The FA agreed a reduction in ticket prices for 3,000 tickets at this year's FA Cup final following lobbying efforts by supporter representatives – but many fans remain unhappy with this season’s pricing.
For this year’s final, 1,500 tickets in the lower band behind both goals (3,000 total) at Wembley Stadium will be reduced from £115 to £70, a total saving for supporters in those areas of around £135,000.
At each of last month’s semi-finals, 3,000 tickets behind the goals were also reduced, from £65 to £45. In total, 9,000 supporters of the competing finalists and semi-finalists benefited from the changes.
Many supporters are still unhappy with the high costs of attending the Wembley fixtures – particularly the thousands paying in excess of £100. Manchester City’s 1894 Group said: “This year’s final prices have been dressed up as price freezes whereas in reality they are massively out of step with the cup final prices in other major European countries.
“How many true fans who have been going for decades have had to miss out because of the prices? Once you price traditional fans out, who will replace them?”
The FA’s decision to reduce the ticket prices follows concerted lobbying and discussions with supporters, led by supporter organisations around the country and our supporter representatives on the FA Council.
Tom Greatrex, our FA Council supporter representative said: “Fans have rightfully raised concerns about the ticket prices we’ve seen at Wembley for the semi-finals and finals – some of the highest for national cup finals in European football.
“The FA needs to remember that without dedicated supporters filling Wembley for the cup final it wouldn’t be the highlight of the footballing calendar that we know and love.”
Last season, the FA was criticised for introducing inflation-busting price hikes without consulting supporters – which led supporter groups from the competing semi-finalists to condemn the new pricing structure.
The FA responded by meeting fans and increasing the concessionary saving on the most expensive tickets (from £10 to £25) and committed to not increasing the price of semi-final and final tickets beyond the rate of inflation until 2022 at the earliest.
Tom said: “While this is a step in the right direction, we feel the FA could go further in making the Wembley fixtures more affordable for match-going fans.
“Supporters are integral to the success of the competition – a competition which the FA markets on its tradition, authenticity and atmosphere.”
The FSF welcomes the FA’s commitment to engage supporter representatives on the issue early next season.
Alongside supporter organisations at club level, the FSF will continue to push the FA for a fundamental review of ticket pricing at the FA Cup’s Wembley fixtures, as well as other issues impacting the competition this season – such as kick-off times, travel difficulties and disruption caused by broadcasting selections.
In 2016 the FSF secured more than 7,000 additional tickets for fans of the competing finalists. Previously, only 25,000 of Wembley's 90,000 seats were given to each competing team, but that number increased to 28,732 following lobbying by the FSF.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.