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UEFA, clubs working towards away ticket price cap

Football clubs across Europe have been working with UEFA and are reportedly close to announcing an away ticket price cap for European club competitions.

The move comes after concerns were raised about the away ticket pricing battle that escalated between Barcelona and Manchester United for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals next month.

The European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA set up a working group last year after Bayern Munich and Liverpool fans complained about ticket prices at Anderlecht and Porto, respectively.

The ECA has said a proposal for a cap next season is being put to a UEFA panel on May 14.

Last week, Manchester United said it would subsidise the £102 ($134/€118) expense for away fans travelling to Barcelona for the first leg. The Premier League club asked for the same price from Barcelona fans traveling to Old Trafford.

The club claims it will use the additional revenue from the first leg on April 10 to decrease the cost of the tickets for its fans hoping to travel to Camp Nou on April 16. United said it will bring the ticket price down to £75.

ECA vice-chairman Edwin van der Sar, the former Manchester United goalkeeper who is now chief executive of Ajax, said, according to the Associated Press news agency: “We want vocal fans at games and most of the time that’s the support that travels to domestic away games, too. We have fans who watch on TV all around the world but I think it’s important that we keep football affordable for local fans so they can travel at home and abroad.”

Former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who now does the same job at Milan, added: “The English experience with a cap on away tickets has been really positive. It was a very good step and was well received and embraced by our fans. That was a national issue but we’ve got to have it on our (European) agenda, too.”

Image: Börkur Sigurbjörnsson