Sunderland fans have chipped in with their views on ticket prices after a walkout protest by Liverpool supporters.
An estimated 10,000 fans left Anfield in the 77th minute of their Premier League encounter with Sunderland on Saturday after owner Fenway Sports Group revealed plans to increase the cost of some tickets from £59 to £77.
FSG did a U-turn on Wednesday evening by freezing general admission costs and dropping plans to introduce the controversial £77 tickets, apologising to fans and conceding the price rise was wrong.
Sunderland fans, who enjoy some of the lowest prices in the Premier League, have now had their say on the debate.
Graeme Clark, of Ashbrooke, believes Black Cats’ tickets are good value.
He said: “I think that the tickets offered by Sunderland, particularly season tickets, are priced fairly.
“The parent and children deal in particular is good. It works out at a very reasonable price and the family zone offers entertainment for the children.”
Sunderland took the decision to freeze season ticket prices at the start of the season, with adult seats starting from £370.
Shaun Barras, of Whitburn, thinks that while Sunderland tickets are cheaper than the average cost of a Premier League club, they still cost too much.
He said: “While the so-called lesser teams are cheaper, it’s still quite expensive when you consider the cost over a season.
“The bigger teams also seem to assume that a perceived higher standard of football should equate to higher costs, despite a lot of fans being working class and less likely to afford it.”
North-East fans also face higher travel costs compared to fans in other areas. In 2013, the Premier League introduced £200,000 worth of funding for each team to help reduce costs for away supporters.
Mr Barras said: “Putting on a few free buses, for example, would help fans and show that clubs are trying to help. It’s a difficult situation though because fans travel by different means and they can’t provide individual funding for fuel or train tickets.”
The Football Supporters’ Federation has launched campaigns such as Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets, aiming to reduce the cost to £20.
Black Cats’ supporters have also had their say on message boards, including fans’ site Ready to Go.
While the away tickets campaign has enjoyed some success, Ewan, of Millfield, posted that there are limitations to what the FSF can achieve.
He said: “They can only do so much. Ultimately the fans have the power themselves.
“If they could get together and say ‘prices are a disgrace, we’re not going’, then clubs might think about introducing lower prices. But while fans are going and tickets are selling out, I’m not surprised that their appeal is largely falling on deaf ears.”
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