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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Continued Media Attention on QPR's Price Increases

As QPR and Derby County wait for a ruling by the Football League, and QPR fan groups announce their intention to protest

The Times/Martin Samuel - "...Paying a Queens’ ransom
Obviously, not everyone does badly in a recession, but Queens Park Rangers are attempting to buck the trend spectacularly by minting the first £50 ticket for football outside the Barclays Premier League. “Since the takeover, the club has had massive investment which has enabled us to increase our competitiveness in the Championship and provide a better standard of entertainment,” a spokesman said. Maybe so, but QPR are six points adrift of Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are top, and the season is barely a month old.
What will the board do if this team go up and they really have to put their hands in their pockets? For a conglomerate of billionaires, it seems early to send out the collection plate." The Times

The Times - Fanzine/Fanzone

Derby refuse QPR ticket prices
Overshadowed by the Newcastle saga and the usual Big Four coverage, the story of Derby refusing to sell QPR's marked up match tickets made few headlines. It might be a storm in a tea cup but it could also lead to an FA ruling with wider implications. At the time of writing and the game six days away, no tickets are available for the away end whilst the FA decide if QPR can raise ticket prices by 30% mid season.

A group of us bought train tickets to London two months ago but after hearing the proposed £40 ticket price, there's now a divided opinion on the best way to spend £40 in London. Even at the original £30, some are having second thoughts. On seeing QPR's playboy chairman Flavio Briatore, the archetypal medallion man surrounded by models on TV, one mate commented "there's no way I'm giving him forty quid", another friend is reluctant to subsidise Naomi Campbell's corporate champagne.

So now we have to make a few decisions. None of us are keen to pay £40 for a ticket; and after all the hassle, most of us are reluctant to put anything into the QPR coffers. On the other hand, as a loyal fan, it pains you to think of the away being empty; it's no good for the players and no way to support the club.

One justification for not going could be that we are "boycotting" the game. Boycotting is often questionable in football- I've heard many a part-timer credit their non-attendance to protest when the chips are down. Having bought train tickets, we could make a valid claim to be boycotting- just don't expect to see us outside the ground waving placards.

For some readers, this may all sound hypocritical coming from Derby. Last season after selling out of season tickets, Derby held their own fans to ransom over the remaining tickets by hiking up matchday prices by around 50% in a move unchallenged by either the compliant local media or supporters groups. Matches against Sunderland, Portsmouth, Bolton and Birmingham were all classified as "Gold" under the bling-coding which indicates the degree to which the club profit from any given game. Inevitably, away fans were fleeced. Rest assured though- The Rams reaped every ounce of bad karma going.

Derby's stance comes only weeks after the Falkirk- Rangers row in Scotland (the Auld Firm clubs are charging opponents 5% to sell away tickets- Falkirk told Rangers to stick it and sold the tickets locally). Dundee Utd had less luck when Celtic threatened to block similar tactics, risking around £100k of gate money for United. I suppose market forces will always dictate to some degree, so with a top price of £50 in the Championship, it will be interesting to see how many full houses there are at Loftus Road this season. - S Spaceram www.ramspace.co.uk - The Times

From a few days ago: Derby County Supporters Club Statement re Tickets

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