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England is paving the way for football to remain the village

BarcelonaThe Premier League schedule for the 2022-23 season is now available to everyone. So the fans already know where they will have to go every weekend to cheer on their team. And in the away matches, they will know in advance what the ticket will cost them: not more 30 pounds (about 35 euros).

All teams in the English league unanimously approved maintaining this price cap for the next three seasons, a cost limit set in the 2016-17 season, following an initiative by English clubs for visiting fans, in the which instituted a series of measures thinking of the fans who came to cheer them on at away matches. “All clubs recognize the crucial importance of fans in generating the best possible atmosphere at matches and recognizing the additional travel costs that often involve following a team away from home,” the Premier League said in a statement.

In the Spanish League, an impossible dream?

Measures that, unfortunately, do not apply to other European leagues, as is the case of the Spanish. At first, each club in the League puts the price it deems appropriate on the tickets of visiting fans, and often these prices are not exactly cheap, but quite the opposite: in some cases they can reach up to more than 100 euros per an entrance to a visiting camp. For example, in the Mallorca-Atlético de Madrid corresponding to day 31 of the League, there was general indignation among the mattress fans. The Balearic club put tickets on sale from 110 euros. A big difference compared to the Champions League quarter-final match against Manchester City, when fans who went to Manchester to cheer on their team paid a price of around 50 euros per ticket. Faced with the controversy generated, Mallorca rectified and lowered the price of tickets to 70 euros, which did not calm the criticism of Atletico fans.

The closest the League has been to a policy like this was three years ago, when the four Basque teams (Athletic Club, Real Sociedad, Alava and Eibar) and one Navarrese (Osasuna) agreed to set a top tickets at 25 euros for visiting fans. On the other hand, the Real Sociedad also has this initiative with Celta, Betis, Levante and Villarreal. At the time, the club from Donostia-San Sebastián already asked the other clubs in Primera that this initiative be “the beginning of a series of agreements between the different clubs in the competition so that attendance at the stadiums is the best possible , prioritizing the amateur at all times “.

As ARA has learned, from LaLiga, for now, there is no price cap for visiting tickets similar to the Premier League.

The differences with other European leagues

The French league has already set its sights on this issue and approved, three years ago, setting a single price for visiting tickets, emulating the measure of the English league. The tops that were put were 10 euros in First and 5 in Second. The French championship justified the measure by “the need for better preparation of the fans’ movements and to promote their progress.” “The sharp drop in prices aspires to encourage a greater presence of rival fans,” he added. The French league stressed that the measure was aimed at better control of travel and recalled that the attendance of visiting fans is limited to 5% of the capacity of the stadium, with a maximum of 1,000 attendees, unless there is a different agreement between the clubs in each case.

In Germany there has never been a need for a price cap for visiting tickets, as German clubs have always been respectful of fans of the opposing team. The Bundesliga has been an example to follow in terms of ticket prices, which have always been ranked among the cheapest in terms of value for money for the fan. And if teams have ever exceeded the price of tickets, fans have already taken it upon themselves to protest, as happened in 2016, at a Stuttgart-Borussia Dortmund. The local team put tickets at prices that did not reach 40 euros, a cost that Dortmund fans found excessive, and threw tennis balls on the field in the middle of the game in protest, forcing the referee to stop the game.

In Serie A, the Italian league, there is no top spot and the price of tickets varies according to each team. Leading teams and the most rival parties usually have the most expensive tickets, such as Juventus, which this year has raised the price of season tickets for the first time since the pandemic, which has led to protests by fans. bianconeris. However, and despite the fact that the price of tickets in Italy has never really been considered a problem, stadium attendance is considered the lowest in the major European leagues, with an average of 46%, according to data from the portal specialized Transfermarkt and collected in a study of the medium Palco23. According to the Italian journalist Emanuele Gamba, from The Republic, this is due to the fact that “most Italian stadiums are old, uncomfortable and part of municipal facilities. In 1990, Italian clubs decided to renovate the stadiums for the World Cup, but many have stopped the planned restructuring (Bologna, Verona, Rome, Genoa, Florence and Naples) “. They are also considered stadiums of old conception, still designed with athletics tracks and, therefore, with the stands very far from the field. On the other hand, they are usually very large, built in years where a lot of people went to parties, more than now. In fact, the new stadiums now, such as Juventus or Udinese, are smaller than before. Also, in Italy, in recent years, “the show is not very pleasant, and this has caused many fans to lose interest, because Serie A has become a boring championship.”

The demonstration in the stands

This season, the Premier League has had an average attendance of 97.7%, a figure that fully reflects the success of introducing this price cap on the tickets of the visiting fans. For the first time in its history, and with a 4% increase over the 2018-19 season, the last before the pandemic, the competition has had more than fifteen million viewers.

The Spanish League, on the other hand, has finished the season with more than 8.7 million fans in the stadiums, with an average attendance of 71.7% of the capacity, data far from the English league. However, despite the measure similar to the Premier League applied by the French league at the time, it has not had a positive impact on the presence of spectators, as they only have an average attendance of 57.5%.

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