3 min read

I hate Arsenal, but for the first time in my life I feel sorry for their fans. Their club, much like ours, is holding them hostage and demanding a ransom that for many has long since been unpayable. All football fans, from the League Two upwards are paying ticket prices that are unreasonable as they are offensive.

It’s easy to blame football players because they’re paid an enormous amount for what they do, and to be fair, very few people on this planet can play at that level. It’s easy to blame the Premier League for creating a brand that has become so popular that Sky pays billions of pounds to show it. It’s easy to blame the clubs who see the fans as an acceptable source to fund exorbatant transfer fees and player salaries. But really, it’s your fault. Mine. Ours… for allowing it to happen.

[authquote text="Supporters who vote with their feet should be praised and championed rather than being sniped at."]

‘Boycott’ is a divisive word, especially in something as emotive as the game of football, but I’m beginning to believe that it’s the only action that clubs will understand. I love football. I really love football. When Tottenham grabbed a last minute equaliser at Ashburton Grove to make it 4-4 a few years back I had stand up convulsions in the middle of my living room, my missus looking on with an indignation only punctuated by ‘Why don’t you feel that way about me?’ Of course I love her. But football stirs in me something completely different. Not better, not worse, but unique. Perhaps it’s time for a break.

Unequivocally we cannot continue to pay ticket prices regardless of the price. At what point does it stop? According to issue two of STAND fanzine, in the last 20 years ticket prices at White Hart Lane have increased by 571%. Obviously the quality of football has increased but little else has improved about the match day experience, and nothing could ever justify such an explosive increase in prices. Eventually there will come a point where large proportions of football supporters will be forced out of the game, indeed it’s been a happening for years.

WHl

There needs to be a shift in philosophy of what it means to be ‘decent support’. I’ve looked on in glee as the Emirates stadium is littered with empty seats, and I’ve accused Man City of being a rich Birmingham City due to the holes in the crowd. But I’ve realised that I’m not raising Tottenham up as a bastion of good support by taking the rise out of a fan that cannot afford to support his/her team. Supporters who vote with their feet should be praised and championed rather than being sniped at; they’re doing more for the game than another fan who blindly pays the extortionate prices without question.

[authquote text="Unequivocally we cannot continue to pay ticket prices regardless of the price. At what point does it stop?"]

It’s not acceptable to be charged £72 for a ticket to see Spurs play Woolwich, the importance of which is created by the history and traditions of games from by-gone eras the majority of which were funded by the working classes that can no longer afford entrance. And so I’ve made a conscious decision not to attend games where I feel the price is unreasonable. That might be three or four games this season, and half of them next season… in the last week I refused face-value tickets for both Arsenal and Man Utd games at White Hart Lane because of the rip off price. Eventually many fans won’t have a choice, and if adults with full time jobs can’t raise the money to go, where is our next generation of fans going to come from? Football is our game. It’s time to take it back.

At Spurs we have the 1882 movement. Read more about how you can follow Spurs without paying half your week’s wages.

[author name="Flav" avatar="http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/forum/data/avatars/l/0/56.jpg?1349590875" twitter="Flav_Bateman" tag="Flav"]

Disclaimer

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

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Published on 17th January 2013

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17 Responses to Time to Act

  1. spudulike 17/01/2013 at 1:20 pm #

    …..I voted with my feet this season for the first time. Been following Spurs on the terraces since 1960. My father even played for the reserves. But this year finally did not renew my membership and haven’t been to a game, the prices are nuts, so mostly I watch on the internet. And as the family has moved down to sarf London, we now go watch AFC Wimbledon instead….affordable, always full, and fun – even if the season isn’t quite working out.

  2. moe 17/01/2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Quandry – those who vote with their feet subscribe to sky so the clubs get our money one way or another.
    Good point about hiked prices for the NL derby though. Nowadays it is only the fans that make this fixture more passionate than any other. Defoe, Lennon, Wilshere, Walcott are probably the only players on the pitch who would be properly aware of the full meaning and history of that game. So us fans get ripped off for the privilege of making this a unique event.
    Arsenal do take things to the extreme though and they are losing the argument. It`s regular to hear goons refer to the `dirty filthy money` injected into chelski and citeh. However, fans of those clubs are provided with a top quality product at a relatively reasonable rate. At `properly run` Arsenal, fans are ripped off in return for a poor product with a stream of their top assets sold off.
    Stuff the morals, the only way to compete is with a billionaire`s hard cash.
    I wouldn`t complain too much if the next tycoon pitched up at WHL and I suggest that in reality the majority of Arsenal fans would be delighted to see him on their doorstep.
    In the meantime, hats off to those City fans who declined the chance of being ripped off at the emirates. I hope Arsenal continue with their head up their own backside, run by the same arrogant, snobbish board, as this is the reason for their continued decline.

  3. spudulike 17/01/2013 at 1:44 pm #

    …..I don’t subscribe to Sky, so no quandry there. Just go the pub with some mates, or watch for free on the internet, and for real games go to watch the local team instead, League Two is still affordable…just

    • moe 17/01/2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Point taken, but a large number of non attenders subscribe to sky. And by watching it down the local…….pubs etc pay a higher subscription for broadcasting sky to an audience, so every punter who watches is in effect making a contribution. It`s clever, they`ve gotcha one way or another!

  4. S J Little` 17/01/2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Why isn’t the Federation f Football Fans canvassing outrside the Stadiums?
    Every fan should join and the Fed should pressurise our M.Ps in strong football constituencies,
    It is disgraceful that M.Ps have not done anything to pressurise the F.A. into action long ago, action that is to stop Speculators from taking over Clubs that owed their existance to the fans.

    • wiltshirespur 17/01/2013 at 2:09 pm #

      its all on their website, writing to your MP etc. They’re just not a big enough or well-known organisation to get much press I suppose.

  5. 1882ultras 17/01/2013 at 1:50 pm #

    There needs to be weekend where there is a collective boycott of all football games in England. I can’t see it happening unless a few fan groups agree to it though and then advertise it.

  6. Pete 17/01/2013 at 1:58 pm #

    It is a good article, and I agree with you, tickets are out of control. What can be done though? No one can force anyone to sell their service at a particular price, the only thing that dictates our ticket prices are those of Chelsea and Arsenal. We need more than ever to move back to terracing in certain area’s in my opinion. Sure it’s back to a kind of ancient class devide, but at current rate we already have one as football is fast becoming elitist.

    I have seen another article today where the FSF want a £20 cap on away tickets. Whilst I agree with their point about trying to encourage away support and halt the decline, I would be p*ssed if Arsenal fans where paying £20 entry at White Hart Lane when I am paying 3 times that, its a bus ride FFS, I’m sure they would feel the same. Perhaps they should propose a rachet system dependant on distance traveled.

    • spudulike 18/01/2013 at 9:31 am #

      terraces, absolutely! Just like they have in Germany, where the crowds are hugje and you get ticket prices starting from about £10….

  7. wiltshirespur 17/01/2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Something has to be done, however I think individually boycotting without making a noise is not the right thing to do. email daniel.levy@tottenhamhotspur.com and tell him this! exactly what you’ve written here… it is a real email adress and they do take note! Quietly not buying tickets is, in theory, a fantastic and brave thing to do, but in reality all you’re doing is letting another prawn sandwich munching, moaning, silent git into the once great terraces of the lane. LETS ALL DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!

  8. DarrenJackson75 17/01/2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Unfortunately those who take the moral high ground especially by not attending cat A games will just be replaced by football tourists who view football like going to the theatre. Theres people I work with who go to see anyone play football for a day/night out without any any affiliation to the team they are are watching. Which can only affect the atmosphere, in short the club like any others dont give a monkeys if us loyal supporters go or not, as long as there is a bum on the seat, then all is ok in their eyes. I’m not saying we shouldn’t make a stand, but needs to be a coordinated conscious decision by a large group.

  9. drwinston001 17/01/2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I haven’t been to a Cat A game for over 6 years now. Until recently I managed to get to 10-15 games home and away per season. None of those were Cat A games because I felt the prices were ridiculous. That means more Stokes than NLDs but so be it. If more of us did that, prices would have to become more suitable.

  10. serious 17/01/2013 at 2:28 pm #

    If you guys can afford it then the ticket could be 100 pounds why complain just don’t go. It’s all ur sky subscription

  11. Iain 17/01/2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I have a season ticket in Paxton lower and pay roughly £35 per match. Not cheap but not too bad. With WHL pretty well sold for each league match the club has no incentive to lower prices, in fact cold logic says they should put up the price.

    How could I support a boycott? If I didn’t buy my season ticket next season that’s it gone forever, or at least until the new stadium is complete.

  12. Catcher 17/01/2013 at 3:13 pm #

    With the new deal that the Premier league have just done with sky and the other TV stations, ALL clubs should be able to reduce prices to spectators, but they will not because they want to squeeze every last penny, Dime, Ruble out of us.
    They do not seem to realise that if they lose the hard core fans there will be no atmosphere in the grounds and the sport and the clubs will die and end the gravy train.

  13. Tim 17/01/2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Really good article. Another issue is where is the ticket money going? Alright Spurs haven’t improved 571% in the last 20yrs and WHL is no better, but the team is a lot better – if we want the team to compete and play well and attract great players, then it needs the money. If Enic were like the Glazers, raising money and leeching it out of the club, then we should be outraged, but if ticket money is going towards making the team stronger, the Development squad better, new WHL etc then I think the ticket prices are just a sign of Levy’s ambition.
    I would rather Spurs be restricted to financial fair play, and that might mean high ticket prices, than us be subsidised by some multi-billionaire who bankrolls the club but effectively gives us an unfair advantage over the rest of the League.
    Have to say I think the Scum have got a good idea with reducing prices for Cat C games and making the corporate seats take up the slack there.

  14. Jonny 17/01/2013 at 4:37 pm #

    I’m 17 and this is my 5th season on the season ticket waiting list (as a bronze member) where I am currently number 5317 on the list. I can only just afford to go to around 20 games (home and away) a season with my dad paying for a couple as presents. I have a job earning around 350 per month to do this and I find that at least half of that goes on the tickets + travel each month and I find the home ticket prices acceptable for all games except cat A. IMO the highest price we should have to pay is 40 + booking fee anything above that is ridiculous. I do feel sorry for the Arsenal fans because of their prices and their below par team this season and I pray that the same doesn’t happen to us when the new stadium is finished. I wonder how long it will take for me to finally get a season ticket where £35 as the guy said is acceptable but will be interesting to see how much higher it will be when a have one!

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