When you think of the biggest football clubs in London your mind instantly goes to Arsenal, then Chelsea, and then Tottenham Hotspur. As you can imagine, these three clubs charge a lot of money to supporters for a season ticket. Chelsea’s most expensive seats cost £1500 per season, Arsenal’s is £1,839 and Spurs is a whopping £2,025 - as Neil Warnock once said, “we’re in London aren’t we?”
Now what if you were told that none of these clubs boast the most expensive season ticket in London and the Premier League from next season? On Wednesday, Fulham announced that they are planning an 18 per cent rise to season ticket prices across the three current open stands at Craven Cottage, while revealing a whopping £3,000 price for seats in their new Riverside Stand.
Owner Shahid Khan needs to be told that April Fools Day was at the start of the month because he surely cannot justify charging such ridiculous prices when the UK is struggling with a cost of living crisis. The prices the most successful London clubs charge is bad but they mostly get away with it because of the club’s history and recent successes (except Spurs). For Fulham to leapfrog their prices is just absurd.
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Fulham is a club that doesn’t have the rich history of titles and their fan base is nothing in comparison to their London rivals. And it is because of this that Fulham have built up a loyal support over the years who have stuck by the club through their highs and lows and they should not be extorted like this.
The £3,000 seats would become the most expensive in the Premier League without hospitality, working out at around £158 per match. It is shameful to ask supporters to pay such a hefty fee.
The Fulham Supporters Trust have accused Khan of causing 'distress and anxiety' and have penned an open letter, urging him to rethink the new prices.
“The pricing structure has caused distress, anxiety, anger, and disillusionment among a significant proportion of our loyal fan base,” the trust said.
“Seats priced at £3,000 appear to be among the most expensive non-hospitality season tickets in football worldwide.
“We believe this pricing structure is out of touch with the financial realities facing many of our loyal fans. In the Riverside Stand, we ask that the pricing model is significantly revised. Its pricing ostracises the vast majority of fans from ever experiencing it.
“Sustainability comes from sporting merit, driven by vocal fans, which will deliver better results than turning Fulham into a club that only the wealthy can afford to attend.
“Despite undertakings to consult on season-ticket pricing, there was none at any stage.”
It may be the most regurgitated phrase in football but it once again rings true, football without fans is nothing - and Khan would do well to remember that as his latest pricing strategy is set to alienate Fulham’s loyal supporters.