We have experienced this welcome change in this season's Scottish Cup games. 'Well season book holders were able to attend Tynecastle with a £15 advance ticket for the fourth round tie and the replay at Fir Park saw adult prices throughout the ground at a modest £12. There were also appropriate reductions for concessions.
The win over Hearts delivers a visit from Dundee for the fifth round tie at
Earlier this season we were asked for £15 for the home tie against Raith Rovers in the CIS Cup but the next round cost £20 at Easter Road as did most of the seats for the quarter final against Rangers.
Let's hope that this happy trend spreads to SPL fixtures. If football is to retain its position as the national game it will have to remain affordable. How long will it be before the TV companies insist that that clubs should reduce prices for televised games in order to add atmosphere to their product? That might be the next logical step if clubs are slow to react to the fans' reluctance to pay twenty pounds for less than a couple of hours entertainment.
There are signs that the new team which has taken on the back room management of the club does understand the issues involved and will strive to find a balance between the needs of the business and the burden on the fan. The 'Free Kids Offer' is to be commended and it has the potential to form a future revenue stream. There are some interesting pricing initiatives to be found south of the border and these will be under examination.
With the players delivering quality football on the pitch this seems like the right time to capitalise with some creative thinking on pricing.
There is an interesting online petition at the FSF site, it reads "I wish to protest at the extortionate ticket prices currently being charged by clubs which are driving supporters out of our game. The current widely-used system of banding teams into ticket-pricing categories penalises visiting fans of the "bigger" clubs who can be charged up to five times more than fans of less well-supported clubs to visit the same grounds. I ask that individual clubs and the football authorities work jointly to address the issue and make football more affordable for all through a universal no more than £15 adult away ticket pricing policy, a three-season price freeze in both individual match and season ticket prices and by using the facility fee from televised games to reduce prices for those games and compensate supporters who attend for inconvenient kick off times and frequent rescheduling, occasionally at extremely short notice."