Football Fans Demand £20 Cap On Away Tickets

Poppy Trowbridge, Business and Economics Correspondent

Fans are demanding a £20 limit on the price of away tickets amid fears that the growing costs will hit match attendances, affecting the atmosphere of games.

The country's largest supporters group has launched a campaign to make football more affordable.

The Football Supporters Federation's 'Twenty's Plenty' drive aims to get clubs to peg the cost of away tickets.

And the first in a series of meetings nationwide takes place later in Manchester for fans of all clubs to attend.

The campaign comes after Premier League club Manchester City recently returned over 900 tickets for their trip to Arsenal after fans refused to pay £62 to watch their team.

The FSF wants clubs throughout England and Wales to agree to charge not more than £20 for away match tickets (£15 concessions).

FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke said: "Away fans, in particular, are the football industry's best customers."

When the cost of transport, accommodation, food and drink are added to the bill, the concern is that fewer supporters will be able to afford to follow their teams when they travel. If fans do not attend, the atmosphere suffers.

That is why the federation supports cutting ticket prices at all levels of the game.

Mr Clarke added: "There's enough money going in at the top of the game to enable a reduction in ticket prices throughout the game."

The action comes as new figures show revenues are up 10% at the game's top clubs.

The world's 20 highest-earning teams in Europe brought in 4.8bn euros (£4.03bn) last year, according to the Football Money League published by Deloitte.

Real Madrid has become the first sports club to generate annual revenues in excess of 500m euros (£420.5m).

Players' salaries eat up nearly half of all revenue earned through match day sales, commercial activity and broadcast rights.

While clubs at the top end of the European football market are all seeing growth in all three of those areas, players' wages are also rising.

Mark Roberts, a consultant in the Deloitte Sports Business Group, said: "For a football club, no matter where they are, probably the biggest cost is the wage bill, both the players and the wider staff costs."