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.
‘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.
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.
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.