Date: 11th March 2016 at 10:01am
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Should Brighton’s 2015-16 campaign eventually end in promotion to the Premier League for the coming season, away day travellers will find a new £30 price cap in place.

In consultation with the 20 Premier League clubs, it has been decided that the fan protest ‘£20’s Plenty’ was to be rejected, but in it’s place a new £30 cap on away ticket prices would apply.

The agreement will obviously be binding on those who gain promotion, and starting in 2016-17 it will run for three years – frozen at £30.

Of course it’s progress, and for regular away day travellers it will be welcomed and may of course entice a few others to take in an extra away day or two over the course of a year and that should be applauded, and whilst Brighton haven’t paid Premier League prices, fans will have certainly heard about the sums involved now and sitting in third place it’s a possibility for next year either through the automatic spots or possibly more likely, the Play Off opportunity.

The Premier League did have the Away Supporters’ Initiative (ASI) that was introduced back in 2013, and clubs in the top flight guaranteed an investment of £200,000 and some clubs subsidised away travel, whilst others subsidised tickets themselves.

Part of this was mutual agreements between clubs for the home/away encounters during a season seeing a fixed price for both, and some clubs outside of the Premier League have adopted a similar system.

But if the ASI was a first step, this £30 cap can only be the second step of many more to come – which has to include fans having more surety of price in the Championship and below.

The BBC Cost of Football survey for last season showed that even the cheapest ticket prices in the Premier League had broken the £30 mark for the first time, and for cheapest away ticket prices in their results, only eight clubs charged less than £30 anyway.

Seven charged more than £30 – some considerably so.

So whilst the new cap will mean fans will gain for some clubs, it’s only inevitable when away tickets rise to the cap, they will lose out quicker on others.

In general, will a regular away fan actually be any better off over the course of an entire season?

Time will tell.

And whatever happens there will be a knock on effect of sorts down the football pyramid following it’s enaction.

As long as it’s a step in the right direction for fans overall, especially with the new television deal and the benefits that brings with money filtering down, the aim has to be a far better deal for fans in the stands – compared to what exists now.

And Premier League or not – the fans fund that deal one way or another.

Brighton Bloggers

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