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Newcastle Announce Reciprocal Ticket Price Deal

Thu 17th Oct 2013 | Money & Finance

Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion have agreed a reciprocal deal which will see the cost of an away matchday ticket reduced by over half and the Magpies are finalising a deal with Swansea City.

The Magpies have been inviting fellow Barclays Premier League football clubs to engage in a reciprocal pricing agreement which aims to drive down the price of match tickets for away supporters.

The offer means away fans travelling to league fixtures at St. James' Park could benefit from cheaper match tickets in the visitors' section should their club guarantee the same price for Newcastle United supporters who travel to the Magpies' corresponding away league fixture.

While they have already approached a number of clubs, with discussions to continue with others prior to relevant fixtures, two clubs have already taken up the Magpies' innovative offer.

Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion have agreed away ticket prices of just £15 for adults and £5 for concessions for their return Premier League fixtures during the 2013/14 season, with the sides meeting at St. James' Park in November and The Hawthorns on New Year's Day 2014.

The agreement with the Baggies will result in a saving of £24 (61.5%) for Newcastle United fans from the £39 it cost for an adult away ticket when the sides drew 1-1 in the West Midlands last season. Albion fans, meanwhile, will save £11 (42.3%) compared to the £26 away ticket price in the preceding fixture at St. James' Park in October 2012.

An agreement with Swansea City - Newcastle's longest return trip at 719 miles - will see fans of both clubs paying just £20 for adults and £5 for concessions for their fixtures in South Wales in December 2013 and on Tyneside in April 2014.

Newcastle fans will save more than 40% on the £35 charged at the Liberty Stadium last season, with Swans fans receiving a third off the £30 they paid at St. James' Park in 2012/13.

John Irving, finance director at Newcastle United, said: "Newcastle United plays a hugely important role in the lives of supporters and in the community which surrounds it so keeping football affordable continues to be a key priority for us.

“Ticket prices are too expensive generally across the Premier League and we believe the right way to encourage people to attend, and to therefore fill stadiums as the Away Fans Fund intends, is to look at charging reasonable prices.

"While we respect the right of clubs to choose options which suit their individual circumstances, we believe there is room for clubs to work more closely to try to charge a fair amount rather than discounting very small amounts on match tickets in isolation.

"We are delighted to have reached an agreement with two of the first clubs we spoke to - West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City - and we applaud them for taking part. As prices indicated last season, fans of some clubs continue to pay far more than those of others and we hope this initiative will lead to a fairer system which can ultimately benefit all supporters."

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters' Federation - which has campaigned for fairer away ticket prices - said: "The FSF is delighted to welcome the announcement by Newcastle United of their offer of a reciprocal pricing agreement for tickets for away fans at Premier League fixtures.

"This is a significant breakthrough in turning the concept of affordable prices for away fans into a reality, and Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City are to be commended for taking a lead in this area.

"We would urge all other Premier League clubs to follow the lead of these clubs, both by taking up this offer and by extending similar arrangements to other fixtures too."

As more Premier clubs announce reciprocal deals following the Premier League’s announcement of a three year £12m ‘Away Fan Fund’, research released yesterday from UK ticketing organisation, Advanced Ticketing, illustrates there is a growing requirement from UK sports fans for ticket ‘packages’ which include travel and accommodation to away matches.    

64% of respondents said that they would be interested in clubs offering packages for tickets and travel to away games.

“The away fan fund is a welcome initiative by the Premier League," said Mark Dewell, Managing Director of Advanced Ticketing.  

"Our research, published yesterday, shows that 64% of respondents said that they would be interested in clubs offering packages for tickets and travel to away games. 

"Clubs that are close to their fans and have an in-depth understanding  of their purchasing preferences will win when it comes to offering relevant incentives that build fan loyalty.”  

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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