Premier League will not intervene over ticket prices

Calls for cap after Manchester City return Arsenal tickets

The Premier League will not intervene over ticket prices in response to calls for a cap on the amounts clubs are charging.

The league insists tickets are a matter for individual clubs although it does encourage 'stretch pricing', where a range of different prices are offered to cater for those on lower budgets.

The issue of prices resurfaced after Manchester City returned 912 unsold tickets to Arsenal, priced at £62, for this weekend's match between the clubs at the Emirates.

The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) has called on top-flight clubs to pass on the benefit of next season's bumper new TV deal to fans by reducing ticket prices.

The FSF claims it is unfair that clubs such as Arsenal should charge away fans from the top clubs one figure, and those from less high-profile clubs half as much - Stoke fans will only have to pay £35.50.

Other fans' groups have called for a cap of £20-£25 for away fans' tickets.

A Premier League spokesman said: "Ticket pricing is a matter for individual clubs, many of which work hard to fill their stadiums with offers at different points during a season that make top-flight football accessible to large numbers of fans.

"We have always encouraged stretch pricing to help accessibility, and it is against Premier League rules to charge away fans more than home fans for the same standard of seats.

"The quality and safety of stadia is as a result of extensive and continued investment from the clubs.

"Fans clearly enjoy the environment in which they watch Premier League matches and the football on offer, with occupancy rates at grounds tracking at 95 per cent for this season and having been 90 per cent-plus for the last 15 seasons in a row."

FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke claimed there is no justification for such pricing structures, especially with the new three-year domestic and overseas TV deals likely to total £5billion.

He said: "We estimate clubs could cut £32 off the cost of every single ticket purely from the increase in the TV pot this time around.

"There are many ways of measuring what is the best league. But if you look at the Bundesliga, where fans can attend matches for 15 Euros, stand up, have a pint if they wish, and even get a ticket for the metrolink, it seems the Premier League is short-changing its own supporters.

"This business of categorising matches is blatantly unfair. Just because Manchester City have a lot of money doesn't mean their supporters have, and the same is true of the other teams who get charged the highest prices every time they play."

PA

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