Article from football365.com http://www.football365.com/news/enough-is-enough-youre-damn-right
regarding the crazy price of football match tickets, greedy club owners and Liverpool's fan's walkout protest.....
Enough really is enough.
£77 for a ticket see a football match is far too much money,
especially when the income from fans is a small percentage of revenue
from everything else. Of course, the £77 Liverpool want to charge is
only 200 tickets for 6 games, but it is symbolic of the direction of
travel. In a society where the wealthy elite operate a policy of divide
and rule with ruthless determination, the Kop walkout was a welcome bit
of collective action.
Business people who run football clubs as though they are
normal businesses, who refer to merchandise income streams in the same
breath as they call fans customers, are to everyone, except themselves,
some flavour of awful. When Liverpool fans complained that £77 is too
much for 90 minutes of football, some pointed to similar ticket prices
for one-off gigs and for other forms of entertainment, seemingly
forgetting that most fans want to go to support their club up to at
least 19 times per season. Seemingly forgetting that sitting outdoors on
a plastic seat in February is not the same value product (to put it in
their own language) as sitting in a warm theatre on a plush velveteen
seat. Also forgetting that this is a hugely wealthy industry, made
wealthy by the presence of fans who are not wealthy. In redux, the rich
want the poor to pay more. Enough is enough.
I can fill my car up for £55 and get 600 miles out of it. That is
much better value in my life. For £77 I could dine out at an excellent
local restaurant and have a three course meal, three times a week. For
£77 I could buy two bottles of Glenmorangie single malt and kill myself
with pleasure. Or I could drink 77 halves of beer in the Pound Pub in
Stockton-on-Tees and try to pretend life had meaning. In other words, if
we’re going to get into the relative value of a £77 investment in the
entertainment business, football loses at every turn. Enough is enough.
Ian Ayre went on about how they have some £9 tickets for category C
games and how 1000 tickets per season are given away free to kids.
That’s 1000 out of about 800,000, Ian. Very generous of you, that.
Bragging about this sort of thing shows the gulf of understanding.
First, £9 (not that there are many tickets at that price) should be a
not untypical price for any game, not just the PR giveaway for the games
you consider will be the worst attended. This ranking of games into
categories, though entirely normal nowadays, is a classic divisive
principle. Can’t afford to go to a good game? Here, have a cheap ticket
for a rubbish game. We all take for granted that things work like this
in 2016, but it’s a choice, not an inevitability. No matter you may have
paid into the club for 35 years, if you can’t afford it anymore, screw
you. Your loyalty is only worth what you will pay today. The 10,000+ who
walked out of the Kop are making a stand against that principle. Enough
These corporate culture-inculcated capitalists know the price of
everything and the value of nothing. They look at us like we’re fools,
buying into their warped view of money, even though it does us down.
Well they need teaching a bloody lesson. Screwing more blood out of the
fans while they unconscionably squander money elsewhere on poorly
scouted players, lavish directors and managerial wages and
over-remunerated players, is their agenda. They pander to the executive
box culture, because it’s the culture they know. They cut the jobs of
the regular people at clubs, while they dip their snouts ever deeper
into the trough of money that they do little to earn, but wallow in, as
though it is all of their own making. Enough is enough.
People say, well you should stay away if you don’t want to pay the
money, it’s a free market, football is a product like any other. So deep
has this inculcation gone, most of us spout, as though hypnotised, the
language of the free-market monetarism, without realising we’ve been
taken for fools by rich men – and it is almost always men – who have
sold us a form of enslavement and told us it is freedom. They have so
infected us with the language of their cult that they can sit back and
let the slaves do their work for them, safe in the knowledge that a
pliant customer is a profitable customer. But why should the poor always
surrender to the rich? We live here too. Enough is enough.
People do stay away, either morally disgusted or financially
disenfranchised. Time was, you’d see loads of teenagers and
twenty-somethings on the terraces. Not now. The profile of crowds has
changed. The average age is, by the Premier League’s own measure, 41 and
it often seems much higher than that. Worse and more offensive still,
this price hiking is totally unnecessary. If every Premier League club
gave away 30,000 tickets for free, every home game, assuming they’d have
sold all of them at the average ticket price of £32.50, they’d be
deprived of less than a million pound per home game, less than 20
million per league season. Every club routinely throws that sort of
money away on at least one bad transfer. For most clubs, this is chump
change in the new era of 8.5 billion quid TV deal. The idea that fans
have to pay more for a big stand or for top players is ludicrous. The
ticket money is a mere flea bite on the elephantine body of modern
football. Enough is enough.
But there is a bigger point to be made. The corporate whore sees only
the bottom line. If the stadium is full, then it’s job done, but if you
deprive vast swathes of that community of the chance of seeing their
local football club, that doesn’t come free of charge for the rest of
us. It has knock-on effect into every day life. It is a recipe for
societal discontent. Happiness 0 – Bitter Sense That Things Are Wrong 5.
Enough is enough.
I’m not sure the people in charge of football today have any idea how
skint many people in Britain are and how unaffordable even the typical
£32 ticket is. I bet they think £32 isn’t much money. But we have at
least half a million people using food banks. At least one and a half
million on minimum wage (excluding the ever-expanding self-employed –
many of them on zero hours contracts). One in five people earn less than
the living wage. Average income is around £500 per week, often with at
least half of that absorbed by housing costs. We’re a low-wage economy
and yet the Premier League clubs all too often charge as though the
opposite is true. Enough is enough.
Even if a ticket is £32, we’re told to think it’s good value. It
isn’t. That’s still too expensive and anyone who thinks it isn’t has
drank too deep from football’s propaganda smoothie. Premier League
football should be £5 – £15 for all regular tickets. Clubs can easily
afford that and frankly, it’s a not unreasonable charge for the
unluxurious experience of sitting on a plastic seat, usually in the
cold, for 90 minutes. It’ll take prolonged collective action to break
this financial and cultural hegemony which infects top-flight English
football with its scorched earth capitalist principles. The odds are
stacked against it happening, but the 10,000 who were reported to have
walked out of Anfield are heroes fighting for a better, more fair world.
They’re for inclusion, not exclusion. For together, not apart. For
community, not individuality. For love over gold.
Because enough really is enough.