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Guest Klitschko

TIcket Pricing for the FA Cup

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The decision has been condemned by supporters facing two trips to Wembley in quick succession.

Prices had been pegged at £95 since the showpiece occasion returned to Wembley in 2007, but anyone wishing to purchase the most expensive ticket for the May 14 final this year will have to pay £115.

Other tickets will be available at £85 and £65, with the cheapest at £45, which is £5 higher than last term.

“Twenty per cent is a ridiculous rise,” said Kevin Parker, chairman of the Manchester City Supporters’ Club. “Most clubs are looking at freezing their season-ticket costs because of the recession, so why do the FA think they are an exception? The prices for the semi-final were sensible — between £30 and £60 — but any goodwill from that will have been lost by hiking the cost for the final.

“They are taking advantage of the fact that fans will want to be there. There is a difference between wanting a ticket for the final and actually being able to afford one. Very few people nowadays buy just one ticket — you buy for your family as well, and to take four down now will cost the better part of £1,000. It’s a rip-off.”

David Blackburn, a season-ticket holder at Bolton Wanderers, who face Stoke City on Sunday, added: “Given the cost of travelling down from the North West for all four teams for both the semi-final and the final, this is a disgusting rise. For a lot of families, it may come down to choosing between a Cup final and a holiday.”

Despite fierce criticism, the FA feels the prices — which are substantially lower than those of the Champions League final held two weeks later — represent good value. The cheapest available ticket for Uefa’s showpiece occasion is £80, rising to £300 for the most expensive Wembley seat.

Both sides in the FA Cup final will receive 25,000 seats, with the £115 tickets expected to account for around 10 per cent of their allocation. The remainder will be distributed among grassroots volunteers, organisations affiliated to the FA and Club Wembley members.

A spokesman for the FA said: “Our FA Cup final ticket price structure is in line with other major sporting events held in the country every year. Prices for this weekend’s semi-final ties have not changed despite the increase in VAT at the start of the year.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea have introduced a new pricing category that will mean some fans pay as much as £87 for a ticket to see their most appetising Premier League games next season. Games against both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool will be categorised as AA fixtures. Season tickets have also been increased, with the most expensive £1,250.


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