Premier League away ticket prices for fans capped at £30 from next season
LONDON -- Premier League clubs have agreed to cap ticket prices for away fans at £30 ($43) for the next three seasons.
The decision was taken at a specially convened meeting of the 20 teams on Wednesday following mounting criticism from fan groups about the cost of attending matches.
Now no fan will pay more than £30 to watch their team on the road as new television deals worth £8.3 million pounds ($12m) kick in from next season.
Premier League clubs in new deal for away fans. For next 3 seasons away fans can attend matches for no more than £30 pic.twitter.com/wVgKFbY7TE- Premier League (@premierleague) March 9, 2016
The clubs collectively noted that supporters "are essential for match atmosphere and stimulate the response from home fans that distinguishes Premier League matches from those of other leagues."
Premier League attendances are averaging 96.2 percent this season.
Some clubs already provide free bus travel to away matches.
Liverpool fan-group Spirit of Shankly have been among the leading voices in the campaign for cheaper tickets.
They hit the headlines last month after helping co-ordinate a successful protest at Anfield against their club's home ticket pricing policy for next season and the latest development is another victory in the group's eyes.
Spokesperson James McKenna said: "It's a very good step in the right direction for supporters. It's good to see the Premier League have now finally taken action on this very important issue that we have been asking them to take action on for the last three or four years.
"There has been frustration it has taken so long but we are just pleased they have now taken this action. We have been saying the price of away tickets was too much and this new TV deal presented them with an opportunity to lower them.
"They have finally listened and I think most supporters will be pleased that has happened. I think it is a recognition of how important supporters are. I think it is a really positive step.''
Arsenal have often been criticised for their high ticket prices in some sections of the Emirates Stadium, for both home and away supporters.
The Gunners have since announced that they will be offering an extra £4 discount to follow on from the cap on the Premier League collectively.
A club statement added: "This will ensure no Arsenal fans will pay more to support Arsenal at Premier League away games than the lowest priced £26 ticket that both visiting and home fans can pay to watch their teams at Emirates Stadium.''
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis feels the Gunners have taken positive steps to help reduce the financial burden on their supporters who attend matches.
"We have fantastic support home and away. We know that following the club is a commitment and are always seeking to strike the right balance in our pricing,'' he told the club's official website.
"In terms of the financial support for away fans, we have consistently been strongly in favour of doing more to help and were originally in favour of a Premier League proposal around travel initiatives which would have been even more generous.
"Once it became clear this would not receive enough support across the Premier League clubs, we supported and directed the funds to the £30 cap plus an additional £4 ticket discount for Arsenal's away fans.''
Everton have also welcomed the Premier League's news and say they worked hard to find a better deal for their fans.
Chief executive Robert Elstone said: "Today's undertaking is absolutely right for away fans and for the Premier League.
"Most clubs have recognised for some time that we need to do something for the travelling supporter. It is absolutely right that football, as a family, looks after that group of fans.
"Our away fans are among the most dedicated and committed throughout the Premier League and that loyalty is deserving of this commitment by the clubs.''
Information from PA Sport was used in this report.