Comment: A £200,000 gesture by Liverpool and Manchester United that may be the start of much more

Reducing the cost of away tickets is much finer than free coach travel

It was one of those relatively rare occasions when Manchester United and Liverpool carried a torch together. Their mutual commitment to driving down the obscene costs faced by fans travelling away to watch a team in the Premier League – "Enough is enough," as one of the banners read at the supporters' midsummer lobby of the Premier League – resulted in them being two of only three clubs who have used a £200,000 budget to help all fans, by subsidising match tickets for every away game.

All ways of spending are welcome, but there is something substantially finer about making every ticket for every away supporter cheaper than laying on free coach travel.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust was magnanimous enough to acknowledge that Liverpool's Spirit of Shankly organisation played a leading role in lobbying the Premier League to set aside £12m of its member clubs' TV money to make away travel more affordable. Both of those groups have flourished in the midst of commercial trouble and adversity for their clubs.

Both of United and Liverpool have felt a particularly pressing need to help insulate their fans financially, too. Research undertaken last year showed that United supporters were being charged a minimum of £840 for tickets for their 19 away games – more than £200 above the total required of Reading, Swansea, Southampton and Norwich fans, at that time all in the top flight.

Fans of the six "big" clubs rarely get a cheap day out. There is a considerable drop-off after Arsenal (£819 annually) to Everton (£732.50)

Home games are also a problem. Spirit of Shankly is supporting a practical step taken by the German Reds group, who bought four adult tickets for last Saturday's match against Crystal Place at Anfield to distribute to young supporters between the age of 14 and 17.

Some will be understandably cynical about these developments, at clubs who are the beneficiaries of a new £5.5bn TV deal. It is a drop in the ocean. We also still await details of how a fifth of the teams in the Premier League intend to make fans the beneficiaries of the £200,000 a year they must commit to making away travel cheaper.

But this is a step forward – and will be a leap if a substantial club or two come forward to say that they will reciprocate Newcastle United's commitment to £20 away tickets. Supporters have spoken and will continue to demand to be heard.

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering