Southampton And Shrewsbury Town Clash Over Ticket Prices


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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25 Responses

  1. Chris P says:

    As a Saints fan I would have been far more sympathetic to the other team if it had been a club with some significant financial constraints like Barnet or even some of the smaller League 1 clubs. But Shrewsbury are financially to League 2 what Southampton are to League 1. Neither club really need the money from this tie, and there was never going to be a massive gate receipt whatever the pricing structure.

    But you are right, we have made a hash of the press statement. However, I think you’ll find a lot of Saints fans are not too bothered, for too long we’ve been run by people who were PR savvy but didn’t have a clue how to run a football club. Now we have a great modern structure, with an emphasis on developing and more importantly keeping young players, we just don’t know how to do good PR anymore.

  2. i read rubbish says:

    What a one sided piece of crap southampton was pushed all the way to charge full price for this game by Shrewsbury , then had to take it to the FA to sort it out and you wonder why southampton are less than graceless as you put it ……. sure if this game was £25 i would be reading on here how dare they charge that much who do they think there are …. what a joke

  3. admin says:

    So you don’t think that it might have been, well, better just to announce the prices for the match that pepper their statement with snarky comments about a smaller club than them?

    And as for “one-sided crap”, well…

    “Southampton, on the other hand, have got what they wanted and what they wanted will benefit those that choose to attend this match.”

    “there may be a grain of truth behind what the writer of the article is saying”

    “There was never likely to be a resolution to this issue that was likely to satisfy both clubs, and we should perhaps at least take solace from the fact that the FA came down on the side of affordable ticket pricing in this instance”

    If you’re going to be critical, at least try to do it constructively rather than reading the first sentence and a half, deciding that you can’t be arsed to read the rest and then going off on one because I have the temerity to not be glowingly supportive of your club’s behaviour.

  4. Chris P says:

    To be fair to I read rubbish, your article does say the FA stepped in implying a more active role for the FA, whereas Southampton’s website says they took the matter to the FA, implying Saints wanted it resolved with the minimum of fuss. However, he could have been a bit more polite about it.

  5. admin says:

    Well, if they wanted it resolved with the minimum of fuss, then they probably shouldn’t have put what they did on their website, should they? As I said above, the thrust of the article wasn’t about, “the rights and wrongs of whether reduced prices should or shouldn’t have been offered for this match”. It was about the statement on the club’s website.

  6. Paul Williams says:

    The comments from the saints board state they are rewarding their ‘loyal fans’ due to the number of home games in November – there is no consideration for the away fan. As the league is surely the priority why not reduce league admission prices which only has a direct effect on one team?

    It will be interesting to see (if they progress) Southampton draw an away tie to one of the big four who will not view Southampton as an attractive fixture. Perhaps they will reduce prices to reward their ‘loyal fans’.

  7. oldshrew says:

    As a Town fan I find it amazing that a League 1 club can be so demeaning to a League 2 club on their official website, whatever the truth of the matter. I can see both sides of the argument.

    All Graham Turner needs to do to motivate his players is post the article on the dressing room wall with the offensive phrases highlighted.

    I was expecting to go whatever, but am happy to pay £10 less.

    Personally I don’t think either club has come out of this in a good light, but the Saints have made a bigger hash of it!

  8. i read rubbish says:

    Yes you are right maybe i should have been more polite and for that i am sorry , but all this saints bashing of late annoys me it was Shrewsbury that would not back down and showed contempt for the fans and as a fan i wanted to know and sure do not find it ” graceless “. like i said sure if saints was to charge £25 for the game the bashing would be out in full force

  9. Damon says:

    As we Tweeted when we saw this the other day, the baffling this is that Southampton could have lopped a few of quid off their base league price (£22) and charged £18/£19, which still would have been less than Shrewsbury fans will have to pay to go to league games against Bradford or Rotherham – and less for Saints fans.

    That it appears Shrewsbury’s stance was to go for full price is disappointing but, as you say, the point is Southampton’s unnecessary condescension.

    Good piece by the way, completely agree.

  10. Haywain says:

    Isn’t it the case that ticket prices for a replay should be the same as for the initial match when there has been a price reduction? If that’s tha case it would perhaps explain Shrewsbury’s lack of enthusiasm for the level of price Southampton were after.

  11. Wurzel says:

    As a Saints fan I agree that the wording of the announcement could have been less antagonistic, if it was needed at all.

    However I would point out that if you check attendance levels for early rounds all Cup competitions (FA, Carling, JPT) over the last 10 years you will see Saints home fixtures regularly coming out as the highest of the round, and always in the top few. This is because we have always had a sensible pricing structure for such games. Doing so has always attracted the casual fan and enabled families to take children at a reasonable cost.

    And @Paul Williams, Saints HAVE reduced the price of their many league games to reward their fans. I – a full paying adult – am attending next Tuesdays game against Dagenham & Redbridge for the amazing price of £7.50 !

  12. Paul Williams says:

    @Wurzel – is that under the Saints scheme whereby a Season Ticket holder can take someone along for £7.50?

    When the gate receipts are kept solely for the home team I have no issue but when it is split then it should be a joint decision.

    As said in the original post if Saints progress and play Man united would they be happy with United allowing their fans on lessor income the chance to attend for free?

    This decision only benefits Southampton this is clear. I know of some Salopians who will not travel to this game now as they do not want to line the pockets of a team with an over inflated ego complex, perhaps we could ask the delightful sports editors in Swindon to draw us the action?

  13. Wurzel says:

    @Paul williams. Yes my ticket is thanks to that scheme (work prevents me getting to most games so not a ST holder myself) They’ve also extended the offer to anyone buy one get one half price on the day.

    Re your Man U away scenario, free entry is against FA rules (minimum ticket price for FA Cup is £10 I believe). But yes, I’m sure we’d take the view that maybe a 60k crowd at £10 each would raise us more money than a 20k crowd at £25. It’s why we are consistently amongst the highest attendances for cup matches.

    Don’t understand your last paragraph. How many away fans would Shrewsbury be likely to take? I’m guessing around 1000 for the cup, likely to be relatively unaffected by ticket price as away fans usually travel whatever. Home attendance at £25 likely to be around 5-6K . At £15 likely to be more like 12-15K. So Shrewsbury get 50% of considerably higher receipts so how does this “only benefit Southampton” ? And how do SFC “line their pockets” by charging Shrews fans £10 less (£15 less if it hadn’t gone to arbitration) than Shrews wanted us to charge them ?

  14. Paul Williams says:

    @ Wurzel

    Well the D&R ticket offer is dependant on clearing a hurdle – someone who does not know a ST holder cannot take advantage of the scheme.

    Totally agree the number of travelling fans will largely be unaffected some people cannot be priced out! However the view is why should they put money into the coffers of a club (Southampton) with an unbelievable sense of grandour?

    Not sure what you don’t understand, The Man Utd scenario is straight forward – you and I know they near capacity on most games regardless of price so a reduction would not benefit the Saints and I’m sure there would be complaints from your board. The 20k corwd at £25 would not happen at Old Trafford. I don’t believe football is specifically price elastic and as such you are quoting figures you cannot back up.

    Remember the gate receipts are equally split but I don’t believe associated matchday experience add ons like programmes and refreshments are split so the shortfall in ticket price may be slighlty offset for Southampton with additional sales lets not forget business in the clubshop.

    Anyways it is what it is the FA have decided on the price and that’s that, your boys would have certainly come out of this better had they kept their mouth shut.

    Any good pre match pubs?

  15. Shrewed50 says:

    I think Shrewsbury have more than a decent chance of progressing anyway, which would teach the smug Southampton Board not to be so arrogant with such unprofesional and “we’re bigger than thou” statements on the official website.

  16. Wes Tender says:

    You state “The rights and wrongs of whether reduced prices should or shouldn’t have been offered for this match, however, are neither here nor there.”

    Surely this is the crux of the whole matter and yet you dismiss it effectively as irrelevant. As for the remarks on the SFC website, what is there to argue? It was just a simple statement of fact. Had the opposition been some glory team like ManUre, the Arse, Liverpool, Chelski, etc, then the law of supply and demand would have allowed ticket prices to have been at a much higher level. All they were saying was a statement of the obvious, that Shrewsbury are hardly likely to excite the fans into paying top whack to see them, so it was inevitable that their crass attempts to force prices up to that level would lead to the response that they were doing it solely to line their own pockets. Their plan all along was probably to have reduced the home attendance numbers, which the price of £15 to see minnows like them will have achieved, simultaneously employing a bit of psychological brinkmanship.

  17. admin says:

    I don’t think that the argument is irrelevant, more a debate to be had another day.

  18. Chris P says:

    Interestingly, Shrewsbury’s general manager and secretary resigned yesterday. I’m not an expert on how clubs are run but wouldn’t he have been the one ultimately responsible for ticket negotiations?,,10443~2200569,00.html

  19. Salop_Ian says:

    Does anyone else appreciate the irony of one the clubs that broke away from the Football League to form the Premier League (an over ambitious move designed only to line their own pockets if ever there was one), criticising one of the 72 clubs they left behind for being greedy?

  20. Martin says:

    This nonsense happens all the time.

    Just last season the lovely Crawley Town announced the prices for our FA Cup tie there without even consulting our club first.

    They were subsequently reduced by the FA to a more suitable level after we complained.

    Too many clubs use these cup pay-days to prop-up their otherwise dodgy finances.

  21. Martin says:

    “But Shrewsbury are financially to League 2 what Southampton are to League 1.”

    What a load of crap!

    I’m not a Shrewsbury fan but I can see their point of view.

  22. Martin says:

    “but all this saints bashing of late annoys me”

    What saints bashing? Where?

    Most fans of higher level football have forgotten that you exist.

    Football fans are paranoid.

  23. oftenscore6 says:

    £15 as opposed to £25 means needing a crowd more than 60% higher to make the same income. It’s higher than that because the matchday costs are deducted before the gate receipts are shared and will be higher with an expected larger crowd. It’s easy to see why Southampton would want to do this because, as has been pointed out, all the ancillary benefits apply to them. But I’m all for making football more affordable so I hope there is a big crowd for everyone’s sakes.

    I think it’s good that FA Cup ticket prices are agreed (if necessary by the FA) – even if some seem to forget that.

  24. Salop_Ian says:

    Interesting to note that the attendance for the match was 10,410 – half the Saint’s current average for league matches. Shrewsbury had reportedly 727 visiting supporters.

    It seems that this type of FA Cup tie has a ‘natural’ audience level which is not really price elastic. Take the price down to under £10 or up to over £20 and the effect on the attendance would probably have been marginal.

  1. October 29, 2010

    […] moronic and obsessed elements – a good read, as is the fan’s response piece a day later. @twoht wrote the piece we wanted to about Southampton’s disgraceful, condescending and needless ‘attack’ on […]

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