Rob Hinkley is just going to have to forgive me. Over at the Sporadic Chronicle he writes ‘Probe urged into baffling “supply and demand” phenomenon’ and links to a BBC news story. Without further comment he leaves the reader to follow the link and chuckle at just how baffling, how arcane, how incomprehensible to normal minds is the phenomenon the BBC describes. I am going to be rather more heavy handed because I want to bring out what it all reveals about how baffling, arcane and incomprehensible to normal minds the BBC can be, particularly when it is channelling Liberal Democrat press releases.
The story concerned is Probe urged into ‘turnstile con.’
The Office of Fair Trading is being urged to investigate claims that football fans are being ripped off at the turnstiles.
“Ripped off.” Auntie does try so very hard to talk as the people do.
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is concerned about clubs varying ticket prices according to the popularity of the opposition.
Italics mine. Screams of horror at such wickedness mine.
It says this unfairly penalises fans of big clubs, who are charged more.
One is charged more to see Manchester United than the Cligglesthorpe Lions, yes.
And it says Premiership clubs charge far more for tickets than their rivals in other European countries.
A study conducted by the Liberal Democrats at the start of the football season found supporters of Premiership sides paid as much as seven times more for a season ticket than fans elsewhere in Europe.
I am sure that the Portuguese and German clubs mentioned are much beloved by their fans. So I won’t ask if they actually play football as well as Messrs Rooney and Beckham do.
The increasing trend for clubs to categorise ticket prices according to which team they are playing can mean wide variations between match prices.
For example, fans travelling to Birmingham City to watch the team’s clash with Manchester United on 16 October will be charged £45 a ticket.
But two weeks later, when the club plays host to Crystal Palace, they will pay just £28.
The FSF says this means fans of popular clubs who travel to away matches will be charged more throughout the season.
A Birmingham City spokesman explained the difference by saying that “some games are more popular than others.”
Then he said, “Popular means lots of people like going to see the football game. Do you like football games? My puppet friend Binky does!”
It wanted to have its 30,000 ground at full capacity and that Manchester United was more popular than Crystal Palace, he added.
Poor Crystal Palace. Binky was very sad too.
The spokesman had no comment to make on the differences between UK and European club prices, saying only: “We keep our prices in line with British clubs.”
Then Binky whispered something in his ear. “Yes, Binky?” he asked. “You thought that was a comment? Me, too. What’s that you said, Binky? Oh, you naughty puppet – but since you’re offering, mine’s a whisky. Too right, Binks, old mate. We aren’t paid nearly enough for this.”