Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Magic of the Cup (spoiled)

Still disappointed about the football at the weekend, but will probably save a very small fortune from not now going to Wembley. There were no discounted tickets for our tribe for the semi. Hence we didn't go as a family. I was going to post some splenetic rant about the price of tickets for the semi-final, but this from an email called The Fiver says it all.

The FA, no doubt pleasantly surprised by the ease with which they've been able to persuade the public that delivering a new national stadium ridiculously late and even more ridiculously over-budget is fine so long as you keep stressing the fact that it has 2,618 toilets, has now decided to recover their entire £353m overspend from MU Rowdies and Chelsea fans in a single afternoon. Today it confirmed that the cheapest tickets for this year's final will be an eye-watering 40% higher than their equivalent last year, with seats going for £35, £60, £80 and £95 (with a limited and as yet unspecified number of £17.50 seats on offer to Under-16s).
"It was important to set ticket prices at a sensible and affordable level for the first FA Cup final at the Late Wembley," honked permanently bewildered FA big cheese Brian Barwick, suggesting fans can look forward to even greater price increases next year when the novelty has worn off. "We believe these are very competitive prices for what will be an historic match," he continued, pointing at the list of admission fees charged by the Rowdies, Chelsea and anything on London's West End with the names Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton attached. If fans had any sense or dignity they'd vote en masse with their feet and stay away, but there's little chance of that. To paraphrase a ginger Welshman who was famously never prime minister (no, not John Hartson): loyalty is a fine quality, but in excess it fills inaccessible football stadiums and FA coffers.

In happy contrast the Rovers season ticket packs include some very generous discounts. I hope they manage to attract people back.

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