I know I’m going to stir up a hornets nest with this one, but what is the purpose of the indie media if not to cause discussion, eh?
I’ve seen recently that Luton Town want £24 from Lincoln fans going to the game on New Year’s Day. I’m sorry to say, in this day and age, that is a bloody disgrace. To make matters worse, our militant fans who see fit to boycott the Checkatrade Trophy are gobbling it up as though it’s acceptable!
The threat of B Teams in the league structure is years away, if at all. The ripping off of football fans in our own league is happening right here, right now. If we’re going to make a stand against modern football though, surely it should be by boycotting the ridiculously overpriced tickets for our top of the table clash at the start of 2018. It isn’t even as if Kenilworth Road is a nice ground, it’s a dump. To charge £24 to get in is robbery, pure and simple.
Did Luton fans have to pay that to come and watch us? No, they did not. I’m genuinely appalled that this exploitation of fans is going on every week and yet it’s the cheaper trophy that gets the flak for being the scourge of the modern game.
I also understand some who argue that clubs need the ticket money to sustain themselves, but Luton don’t, do they? They signed James Collins for a fee thought to be £100k and followed that up with a similar fee for Luke Berry. This is hardly a struggling football club on the bread line is it? Maybe if Morecambe were charging £24, or Accrington, I might understand it. For the record, the most expensive tickets at those two cash-strapped clubs are £21 and £20 respectively.
The worst of it is this: Luton are not even the worst offenders in our league. The dearest away ticket at Colchester United is £29. Here at Lincoln City, we do things the right way though. The dearest away ticket at Sincil Bank is £20, fitting in nicely with the Twenty’s Plenty campaign. In fact, our admission price puts us in the cheapest six teams in the division, only Newport and Forest Green are cheaper to watch for an away fan (£18).
I know this will reignite the boycott debate, but surely the price of tickets right now in 2017/18 is a far bigger threat to football fans than the perceived threat of B team in our league structure. Also, if you feel the FA are showing team disrespect by levelling them against Premier League academies, what are the likes of Luton showing you, the paying football fan? Lincoln City aren’t bothered about the EFL’s so-called lack of respect in making them play Everton U21s, so why are the boycotters so bothered by it but then are happy to be personally robbed blind by fellow fourth tier sides?
What message do we truly send when we stay away from games offering £10 admission, but book two coaches to travel to clashes where clubs think it is okay to take £24 per head from you at the gate? The worst thing is, I’ll go to both. I’ll happily be robbed blind just like the next man because my team are doing well, but it shouldn’t be like this. I’m aware that the majority of Football League fans are boycotting the Checkatrade Trophy, surely that majority have got their morals skewed if they’re happy to fund Luton’s march up the league at their own expense.
Why not get involved in the Twenty’s Plenty movement, instead of us arguing about going away to Rochdale (where, incidentally, the most expensive away ticket is £22), we should be uniting against a real threat, a proper threat that affects us personally as football fans. To find out more, visit the FSF website here to read about their campaign. Also, to read some fascinating insight into Twenty’s Plenty, pick up Issue 5 of A City United where our own Nick Proctor talks about the campaign.
I’m so angry about the situation that I’ve emailed the FSF to become involved. I’ve always said, boycotting is not action, inaction is not action. Twenty is Plenty and it is high time we united and stood up for our national game, time we stopped squabbling about some meaningless cup and fought the real enemies taking our hard-earned money from our pockets just because we want to follow our football team away.
May I also say, well done Lincoln City for adhering to twenty’s Plenty without any prompt, lobbying or arguments. We support a proper team, a fan conscious team with supporters at its core and we should never forget that.