The Fulham Supporters’ Trust (FST) have announced they will protest against Fulham’s ticket pricing policy ahead of the visit of Manchester United next month.
The FST state that the costs for the Premier League fixture against Erik Ten Hag’s side amount to a price rise of around 18 per cent overall from last season.
Fans intend to march together to Craven Cottage ahead of the lunchtime kick off on November 4, while yellow cards will be shown on the terraces in the 18th minute of the match — a time chosen to reflect the “typical 18 per cent price increase”.
In a statement published by the FST, along with the Fulham Lillies supporters group and endorsed by fan media outlets, they state successive annual price rises for matchday and season tickets are “making tickets unaffordable”. They say the decision to escalate their concerns has been taken because they “are not being heard by the senior management at Fulham”.
The statement said: “We believe that now is the time for all sections of our Fulham family to come together again to make sure that future generations of Fulham fans can create and experience their own highs (and lows) at Craven Cottage.
“The problem is a completely misguided ticket pricing policy that fundamentally misunderstands what it means to be a fan. It’s a policy which, piece by piece, is alienating a large part of our core fan base to the extent that increasing numbers just can’t afford to come to a game or bring their friends and family to help create that next generation.
They added: “We call on all Fulham fans to join us in delivering a clear, peaceful but loud message that these prices must be brought down and that ticketing policy must focus on ensuring real Fulham fans can afford both to attend and to encourage the next generation to attend.”
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The highest-priced adult ticket for November’s Manchester United match was £160 ($195) for the new Riverside Stand – a 60 per cent increase from the same fixture in the 2022-23 campaign. The cheapest adult ticket, outside of the family area where an adult ticket was £35 ($42), was £67 ($81) in the Hammersmith End. The FST say the rise for a majority of seats in the Hammersmith End, behind the goal, amounted to a “40 per cent increase” since their Premier League fixture with United in 2019.
The supporters group state it is not just the high profile matches that are affected, citing “steep rises” across all fixtures. For the match against Sheffield United last weekend, they point out that for a family of four to sit in the Hammersmith End, it would cost “from £172 – £212”.
Fulham’s ticket prices vary depending on their opponent. Their west London derby against Brentford in August was graded as a category B game, with the cheapest adult ticket at £49 ($59.70). Their fixture with Luton Town in September was graded as an entry-level fixture, with the cheapest non-family area adult ticket at £35. The club also provide family tickets. This includes the United game, with tickets in four areas of the Johnny Haynes stand at £35 for an adult, £30 for concessions and £24 ($29.25) for a junior. The club point out availability usually exceeds demand for the family area seats.
The match against Manchester United was graded in the highest category, A+, and the club point out this fixture sold out within two working days. They also point to the low attendance of 12,831 for their Carabao Cup third round match against Norwich last month, where tickets were £20 for adults.
The FST concerns do not solely relate to matchday tickets. In April, Fulham also announced an 18 per cent ticket price rise on adult season ticket renewals and introduced a new £3,000 ($3730) ticket in the Riverside Stand for the 2023-24 season. This is the highest-priced standard season ticket in the Premier League.
Fulham have previously said they sold a record number of season tickets for the 2023-24 season, in excess of 16,000 and point out they retain a waiting list. Craven Cottage’s current capacity is around 24,500, amid the ongoing redevelopment of the Riverside Stand, and around 3,000 of those are kept for matchday tickets. The club also point out that at each match this season tickets have been donated to the Fulham Foundation and local community partners. Last season more than 1,200 match tickets were donated.
In April, the FST wrote an open letter to owner Shahid Khan, in which they called the season-ticket price increase “draconian”. They have launched a campaign, called “Affordable Fulham”, aimed at ensuring fair pricing.
Fulham are 12th in the Premier League. Their next fixture takes place on October 23, away at Tottenham Hotspur.
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(Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)