Do Manchester City REALLY need ticket prices as high as £45-£60 for the Champions League Quarter Final against PSG?
That’s virtually the equivalent top charge for the biggest Premier League games against the likes of European exiles Manure, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs etc, in a competition long held in contempt by a large section of City fans.
Is this REALLY the way to attract supporters, bearing in mind the mega riches of the new Sky TV deal are just around the corner?
The fiscal number crunchers at the Etihad had better hope City are still in with a fighting chance after the 1st leg in Paris on April 6th…otherwise they could find themselves having scored a massive financial own goal.
At a time when City are always – unfairly – held up to ridicule by a malicious anti-MCFC media regarding the so-called ‘Emptihad’, it makes you wonder if the club might be lodging an unnecessary bullet in foot?
It could be argued that a minimum charge of £45 is the Champions League QF going rate – let’s wait and see.
What are Bayern Munich fans being asked to pay against Benfica, the Wolfsburg faithful to see Real Madrid or the Barcelona supporters for a domestic dust up with Atletico Madrid?
At first glance it appears steep and in stark contrast to the recently announced maximum £30 away tickets for Premier League fixtures for the next three years.
Coming just days after a Budget that continued to emphasise the austerity that abounds around the country, many of the most loyal City fans could be forgiven for questioning if the price is right?
The balancing statement could be that City have just created history by advancing to the last eight of European football’s elite competition for the first time, and there’s a price to pay.
Is it unrealistic to have a cake as fine as anything ever created for Yaya’s birthday celebrations, expect to eat it…and even ask for another slice?
It’ll be interesting to see what PSG are charging their own supporters and, more pertinently, the travelling City fans for the match near the Seine – presumably not insane prices for the well-heeled Parisians?
Any sane City fan would not want to relinquish the progress made under Sheikh Mansour’s ownership, the two Premier League titles and three domestic Cups won over the past five years.
Who in their right minds would want a return to the turgid fair served up under Stuart Pearce’s regime or, going back still further, the plunge down the divisions, albeit now viewed through rose-tinted glasses as diehard Blues lament the passing of many of the virtues of ‘Liddle old Citeh’.
It’s a dilemma for many fans, but one where harsh economics may override a desire to see if City can flourish at the top table amongst Europe’s elite.
For season ticket holders who subscribed to the Champions League ticket scheme at the Etihad it’s a fait accompli.
Their bank accounts or credit cards will be debited on Monday and whether or not their bums are actually on their rented Etihad seats on April 12th, the attendance figures will claim that ‘they were there’.
In that way, City are no better or worse, than any other club in adopting ‘best practice’ when reporting the numbers of tickets sold.
It’s just a shame that City may have missed a golden opportunity to engage with the Euro sceptics in their ranks, at a time when that lot from Trafford Borough have just beaten Boris Johnson and Brexit to getting the hell out of Europe three months early.
By David Walker
www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu