EFL chairman reacts to QPR ‘scandalous’ ticket price charge for Stoke City away support as he highlights the only available benefit…

Reaction as Championship clubs start upping the cost of attending matches.

It will cost up to £40 to watch Stoke City’s next away match, at Queens Park Rangers, as ticket prices creep steadily higher in the Championship.

Stoke have a 1,313-strong allocation for Loftus Road on Tuesday, November 28 and adult upper tier gold tickets are priced at £37 plus a £1 booking fee and plus a £2 transaction fee for tickets that are posted out.

Upper tier silver tickets cost £31 plus a £1 booking fee and £2 to post out. There is no transaction fee for supporters who can collect from the bet365 Stadium.

That is in line with the prices charged by Coventry City at the weekend, which at that point was the highest Stoke had paid so far this season. It was £35 plus extra charges at both Leicester City and Bristol City too. Stoke still took more than 2,500 fans to the CBS Arena but there is worry that these rates are becoming the norm. It will have cost a Stoke fan at least £307 to go to just the nine away games so far in 2023/24 and it’s looking at way over £800 for the full season.

“£38 for QPR away on a Tuesday night is scandalous,” said Robin Evans, who travels up and down the country watching Stoke. “As much as I wouldn’t have minded going, just can’t justify paying that.”

Supporters are still pointing out that there is a £30 cap for away tickets in the Premier League but the contrast between incomes in the top two divisions – and Championship clubs forlornly trying to keep up – is being used to explain why it costs more to go to a match in the second tier.

It puts football to shame that the price of one adult match ticket in the Championship costs more than a junior season ticket at Stoke and football as a whole has to come up with a solution.

Stoke supporters can at least benefit from free coach travel for league matches laid on by the club, which has happened for more than a decade. There are clubs who crow about doing that for one match but the Coates family and sponsorship from bet365 have made it non-negotiable to try to keep match attendance affordable. A £32 coach trip to Bournemouth for a mid-week cup game in September was a reminder about the cost or savings of that.

EFL chairman Rick Parry makes the case that it is not feasible to hope that good-intentioned local billionaires can take over all 72 clubs under his watch.

There is hope – as pointed out by Malcolm Clarke, the Stoke-supporting chairman of the Football Supporters’ Association – that the eventual introduction of an independent football regulator will address the financial gulf and, as a knock-on effect of that, address ticket prices.

It remains to be seen how much anyone kicks up a stink about that but it won’t be fans – except for extremely tribal fans – and they, in the end, are the ones that matter most.


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