The FSF and Virgin Media have today announced that fans of each Premier League club will benefit from a subsidy meaning tickets for an upcoming away game will cost no more than £20.
The subsidy, provided by Virgin Media who sponsor The FSF and also Southampton FC, is a show of support for The FSF’s “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign which aims to cap all away tickets at £20.
We have been working with the FSF over the last few weeks on this. The idea was that the clubs would sell away tickets at the reduced price and claim a lump sum back from Virgin Media. Although some clubs were happy to get involved, many were not, including Hull City.
The reasons cited by City were an ‘administrative burden’ (which is hard to accept since they would only have had to make out a single invoice) and a conflict of interests between Virgin and one of the club’s partners. However when the Trust contacted this sponsor they confirmed they had absolutely no issue with the club working with Virgin to provide this benefit to supporters. The club also said they would prefer an offer on official club travel, though didn’t say why. We explained that a significant number of fans don’t like to use official club travel and many don’t even live in Hull, making it much less inclusive than a ticket offer.
It’s important to note that we’re told all clubs were advised by the Premier League not to participate, and most accepted this advice. Because of this the arrangement is that each supporter who buys an away ticket for the subsidised matches (ours is Stoke away) must apply to Virgin individually for their ticket subsidy.
We recommended to Hull City that the offer would attract a larger away following than normal and that a full allocation of tickets should be requested so that no one misses out. The club opted instead for a reduced allocation, apparently because City’s away crowds this season haven’t been large enough to justify it.
It’s a shame that after Marco Silva has repeatedly called for fans to attend games and with City struggling on the road, the opportunity to pack out the away end in a crucial upcoming match has been rejected. We’re sure that with co-operation and engagement from the club, Marco and his players would be supported by a strong crowd home and away.
Click here for full details of the FSF ticket offer and how to apply.