Analysis of ticket prices by Football Supporters Europe (FSE) across major European competitions has demonstrated that while there have been much welcomed changes in ticketing regulations, further improvements are needed.
FSE analysed ticket price data across the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League from the 2022-23 season, with the association claiming the inconsistency in ticketing policies resulted in away fans continuing to have their loyalty exploited.
Data showed that prices for away fans varied significantly, with clubs still charging the maximum allowed. FSE said that clubs did this “without consideration of the effect it will have on supporters”, and noted that average ticket prices across all UEFA club competitions remained high.
“It is FSE’s firm position that clubs have a responsibility to reward the loyalty of travelling fans and to facilitate affordable pricing, especially considering the increase of revenue for all clubs during the next UCC cycle,” said FSE executive director Ronan Evain. “We will be monitoring this season’s away ticket prices closely, and continue to drive this message with UEFA and stakeholders.”
Each season, FSE monitors away ticket prices with the assistance of its members and network of stakeholders across Europe. This then helps the organisation to understand the trends and changes faced by away supporters and provide recommendations on more fan-friendly ticketing regulations. Confirmed breaches are subsequently raised with UEFA.
Following lobbying by FSE, amendments in UEFA’s ticketing regulations were introduced including a price cap in August 2019. The change was made after some clubs had charged as much as €119 (£103/$131) for away section tickets during the 2018-19 season.
Despite improved cost provisions, the average price came in at €47 last season, which the FSE says is a major hit alongside travel expenses. The FSE added that the average price does not necessarily demonstrate the number of clubs regularly charging close to the price cap of €70.
The Europa Conference League, which was launched in 2021-22, originally implemented a price cap of €35, before this was reduced to €25 this season.
During the 2022-23 season, 18% of all Champions League games, 25% of all Europa League and 9% of all Europa Conference League away tickets were at the price cap. Some 12 out of the 32 participating clubs charged the maximum away ticket price of €70.
The average away ticket price per country found that only four countries averaged below the average price across the UCL, while German clubs averaged away ticket prices more than €20 cheaper than the competition average.