Following the work undertaken by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) regarding its Twenty's Plenty campaign, Football Without Fans Is Nothing is a national ticket price reduction movement for fans of all clubs, united by the rising cost of attending football matches and the refusal of the football authorities to address fans’ concerns.
It’s running away from the fans and we need to catch it quickly. Football exists in its own bubble. No one is stopping the steep climb. Average wages have gone up 186% in the past 20 years while footballers’ wages have risen by more than 1000%. The Taylor Report of 1989 stated that ticket prices in all-seater stadia should remain within reach of those who stood on the terraces. This hasn’t happened.
All the stadia expansions and builds currently underway; the extra seats aren’t for us. They are to help the clubs pay the players more. Roughly 70% of a club’s money goes on wages. Clearly, every club wants to retain its best players and paying them top money goes without saying. However, the repeated awarding of contracts in excess of £25K a week to fringe players who regularly sit in the stands must be questioned.
Sparked by the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Twenty's Plenty campaign, it was agreed at the Supporters Direct Premier League Group Meeting in March 2013 that a joint letter from all the Trusts present would be drafted and sent to the Premier League itself, calling for cheaper away tickets and improved conditions for fans
You can read the letter that Supporters Direct wrote, on behalf of the Trusts, sent to Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League.
You can read THST’s letter to Daniel Levy here. We are still awaiting acknowledgement of our letter from THFC.
While recognising that every club is priced differently, this also felt like buck-passing. The clubs were passing fans onto the Premier League. The Premier League was passing them back to the clubs
Time for the fans to put rivalries aside, stand together and say £nough is £nough.
Following meetings in the North West and in London, organised by Spirit Of Shankly, (http://www.spiritofshankly.com) supporters from numerous clubs including Liverpool, Charlton, Wolves, Arsenal, Spurs, Swansea, AFC Wimbledon, Manchester United, Everton and Altrincham agreed to move the campaign forward under the Football Without Fans Is Nothing banner. This also saw a shift in strategy from away ticket pricing to ALL ticket pricing.
Action in the form of a march was agreed by supporters of numerous clubs to take place at the Premier League's Headquarters in London on 19th June 2013. This also marked the day of the 2013/14 fixtures release. Further joint action by supporters targeting Premier League sponsors such as Sky and Barclays was also agreed.
Supporter representatives would work together and act as one, using existing channels such as the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct where possible.
Ahead of the march and protest outside the Premier League's HQ, four representatives were invited to meet Richard Scudamore and other Premier League officials to discuss grievances. This included Darren Alexander, Joint Chairman of THST. An audio from this meeting can be heard here.
The Premier League subsequently issued a statement – once again passing the onus back to the individual clubs to negotiate on ticket pricing.
Those present at the Premier League meeting on 19th June (Spirit Of Shankly, The Black Scarf Movement (AFC), Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust and Manchester United Supporters Trust) are currently discussing the next plan of action, which will be early in the 2013/14 season.
We believe that this is a time of great change in football. For the first time in the modern era, fans of clubs traditionally seen as rivals are coming together in the best interests of our national game.
THST is keen to be at the forefront of this movement. Ordinary football fans are now being priced out of supporting their team and, unless a serious stand is made, we genuinely worry where the next generation of loyal supporters will come from. Not only do our young fans have waiting list and loyalty point issues to contend with, the outrageous prices and lack of concessions are massive hurdles to overcome.
Richard Scudamore was told during the meeting on 19th June that the protest that day was just the beginning. Representatives from all of the supporters' groups in attendance at the meeting are intent on building on that start.
Targeting sponsors and lobbying our own clubs will continue, as will joint action from fans across the footballing community.
Back the campaign using the hashtag #FootballWithoutFansIsNothing on Twitter and register your support via Thunderclap.
Watch out for our updates.
We’ll keep you posted.