FA consider review of Cup final prices after criticism
18 May 2019
Fans will pay £145 for top price match tickets to Watford-Man City final today.
Supporters group set for talks with the FA early next season to try and get reduction for what they say are amongst the highest in Europe.
The FA will meet supporters’ groups next season to review their pricing structure for the FA Cup final after receiving criticism of the £145 top ticket prices for today’s clash between Manchester City and Watford.
The Football Supporters’ Federation will air growing concerns at a meeting planned for the early months of the 2019/20 season about the top level of tickets for today’s showcase event at Wembley.
Category One tickets for today’s final are £145 for fans of Watford and Manchester City and only 4000 for each club have been priced at the category four level of £45.
That has led to mounting concerns within the game, which will be highlighted as the FSF meet the FA for talks about the pricing structure for the FA Cup final of 2020/21.
Currently the FA has a two-year price freeze on FA Cup final prices and they insist the top tickets of £145 are in line with other major showcases in the sporting world.
"That's the moral issue"
“What we’re saying in the FA Cup is that it is much more expensive than any other match,” an FSF spokesman told Off The Pitch.
“They increased the prices of the top two categories by 23-35 per cent. The lowest category they froze, but that is 4000 seats in the gods.
“They’ve created some at the lower price category but they’ve compensated for that elsewhere. Last year they hiked their prices and the total amount for individual supporters. The amount of revenue they get for the final is round about £1 million. That is the extra revenue. They say we have to do that or we will deprive grass root football.
“They will fill the stadium but it will be filled with people who can afford it rather than people who deserve it.
“That’s the moral issue here. They see it as a prestige event. It’s not a prestige event for us. It’s the culmination of a season or a long time of following your team.”
Money go to lower levels
The FA insist they are a non-profit organisation and therefore every additional penny of revenue the Cup final generates will ultimately go into the lower levels of the game in England.
Fans of Manchester City and Watford have been awarded 29,000 tickets each which are split into four categories, with category one costing £145, category two £115, category three £70 and category four the cheapest at £45.
“The FA needs to remember that without dedicated supporters filling Wembley for the Cup final it wouldn’t be the highlight of the footballing calendar that we know and love"
The FA believe that is reasonable given this is their showpiece event which is beamed around the world.
However the FSF claim that almost 60 per cent of tickets for today’s final will be over £100 and that only 15 per cent are at the cheapest bracket.
Highest in European football
After lobbying by the FSF, 1500 tickets in the lower band behind both goal were reduced from £115 to £70.
Tom Greatrex, the FSF’s FA Council supporter representative said: “Fans have rightfully raised concerns about the ticket prices we’ve seen at Wembley for the semi-finals and finals, some of the highest for national cup finals in European football.
“The FA needs to remember that without dedicated supporters filling Wembley for the Cup final it wouldn’t be the highlight of the footballing calendar that we know and love.
“While this is a step in the right direction, we feel the FA could go further in making the Wembley fixtures more affordable for match-going fans.”