UEFA to cap away tickets prices in Champions League and Europa League
UEFA has told Sky Sports News it will soon announce a cap on ticket prices for away fans in European club competitions.
A working group was set up last year by the European Club Association and UEFA following complaints from Bayern Munich and Liverpool fans about ticket prices at Anderlecht and Porto, respectively.
Many Bayern fans boycotted their game against Anderlecht in November 2017 when the Belgian side raised the cost of tickets to 100 euros, or £85, while Liverpool objected to Porto charging their fans three times as much as local supporters for a Champions League game.
Lessons were clearly learned from the latter example, as Liverpool and Porto have bilaterally agreed to keep prices down for each others’ fans in their Champions League quarter-final next month, with Porto agreeing to reduce the cost of an away ticket from a planned £73 to £52.
Last Friday, Manchester City supporters’ club expressed their dismay at a ticket price of £60 for their Champions League quarterfinal trip to Tottenham, which doubled the fee they paid for their Premier League visit to Spurs.
But there was no such cooperation between Barcelona and Manchester United, with the Premier League deciding to subsidise the £102 cost of an away ticket at the Nou Camp by charging Barca fans the same price at Old Trafford.
That type of tit-for-tat pricing, however, could become a thing of the past.
Speaking to reporters at the ECA general assembly in Amsterdam on Tuesday, the organisation’s general secretary Michele Centenaro said the matter was discussed by the clubs on Monday and “a proposal” would now go to the next UEFA club competitions committee on May 14.
However, it’s more likely a final decision will be taken at European football’s governing body’s ExCo meeting in Baku on May 29, the day of the Europa League final
ECA vice-chairman Edwin van der Sar, the former Manchester United goalkeeper who is now chief executive of Ajax, said: “Speaking as a former player, we want vocal fans at games and most of the time that’s the support that travels to domestic away games, too.
“We have fans who watch on TV all around the world but I think it’s important that we keep football affordable for local fans so they can travel at home and abroad.”
Sitting alongside Van der Sar was former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who now does the same job at AC Milan.
He agreed with his Ajax counterpart and said Europe should take a leaf out of English football’s book with its £30 cap on away tickets.
“The English experience with a cap on away tickets has been really positive,” said Gazidis.
“It was a very good step and was well received and embraced by our fans. That was a national issue but we’ve got to have it on our [European] agenda, too.”