Liverpool tickets and #AffordableFulham
We hope you all had a great Christmas, despite the disappointing results against Burnley and Bournemouth, and are looking forward to the final game of 2023 against Arsenal.
As you know, it has been a busy year for the Trust, with a huge focus on ensuring that we maintain a sustainable fan base through affordable ticket pricing. The Yellow Card #AffordableFulham demonstration held during the Manchester United match showed both the strength of feeling from across the entire Fulham family and also the unique character of our loyal fans in the way that we protested; it is this character that we want to protect.
In the absence of a response to our request for a full ticket pricing review, we asked for our December meeting with the Club to focus entirely on ticket pricing and policy. It was a forthright meeting, with strong views put and argued both by ourselves and by the Club. In essence, we don’t agree either on how tickets are priced or on the impact of ticket pricing on the long-term sustainability of our fan base. This is particularly the case with the high category fixtures.
The Club’s view is that their ticket pricing policy is a good one and they stand by it; that season ticket prices are fair and match day prices need to be “dynamic” to maximise revenues. They say that games selling out is proof that the strategy is right and that the Trust’s position is not representative.
Our view is that consecutive season ticket price increases of 10% and 18% during a cost of living crisis have stretched fans’ finances to the limit and that the so-called stretch pricing severely limits the attendance of those of our fans whose lives don’t allow them to have a season ticket, particularly for games like Arsenal with adult tickets in the Hammersmith End at £77. We believe that too many of the small number of match day tickets end up in the hands of touts, casual visitors and away fans who are unlikely to return and that the incremental revenue generated from these high prices is small compared with the long-term risk to the fan base. The feedback we have received since the meeting, from members and non-members alike, tells us that you agree so we will keep arguing the case.
Our upcoming League Cup semi-final against Liverpool gives us a perfect opportunity to remind the football world of the unique character of Craven Cottage when it is packed with Fulham fans, so we are pleased to see that the Club has announced a sales policy for the home leg that does prioritise Fulham supporters. In particular, we asked for and support the decision not to sell the whole Putney End to away fans, to offer a season ticket holder priority sales window and to allow season ticket holders to buy additional tickets alongside members who attended earlier rounds. These are all good steps towards reducing the likelihood of away fans sitting in home areas of the ground.
As Fulham fans, we must also do our bit. We ask you all to spread the word that Fulham fans should not, under any circumstances, buy tickets for Liverpool fans in the home sections of the ground, even if you know them well. We’re convinced that some season tickets and memberships are in the hands of touts and we have asked the Club to do more to identify these. But please don’t put your own season ticket at risk by buying tickets for Liverpool fans.
Price-wise, whilst adult tickets in the Riverside Stand at £50 are more expensive than any of Liverpool, Chelsea or Middlesbrough are charging for their home legs, the £40 tickets in the ‘horseshoe’ of Hammersmith, Johnny Haynes and Putney Stands are similar to the £38 being charged by Chelsea throughout their ground (Liverpool’s adult prices are in the range £9 – £40 and Middlesbrough’s are £20 – £25). So, whilst it would be good to not be the most expensive, we do hope that the pricing will allow us to pack out Craven Cottage with Fulham fans. We particularly support the junior prices of £5 and £10 which are significantly cheaper than Chelsea’s and we hope will allow families to share in our historic first ever League Cup semi-final. The cheaper coach travel to the away leg is also very welcome.
We know that our campaign for an #AffordableFulham will be a long one and we will keep up the pressure on all fronts. As part of this, you can help us by continuing to give us your ideas and, most importantly, encouraging as many more Fulham fans as possible to join the Trust to make our voice even louder.
We wish you all a Happy New Year and much success on and off the field in 2024.