Reading FC embrace £20 ticket cap for away fans

Championship club Reading FC continues to lead the way, when it comes to ticket prices for away fans visiting the Madejski Stadium.

Since 2016, the club has been charging £20 for all away fans.

The club claims there has been no noticeable change in revenue, as the losses from higher ticket prices are off-set by larger attendances and concession purchases.

Head of operations at Reading FC, Jackie Evans, told fcbusiness: “We continue to stand by this price cap principle in the Championship and promote across the EFL; our ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ pricing strategy demonstrates that Reading Football Club are listening to its supporters and football fans across the country. “It is a structure which visiting supporters admire and one we hope more clubs consider and adopt.”

Other clubs in the Championship and lower leagues of England continue to gauge away fans at exorbitant prices.

For example, Cardiff City fans who visited Elland Road in December were charged £39 for a league game against Leeds.

The EFL looks to be falling behind other leagues across Europe, including France’s Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie, who have both introduced ticket caps for away fans.

Last season, the average cost of an away ticket in the Championship was around £27, with clubs like Leeds charging more than £37 on average.

However, there has been some progress in the EFL in recent seasons.

Coventry City previously capped their away ticket prices at £20, whilst Swansea City away fans are partly subsidised by the club. The Welsh Club don’t let their fans who travel to away games pay more than £22 for entry.

Despite these highlights, cultural change at the EFL continues to move at a slow pace.

The EFL claims it will not consider implementing competition-wide price caps into its rules.

Therefore, it looks like it is up to supporters to pressure clubs into making the changes.

At this stage however, Reading FC are riding solo on the £20 cap.

“When we launched this price cap commitment for visiting supporters, we encouraged other clubs to follow our lead,” added Jackie. “And some did, allowing Royals fans to also benefit from reasonable ticket pricing when they journey up and down the country. “We hope ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ and a pioneering matchday ticket pricing policy takes one step in the right direction.”

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

German football ends 70 years with Adidas for Nike deal

The German Football Association (DFB) has inked a mega eight-year deal with American sportswear giant Nike and move on from incredible 70-year partnership with Adidas.

The deal commences in 2027 after the next World Cup and runs to the end of 2034 with the company securing kit rights for at least two World Cup campaigns.

Nike were able to blow away Adidas’ offer and the deal was one they simply couldn’t refuse. It is reportedly worth AU$169.3 million a year, exactly double the amount Adidas currently gives the DFB which is $84.6 million.

Adidas has been a DFB partner since the 1950s and has been synonymous with the success of Germany’s men’s and women’s national teams, who have supported the company’s logo during 14 World Cup and European Championship triumphs.

This deal has caused huge public backlash from German fans and politicians who believe it goes against the traditions and history of the sport.

However, the DFB has defended its decision to drop Adidas as Nike made the better financial offer which would help the federation fund the future of German football as it would be invested into the grassroots game.

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf explained the controversial decision and gives his well wishes to Adidas.

“We understand every emotion. It’s also a drastic event for us as an association when it becomes clear that a partnership that was and is characterised by many special moments is coming to an end after more than 70 years. That doesn’t leave us cold,” Neuendorf said in a statement.

“The DFB has to make economic decisions against this background. Nike made by far the best financial offer in the transparent and non-discriminatory tender process.

“The federation will do everything we can to achieve shared success with our long-standing and current partner Adidas, to whom German soccer has owed a lot for more than seven decades.”

It is a huge loss for Adidas’ legacy, losing a long term relationship with the country’s biggest sporting team to its main rival and ultimately showcasing the bargaining power Nike has over the company.

However, the company still has a huge standing in football despite this issue and won’t be too affected by it. At the international level, Adidas has deals with higher-ranked Argentina and Italy and will still supply Germany’s kits at the 2026 World Cup – a tournament which it will also sponsor.

This new deal allows more money to tackle issues in the grassroots game in Germany and help stabilise the system as it looks towards returning to long-term international success.

Football Victoria celebrates establishment between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC

A striking partnership has been established between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC, with the Western United affiliated club to play 11 home fixtures at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Club Changer Club Development Program, an incentive created in 2023 to assist clubs fostering and strengthening inclusive environments for multiple diverse communities within society to participate in football, supports the growth of women’s football, among many other ranges of football within the country.

Last year, all federation members dedicated a strong focus upon women and young females in football as a main element of their Legacy 23 campaign. This enables club development officers across the state to work in conjunction with clubs in order to foster a positive football experience within female football, both on and off the field.

In this facility sharing partnership, Sydenham Park SC vice-president Davis Lisolajski showcased his clubs enthusiasm.

“When we learned that they were without a home venue, it was an obvious choice for us to reach out and assist,” he said via press release.

“Women’s football holds significant importance for us at Sydenham, and we believe this partnership will benefit our young girls and both senior women’s teams. They will witness professionalism first-hand during match days.”

Calder United SC President Amanda Stella expressed excitement towards developing a sustained and effective partnership to spearhead National Premier League Women’s football to Sydenham Park in 2024.

“The support from Sydenham Park President Nick and Vice President David, along with the broader Sydenham Park community, is greatly appreciated, and we eagerly anticipate playing our senior and 20s home games for the 2024 season at Sydenham Park,” she added via media release.

“A special acknowledgment to Football Victoria’s Josephine La Pila for her work with both clubs to achieve an outcome that promotes collaboration among football clubs for the betterment of our beloved sport.”

Football Victoria have endorsed the partnership between these two growing clubs within female football across the state.

With Calder United establishing themselves as a competitive club amongst the NPLW competition, the partnership allowing the club between the Western United sister club and Sydenham puts a focus upon both sides allowing their playing and coaching staff to use one of the best pitch surfaces within the north-western district of Melbourne. The use of these highly elite facilities will allow them to have an advantage, perhaps being the difference in furthering themselves away from their competitors.

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