It’s quite bizarre how the self righteous, downright envious supporters, of City’s rivals have perversely sought the moral high ground in relation to the Sky Blues travelling support at Wembley today.
Yes, it’s more than likely City have not sold their full allocation of tickets when they face Brighton in the FA Cup Semi Final. Prices range from £30-£120 at the so called ‘Home of English Football’.
The game comes during a 30-day period when City have to play nine games - six in the Premier League, two in the Champions League, and of course, one in the FA Cup.
Half a dozen of those matches are away from the Etihad, with four requiring trips to London; the 2-0 away win at Fulham, today’s encounter at Wembley, Tuesday’s Champions League Quarter Final at Tottenham and the following Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace.
That’s a lot of travelling costs, often at awkward times when rail services back to Manchester are severely limited, plus the additional expense of food and drinks.
The more local encounters with Ole’s ‘Gunnar Win Nothing’ boys and Joe Hart’s Burnley, are far more accessible and affordable, with Premier League away ties limited to £30 per ticket.
Depending on where you sit at the Etihad, your seat at Wembley and whether you’re going to support City at Spurs’ new £1 billion stadium in just three days time, you could easily be shelling out up to £453, on match tickets alone, following Pep’s quadruple chasing team between March 30th and April 28th.
All of this in a time austerity, a time when football ticket prices, particularly at the greedy, grasping ‘Home of English football’, border on the obscene.
City’s fans are delighted to have the opportunity to watch Pep Guardiola’s team still competing in three major competitions in April. Sadly they can’t always afford the ticket prices and associated costs, to attend in person.
Yes, City have rich owners, and we’re very glad of the fact, but that doesn’t mean an ostensibly ‘working class’ fan base has suddenly discovered new found wealth. Admittedly, City’s own brand of Sterling is rocketing like never before, but as enjoyable as that is, it doesn’t put extra pounds in the pockets of the fans.
It’s a choice denied to the sniping supporters of other clubs, simply because their teams weren’t good enough to make it to Wembley. And therein lies the flawed and deluded attempt to grab that moral high ground.
You have to be in it to win it, and having already bagged the League Cup, City are till fighting on three other fronts - nobody else is.
Success comes at a price. Sadly it’s sometimes too high for even the most fervent and loyal City fan.
Whether you’re a City Blue at Wembley or watching on TV, you can happily reflect on the fact that every Bin Dipper and United fan would love to be in your position right now.
By David Walker