Good afternoon, and welcome to you all. Today we host the Macc Lads, although it is most certainly John Askey’s version, and not the Muttley McLad creation of the same name.
In my last programme notes, I promised that today I would bring news of two Football Supporters Federation (FSF) projects, namely Safe Standing and Ticket Pricing.
Firstly, a bit of background on Safe Standing. Many fans dislike having to watch matches while seated; indeed, we all know that many refuse to sit. The introduction of “Rail Seats”, which allow supporters to stand without fear of crushing, will allow movement away from all-seater stadia. There is a safety barrier and a seat on every row (or two). The seats are locked into an upright position for domestic games and supporters stand between the barriers. For European games (where seating is compulsory), the seats are simply unlocked. Earlier this year, the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) created a process to enable clubs with all-seater grounds, but not covered by all-seater legislation, to apply for licensing for rail seating. Shrewsbury Town applied and were given the green light by the SGSA. With funding now in place they are set to be the first English club with a usable rail seating area.
Meanwhile, the BBC’s survey of match pricing has shown that ticket prices are still putting off young people. Over 80% of young fans (aged 18 to 23) polled by the BBC say that the cost of tickets is one of the main obstacles to attending live football. Although the survey of 190 clubs in England, Scotland and Wales showed that two-thirds of all ticket prices across the country are unchanged or have been reduced, 56% of young supporters told the BBC they were going to fewer games because of the expense. The FSF commented that “these are formative years and we want football clubs to do everything they can to retain supporters of that age – a relatively small ticket subsidy now could secure the club a match-going fan for life”.
Interesting stuff! Your supporters club here at FCHT are affiliated with the FSF, and try to attend local meetings. We’ll keep you posted.
See you soon, Kit!
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