In an age where Britain’s top football clubs are jointly banking billions of pounds the sport generates from television, it is indefensible that fans are being asked to fork out record amounts to follow their favourite team.

As the recent BBC Sport’s 2012 Price Of Football survey revealed, the price of the cheapest average adult ticket in English football has risen by 11.7% over the last 12 months. The shocking figures prompted Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron to table a motion in the House of Commons urging football fans to boycott League clubs for at least one match in protest at high ticket prices.

While I do not support the MP’s plan of action, I do agree that clubs must be pressurised into giving fans a better deal because the future of the game as the people’s sport is at stake. And  players demanding ever increasing pay rises must share the blame for this!

 pound in your pocket does not go far enough for football fans

The argument that clubs must maximise their revenue in a cut-throat sport where fan power demands instant success is no excuse for bleeding fans dry and driving away working class families in favour of wealthy fans and corporate clients.

What greedy football club owners and their players are forgetting is that without the support of the masses the game risks losing its popularity. Fanatical following begins with kids being able to experience the sport in the flesh and without fans filling stadiums football will be damaged goods.

With no chance of a family of four getting any change out of £100 for attending a Premier League football match at most grounds these days, we are driving fans away from the game. Relying on the new generation of fans to become TV supporters only is a dangerous game to play and it is ripping out the heart and soul of the game.

So the next time you hear a highly paid footballer demand a pay rise ask yourself ‘who is paying for that?’

– BY JOHN GUBBA

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