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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.”

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.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

Football South Australia announce inaugural delivery of AFC/FA ‘A’ Licence

Veart

Football South Australia have announced an exciting opportunity for SA coaches to undertake an AFC/FA ‘A’ Licence in their own state for the first time ever.

The course is a fantastic opportunity for SA’s strong contingent of 90 B Licence holders to be able to elevate their expertise to the next level from the comfort of familiar surroundings.

The Football Australia ‘A’ Licence course is designed to support coaches working with senior players or older youth players in a professional or semi-professional environment where coaches will have three or four training sessions plus a match each week.

Part A will be at the new Summit Sports and Recreation Park in Mount Barker and VALO Football Centre, while Parts B and C will be held at the new State Centre for Football in Gepps Cross in 2022.

Football South Australia can also today announce that registrations are now open for a B Licence, which will take place in January 2021.

Football South Australia CEO Michael Carter was delighted to introduce the new courses for coaches looking to push on in their careers.

“Coach education is an extremely important function of Football South Australia and we are delighted to be hosting an A-License coaching course in Adelaide. For years local coaches have had to travel interstate for the A-License meaning the cost per participant increased,” he said.

“The timing of the course will see components hosted at the soon to be completed State Centre for Football. The headquarters will be an education hub for coaches, referees and players via our pathway programs.”

Coach Education Manager Alec Wilson expressed his excitement for South Australian coaches.

“I am very excited with the announcement of a first-ever A-Licence in SA. This has been a year in the making and something Football South Australia has been wanting to host for a number of years,” he said.

“The announcement is a reward for everyone’s hard work and determination and shows our dedication in providing the best coach education opportunities for the growth of the game.

“To have all three pinnacle courses (A, B and C Licences) at home in our own state is a landmark in coach development and I look forward to seeing our coaches thrive, and in turn, provide better coaching for our players.”

The Football Australia/AFC ‘A’ Licence can be accessed here. Applications close on October 29, 2021.

The Football Australia/AFC ‘B’ Licence can be accessed here. Applications close on December 10, 2021.

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