Premier League accused of 'pure greed' by protesters

Fans marched on Premier League headquarters yesterday

Organisers of a protest rally against the escalating cost of ticket prices have accused Premier League clubs of “pure greed”.

An estimated 400-500 supporters from various clubs took part in a demonstration outside the competition's headquarters in London on the day fixtures for the 2013-14 season were published.

A delegation comprising representatives of fans' groups from Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal, as well as the Football Supporters Federation, also met with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

The aim was that the league would agree to help fans pressurise individual clubs into lowering prices.

The rally was organised by the Liverpool group Spirit of Shankly and their spokesman James McKenna said: "Supporters have begun to ask why they are paying £62 at Arsenal, why are they paying £50-plus to go to Man Utd, Chelsea or QPR.

"When do we draw the line in the sand? People have said enough's enough and we need to take this message to the Premier League.

"It has got out of hand. There is more money than ever coming into football clubs - there is this new TV deal bringing in so much money - but they are charging us more and more.

"Supporters are looking at this new TV deal, and stadium naming rights, shirt sponsors and kit manufacturers - hundreds of millions of pounds - and the prices are still going up and up.

"It's pure greed and supporters have had enough of it."

That increase in Premier League wealth is underlined by the three-year £5.5billion global TV rights deal which comes into effect from the start of next season.

Calculations revealed by the FSF show that the increased revenue would be enough to cut the price of every ticket at every game in a season by £51.30.

"There is definitely room for manoeuvre there," said FSF chief executive Kevin Miles, who attended the meeting with Scudamore.

"As the meeting showed, even across the bitterest rivalries there is a common feeling on these issues."

Miles believes progress on the issue has been made following the discussions.

He said: "We got a response that was 'willing to listen'. They shared some of our concerns and agreed to ongoing dialogue to try to come up with some solutions.

"We regard this as the start of a process rather than the end.

"We have to make sure the clubs are left with similar clarity of the feelings on this issue."

The Premier League, who also described the meeting as "positive", has previously said it encourages "stretch pricing", where a range of prices are offered to ensure those with lower budgets are catered for.

A statement 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."

PA

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