Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, has risked infuriating already disgruntled football fans by suggesting that those that “live and breathe the club” should be able to watch their team “not every week perhaps, but certainly on an occasional basis”.
His comments come amid a background of anger at the cost of attending Premier League games.
Despite revenues from global and domestic TV deals continuing to rise, fans who want to go and see their team in action are being priced out of doing so.
There was a demonstration outside the Premier League's headquarters in London last month to coincide with the release of the fixture list for the 2013-14 season.
A delegation comprising representatives of fans' groups from Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal, as well as the Football Supporters Federation, also met with Scudamore.
The aim was that the league would agree to help fans pressurise individual clubs into lowering prices.
Following the demonstration a statement from the Premier League read: "While it is for individual clubs to set their ticket prices, we agreed with the group that we would further encourage stretch pricing at our clubs in order to make Premier League football available to a wide range of supporters."
Scudamore's comments today are likely to increase the sense that the Premier League cares little for life-long fans unable to afford the rise in prices.
Speaking at an announcement of a new partnership with Sport England that is aimed to help young people take up sport, Scudamore argued that the Premier League does more than most sports to help at a grassroots level.
"There is no other company in this country that gives away more than we give away," he said.
Yet it is his comments on ticket prices, with the Premier League insisting that it is a decision for individual clubs to make, that will be highlighted. While Scudamore said clubs should maintain strong local ties to complement their global ambitions, he went on to say: "It means making sure that the local people that live and breathe and work around the clubs are able to go and watch those teams, not every week perhaps, but certainly on an occasional basis".
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