Angry West Bromwich Albion fans are to stage a protest against ticket prices in their match against Manchester City on Monday night. A 30ft long banner will show “£56 Daylight Robbery” will be the focal point of the protest. The game, which is also on Easter Monday is to be televised live on Sky Sports. Despite this, Manchester City who ironically staged a similar protest in a match against Arsenal earlier this season are charging Baggies fans an astonishing £56. Former West Brom kitman Pat Frost, the banner organiser said that is time fans show the frustration at rising ticket prices: “You’ve got to drawn the line somewhere… I normally travel with the missus and two kids but if you’re doing by the time you’ve paid to get there and for food etc, then it ends up at £220 for a night out which a lot of people can’t do.”
One of the most peculiar aspects of the £56 price tag is that last year, West Brom took less than 500 fans in their previous visit to the Etihad last season. This game was also played midweek, near to the end of a season, yet I purchased a ticket worth £42. Manchester City may argue that this game is likely to play a big part in deciding where the Premier League title will go, this is despite the fact that City will still have a further 2 games to play at home. Even so, why should West Brom fans pay the price for a ‘title decider’ in which they are not involved in, this is along with the fact that fans of teams lower down in the league table don’t have that much care for who wins the title!
Along with that, after looking at several train companies websites I found out that the last train from Manchester to Birmingham is at 10:10pm. The match starts at 8pm, meaning it will finish around 9:55pm, leaving no time for fans to get back home! Of course this point is irrelevant for fans who go on the official coaches that the club put on for them, but how about people who work 9 till 5 and can only get a train to the match?
As touched on earlier, the game is televised on Sky Sports meaning Man City as a whole will gain more money through television rather than income from ticket prices.
I will not be attending this match, not because I lack loyalty to my beloved West Brom, not because my University assignments are filling up my time, not because I know we will most likely be battered all game, but because of these ludicrous ticket prices.
You can either boycott this game, or support Pat Frost’s banner idea. My point still stands, £56 for a match on Easter Monday that is additionally being televised is a complete farce and whatever fans do to try and change this obsession with income in football as a whole can not be a bad thing.