Tottenham's season ticket prices at their new stadium will include sharp rises for many fans, the club's supporters trust has said.
Their complaints that expected headline prices masked rises elsewhere sparked warnings from former striker Gary Lineker and even current Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany that Premier League risked diluting its appeal by pricing out fans.
On Monday Spurs announced the pricing structure for season tickets at their new 62,000 capacity stadium, with £795 at the cheapest end and £1,995 the most expensive.
After consulting its members, the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust (THST) issued a statement arguing that large sections of Spurs' fanbase would not be able to afford to sit in the same areas they had at White Hart Lane or even come to matches at all.
"We knew the cheapest general admission tickets and the most expensive were comparable to prices at White Hart Lane," read a THST statement. "But as we digested the detail, it soon became clear those headline prices masked a different reality.
"Some fans are facing increases of 25, 40 or 50 per cent in their usual seating areas which, even taking into account the improved facilities, will be beyond many."
BBC presenter Lineker tweeted a link to the statement and argued that clubs risked diluting the appeal of Premier League football if they could not fill their grounds.
We’re seeing more and more empty seats at grounds. Given the vast sums received from TV rights, ticket prices should be falling not rising. The game needs full stadiums otherwise its appeal will slowly decline, even to rights holders. Avarice will only damage the game and clubs. https://t.co/dQtjVdpjBZ— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 13, 2018
"We're seeing more and more empty seats at grounds," he wrote.
"Given the vast sums received from TV rights, ticket prices should be falling not rising. The game needs full stadiums otherwise its appeal will slowly decline, even to rights holders. Avarice will only damage the game and the clubs."
In response, Kompany tweeted that fewer empty seats would create a better atmosphere "which in turn affects testosterone levels and territorial behaviour in players, therefore increasing home advantage".
The PL is unique, financially dominant and global. I imagine that a general decline in stadium atmosphere can damage the value of that product. Link to ticket pricing, seating location and safe standing is almost inevitable. Long-term gains vs short-term profits, eternal dilemma.— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) March 13, 2018