England’s Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) called on clubs to offer greater concessions to ensure the atmosphere inside stadiums is not affected in the wake of a £4.46 billion ($6.43 billion, 5.21 billion euros) three-year television deal for Premier League rights from 2019.Watford’s Yugoslavian-born Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami (L) vies in the air with Liverpool’s Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 6, 2016. AFP
Although the agreement struck with broadcasters Sky and BT is marginally down on the current £5.1 billion deal with 40 matches still to be sold, a new raft of overseas deals is expected to see Premier League clubs bank more TV money than ever in the coming years.
“Premier League clubs must remember how crucial the away supporter is to the atmosphere at games – it’s a vital part of the spectacle which sells for billions around the globe,” FSF chief-executive Kevin Miles said a statement to AFP.
“Every occasion a game’s kick-off time is moved travelling fans are inconvenienced, sometimes having to fork out for overnight hotel stays or book additional days off work as public transport options don’t always exist.”
The number of games shown live on television from 2019 will increase to 200 from 168 under the current deal.
“Match-goers will be concerned about the number of televised games heading upwards. The FSF has always opposed an increase in the number of broadcast games,” added Mills.
The Premier League has introduced a £30 cap on ticket prices for away supporters, but Mills wants further measures taken in the case of televised games and to help younger fans.
“Fans want to see that cap maintained in future and would also like to see clubs introduce measures to reduce the impact of televised games on away fans in particular.
“We’d also like to see clubs introduce concessions for 18-22 year-olds to ensure that young adults are not priced out of games.”