#AffordableFulham – letter to the Club
At our recent game against Manchester United, Fulham fans in all parts of the ground made their feelings about the Club’s ticket pricing policy abundantly clear with the raising of yellow cards in the 18th minute to highlight the unacceptable price rises in this and recent seasons.
Following the match, I wrote to the Chief Executive, Alistair Mackintosh, to request that the Club undertake a review of ticket pricing policy with the participation of the Trust. My full email is published below.
At the time of writing we have had no commitment from the Club to undertake the review we requested. I have therefore written again, asking the Club to make an open reply so that Trust members and other fans can hear direct from the Club what their views and position are.
In the meantime, the #AffordableFulham campaign will continue both through social media and visibly at upcoming matches, and we will keep you updated with these.
Thank you for your continued support of the Trust.
The recent statement made by the Trust on ticket pricing, the visible support from FST members, numerous other fans and social media groups coupled with Saturday’s visible expression of disappointment at the Club’s pricing policy should leave you in no doubt there is an issue with the current pricing structure. The television and written media have also picked up on the feelings of fans, running several articles of which I am sure you are aware. Historically the Club may have been able to ride out such discontent but the strength of feeling this time is such that the Trust do not see it going away unless something can be done.
Commenting on the recent signing by Marco Silva of a new contract, the Chairman said “This is a wonderful day for Fulham Football Club. Specifically, it’s a fantastic moment for Fulham supporters, who deserve our very best efforts to invest in the present and future of the Club, both within and around the game.” It is very good news for Fulham supporters but sadly tarnished by those who are being priced out of attending games and hence diluting our sustainable fan base for the future.
Our expressions of concern on Saturday, which we believe were polite and respectful, have drawn support much wider than Fulham fans. The Trust also acknowledge that this is not just a Fulham issue but an issue for much of the Premier League. Fulham fans have however been hit harder than most.
Over the last few seasons, ticket pricing has been a constant subject for discussion at our monthly meeting with the Club. Whilst we hope we have been listened to, it feels like our views have largely been ignored and the divide between the fans and Club on this matter grows ever wider. It has come to the point where we feel the Club must listen more and try to come up with and clearly explain a policy for ticket sales, affordable to all.
The ask of the Trust is simple. We would like the Club to commit to a full review of their pricing policy/structure to cover:-
- Season ticket pricing;
- Match day ticket pricing;
- Membership packages;
- Loyalty points.
We would ask that such review should include a small representation from the Trust. Price setting is solely down to the Club, we understand that. The Trust however know the wider fan base and their views, we have a wealth of detail on how pricing has moved over recent seasons and will have ideas that might help the Club address fan concerns. Being party to such discussions would also allow us to explain to fans the broad principles of the pricing structure, something which to date the Club appear reluctant to do. Changes to the pricing structure for match tickets this season would be welcome but the proposed review should mainly be looking towards next season.
I have not included here numerous pictures from Saturday which are on social/news media and from which you will no doubt have seen the considerable support for our walk and yellow card protest. I was going to include the following link to “X” picked up by a number of media and social media outlets. Unfortunately it has now been taken down in response to a report by the copyright owner. I’m sure you are aware of it:-
If we are correct, Manchester United tickets sold out almost entirely to members without going on general sale. The video shows a home section as United scored. There is no doubt the majority of supporters behind the goal are not Fulham fans. These are not the type of fans which will help build a sustainable fan base moving forward.
In his pre-match media comments Marco said he did not want this issue to affect the players. Please be assured, neither do fans. We all recognise the ongoing and considerable support from the owners and we also understand the need to move the Club towards financial self-sufficiency but this cannot be done by raising prices alone. The issue we have is with the Club and what we feel is a misguided ticketing policy. We therefore ask that you consider and commit to our request so we can get the majority of our members and the wider fan base back onside as regards ticket prices.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Fulham Supporters’ Trust