Fans group hail pricing initiative
Fans have welcomed an initiative by Newcastle, West Brom and Swansea to slash the price of tickets for travelling supporters.
The Magpies have agreed reciprocal pricing agreements with the Baggies and the Swans for the games between the clubs this season which will see the cost of attending away matches reduced significantly, and are inviting more of their Barclays Premier League colleagues to follow suit.
The Football Supporters' Federation, which has campaigned for fairer pricing for fans following their respective teams to away matches, has praised the move.
Chief executive Kevin Miles 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."
Under Newcastle's agreement with West Brom, away fans at St James' Park on November 30 and the Hawthorns on New Year's Day will pay just £15 for adults and £5 for concessions, a saving of £24 on last season for adult Magpies supporters and £11 for their Midlands counterparts.
The two games between Newcastle and Swansea - at the Liberty Stadium on December 4 and St James' Park on April 19 - will cost £20 for adults and £5 for concessions, a saving of £15 for those travelling to South Wales last season and £10 for those who headed in the opposite direction.
The Premier League's recently launched Away Fans Fund is an attempt to stem falling away attendances, with all 20 top flight clubs now ring-fencing £200,000 each per season over the next three seasons to assist travelling supporters.
Newcastle's finance director John Irving 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."