Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Daniel Riordan1
Daniel Riordan blogs about City and Financial Fair Play
“Should City be helping out more, or is this another example of FFP?”
Written by Daniel Riordan
One week before the start of the beauty and pure excellence that is the Premier League, the cliche of the ‘glorified friendly’ passed over the weekend. Yes, the charity shield which has all kinds of tag lines was played between Arsenal and City at Wembley in which Arsenal defeated a weakened City side 3-0. However, there’s been a lot of critics over the attendance of the City support – amongst City fans. Should the Charity Shield be made to be more of an occasion than a ‘glorified friendly’ or is this how it’ll be forever on?
I attended the Charity Shield against United in 2011 to which there was a similar attendance. United of course had theirs packed as a Wembley is only a few yards away for a lot of them. There’s many reasons why there wasn’t people there but I put the question out before the game on a Manchester City group. Asking what their reasons were (with mine being the cost) here are some of the responses:
Robert Kennedy: “I’m going this time cos I fancied the day out but I don’t usually bother due to the cost. £35 for the ticket, £35 for the coach, so that’s £70 before I’ve had a drink. It’s a lot of money for what is basically a friendly.”
Adam Noton: “I’ve not gone with it being on a Sunday as I’m in work at 6 am tomorrow morning and didn’t want to have to take another days holiday like I did after we won the league, had it been a Saturday 3pm KO I would have gone.”
John Andrew “No thought whatsoever given to the travelling fans of City… Late kick off, no trains & we won’t even be fielding the true City team !! So all in all it’s a very expensive day out in what has also turned into a shite day weather wise !!!”
Ste Bickley “Kick off time, cost of travel, transport links, it seems it is not just UEFA that are not keen on this Manchester club, I would go as far as saying both the FA and our wonderful government are haters too! For those reasons I am out.”
And the best coming from Lee Ryan: “Hangover, cant be wengered.”
The reactions mainly consisted of cost, scheduling of the match, work and holidays. I can’t remember the prices and it’s been took off City’s site but I think the cheapest was around £30-40 which on it’s self is pretty good for a trip to Wembley, but you’ve got to look at it in another way. If you have a family and there’s 3 or 4 of you going, you’re looking around or over £100 before you’ve took petrol, food and drink into the equation.
But should the Charity Shield have more done to it to make it worth while to the fans? Although it’s criticised as the ‘glorified friendly’ in reality it’s silverware. You can gain at least some bragging rights from it. Look at last year, even David Moyes had his hands on silverware rather than Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers. What is there that you can do though? It’s a long trip from Manchester to London, should it be played in the middle of the country like with Villa Park a couple of years ago? It’s something which the FA should be capitalising on.
Last season Stoke and Everton provided travel for their fans. Even though City halved prices for certain away games last year and after all the investment they’ve put into the club? Should they be doing more for the fans. My answer – yes.
I was surprised especially with the Spurs game last year and Fulham which were priced heavily as expected being in London and for City to slash it was brilliant. However, does it have relevance to a lot of fans? Only a small percentage. I don’t get to any away games because I’m unemployed and I’m at university the majority of the time so I’m an example it’s not got any use to. With prices of season tickets as they are – even though we’ve got the cheapest and best for value for money, I think something more needs to be done for the supporters – but not from City.
Look on the flip side, is this really City’s fault that prices are so high? I believe it comes from two organisations in football. The FA and UEFA. These two are at fault for prices in football throughout England and Europe. I’ve mentioned before my views on Financial Fair Play and how corrupt it is and it’s just another example. If you look at a club like Leicester this year who’ve just been promoted, their owner has said he’s allowing the manager to spend X amount over the next 3 years to get European football. Which isn’t out of the question but once they get into Europe, more than likely sanctions will be took in place on them because they wouldn’t comply with revenue in FairPlay. Yet a club like Monaco, who only have 5,000 season ticket holders can. Leicester’s stadium holds 32,000, 14,000 more than Monaco’s 18,000 and they’re in the Champions League this year.
I was looking at Hyde’s twitter the other day and for the club that won one game in the league last year, their season tickets are £279 in comparison to £104 from Bayern Munich. That alone tells you what is wrong with the FA. The FA doesn’t just deal with the top few leagues, it goes all the way down to grass routes and it’s a problem. Yet would anything attempt them to act – not at all.
In Europe, it comes down to the G14 clubs which UEFA mainly want to keep creating money for them and as teams like City get in, sanctions are put in place. You can’t even say it’s to do with what we’ve spent with clubs like United, Real Madrid, Barcelona etc. spending heavily from 2000 to 2008. As soon as City have the idea to become successful clubs must make money out of revenue. This prompted City to having to get the deal with Nike who are the most known brand and have the most expensive shirts I’ve seen along with deals with other company’s.
My theory is that UEFA have done this purposely to deduct the revenue for City so that fans die away from the sport. For example, I’ve got a retro shirt my brother got me and I’ll probably have that for years to come than spend money on a current shirt due to the price. Once people have that idea, they start to stop associating with the sport, stop watching, stop spending and revenue goes down. Only City have gone against it even more with the expansion of the stadium and more so with the youth complex – which I can’t say I’ve seen PSG attempt anything in relation.
So overall I think City could be doing more for the fans, especially with providing travel but as for prices, with the way football is ran currently, they can’t. They atleast trying their best for away trips down south but it’s saddening to see games like West Brom last season have prices at £57. I just hope we don’t fall down United’s road with their excessive costs.