This Saturday, Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers supporters will take part in a protest at Valley Parade as part of the Football Supporters Federation’s ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign for lower ticket prices for away fans. You can find out more about the campaign locally at their facebook page – Bantam’s Fans Say Twenty’s Plenty
Below we reproduce the text of a leaflet produced for the event by local Bantams fans.
We are here today, Saturday, the 12th March because we support the reciprocal deal initiated by Doncaster Rovers to encourage other clubs to offer affordable football if they see Rovers offering the same too. On October 17th Doncaster Rovers were hosts to the Bantams at the Keepmoat Stadium and charged travelling Bradford City fans only £15. This was done one the basis that an agreement was thought to have been made as early as the 17th September, when it was published on the FSF website.
However it has emerged that there has been a misunderstanding of this deal and Bradford City rather than make the match day ticket affordable, they have agreed to work with Doncaster Rovers supporters in providing free travel to away fans wishing to the game intend to charge Rovers fans the club. In this way it is considered a ‘reciprocal agreement’ that benefits both sets of supporters.
It is welcome that Bradford City offer to pay for free travel and is supported by the FSF but we realise that many Doncaster fans will not be happy about having to pay the full price of £25 to watch their team at Valley Parade especially when they thought there was an affordable ticket agreement in September and over 2,500 travelling Bantams took advantage of the excellent £15 offer for a League One game at the Keepmoat.
Many Doncaster fans have thought about boycotting the game as a result of the recent developments. Free travel to supporters on the coach is limited, welcome though that offer is, and it is vital that clubs continue to work together with supporters and the FSF to develop reciprocal offers as a way of keeping the matchday experience affordable.
Away Fans Matter Is an FSF campaign highlighting the importance of away fans. It’s a ritual that many football fans of all strips, hoops and quarters hold dear. The contribution that we as a collective give to the game in terms of being the twelfth man for our team and the contribution to the atmosphere overall is something City fans pride ourselves on. We often hear ourselves making the noise, more so than the home team – from the drummer, to those participating in the songs and chants, to the flag wavers and those fans in their numbers watching the game – we all contribute to make the game what it is.
As the FSF puts it, away fans “bring noise and colour to grounds and often spark the home support into life, generating the atmosphere that appealsto TV audiences around the world. Without away fans we believe football would struggle to bring in these mega media deals; clubs would lose millions each”.
They are of course relating to predominantly the bigger Premiership clubs of course, but all away fans from all the divisions in the pyramid structure are just as valuable.
It’s great to see large home crowds again of between 17 and 18,000 plus at Valley Parade thanks to the £149 cheap season ticket offer. What we haven’t seen is greater numbers of away fans supporting their teams – a vital added ingredient to create a great atmosphere. Generally the number of visitors in attendance is never that great. Sadly the increase in the match day price this season, from £20 to £25 may well impact on travelling fans the most. It will also have an impact on young fans especially who don’t have flexi-cards or season tickets who may want to come to a game at Valley Parade on the off chance. Raising the match day price contributes to the general increase in matchday prices and whilst the majority view is we have affordable football at City, it is not necessarily for all football fans that come to Valley Parade. Bantams Fans say Twenty’s Plenty believe that the Club should reverse it’s match day pricing policy and will raise awareness amongst fans and lobby the Club until it does.
If you agree, ‘Like’ the Bantams Fans say Twenty’s Plenty campaign Facebook ‘Likes’ page and join the FSF for FREE at http://fsf.org.uk/join/