The Championship kicks of on Friday evening as nearly 3,000 Southampton fans make the eight-hour round trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
Football’s second tier is crazy; 46 matches with 24 clubs stretching from Plymouth to Sunderland, Swansea to Norwich.
In 2019 the average away ticket would set you back £27.04, but data from TheAwayFans states that Sheffield Wednesday have charged Southampton fans £36 for a ticket to the away end at Hillsborough.
Southampton have subsidised ticket costs for the fans, therefore lumping a cost of *only* £30 on supporters.
One City A.M. employee, who supports a League Two club, said: “£20 is good, £25 is fine. “£28 plus is absurd and I would never pay £30 out of principle.”
Another colleague, who supports a Premier League outfit, said he’d never go above £30.
“We’re delighted that our Main Club Partner Sportsbet.io has kindly offered to subsidise the cost of the ticket for our first game of the season,” Mark Abrahams, director of partnerships at Southampton, told City A.M.
“This is a huge help for fans who might not have otherwise gone to the game due to the costs. To have 3,000 travelling fans to our first game in the Championship is fantastic support and we can’t thank them enough.”
TheAwayFans state that both Leicester City and Watford will charge Coventry City and QPR £35 for a ticket; Swansea, Sunderland and Millwall will charge £32, and Norwich and Bristol City each see costs of £30 or above.
Plymouth is charging £26, Blackburn and Stoke £25 and Leeds just £21.
A Watford spokesperson said: “As per EFL regulations, we’re charging away fans exactly the same as home fans in the same stand (Vicarage Road Stand), where one half is our Family Stand and the other half is the away end.”
The club also stated that QPR were offered a “reciprocal ticket price deal” but declined.
Why does this matter in the Championship?
Football, like most sports, is at the centre of many modern-day communities. Sporting stadiums are the cathedrals of towns, the sanctuary away from everyday life.
But in difficult times fans cannot be discounted, football tried that with the concept of the European Super League. It failed.
Clubs must not take away fans for granted simply because there is a supply and demand when it comes to seats in stadiums.
Some of the stadiums in the Championship feel soulless at the best of times and full away sections only benefit the charade of an atmosphere.
Fans matter and clubs must not price them out, because they do so at the detriment of the sport.
And when they get to the stage of pricing out fans, they should feel nothing but shame.