1883, when Blackburn Olympic’s win in the final against the Old Etonians marked the end of the amateurs’ early domination of the competition, via the 1945/46 competition, which was largely played over two legs and in front of massive crowds because the Football League had been unable to resume its programme at short notice after the end of six years of war, it has reflected the health and priorities of English football, and what its current condition says about the priorities of both clubs and supporters doesn’t offer a particularly healthy prognosis for the world’s oldest cup competition. Crowds have slumped, and the weekend of its Third Round Proper was met with a collective yawn by supporters who seem to now value the Premier League – or the possibility of getting into the Premier League – above all other considerations. There were four non-league clubs playing in this year’s Third Round. Two won and two lost, but in three of the matches – including both at which the non-league clubs won – the story very quickly became about the bigger clubs. At Moss Rose, Macclesfield Town reached the Fourth Round for the first time in its one hundred and thirty-nine year history by coming from a...

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