Ticket price news causes anger amongst the Aston Villa fans

Aston Villa have this week announced next seasons ticket prices but the question is - are they fair?

Aston Villa officially announced next seasons ticket prices on Monday and it has left the vast majority of fans feeling very hard done by. This article will take a look at the ticket prices as well as examples of different reactions from the fan base.

The Tweet below from @myoldmansaid presents the ticket pricing system for the 2024/25 season. Matches are categorised based on the opposition Villa face with the 'higher quality' teams being labelled as A and those perceived to be lower in importance labelled as B. For those that are wanting to sit in the Holte End occasionally and don't have a season ticket it is going to cost £72.50 (L3 to L6 and K3 to K5 seating sections) if the opposition are of 'A' class.

Category A games have risen in price by 15% from last season whereas the tickets for category B games have seen a 10% rise. The prices have seen backlash from the fans on social media whilst the Football Supporters' Association (FSA) reacted to the news by saying:

""Simply outrageous matchday pricing. This is well past unaffordable""

So, are the rise in ticket prices unfair?

I am unfortunately not a season ticket holder at Villa Park, although was for a few years during my teens, but do attend half a dozen or so games each season when I have the free time to do so. Attending Villa Park on a matchday has always been special to my Father and I and I worry that we and many others who are in a similar position are going to be unable to continue attending.

With the demand for tickets rising due to the improvements in performances and results on the pitch it is natural that the club is going to raise ticket prices. However, the rise in prices is fairly astromonical considering there are many things away from the football itself that doesn't justify the rise in cost. As someone who has attended matches, regularly or less so, every year since I was seven it is clear to me that improvements have not really been made for a matchday experience. The rise in prices for standard seats in the Holte End has not brought a better quality of catering services for example. The communication regarding tickets remains to be poor and consultation with fans remains also non-existent when it comes to club issues such as the crest.

The rise in prices seem to have brought in as a result of improved performances from the team and the influx of new fans as a result. However, for those fans that have been season ticket holders or regular matchday supporters for decades it is certainly difficult to comprehend why there is such a rise in prices when the overall package on a matchday has not seen any improvement. Talking on the 1874 Podcast, Aston Villa season ticket holder Dan Bardell made an excellent point with regards to the type of fans at Villa Park.

""We aren't in London and these are London prices. People in Birmingham do not get London salaries. However good the football is you are stopping genuine Villa fans from getting in the ground and prioritising the people that can afford it over loyal people""

Dan Bardell

Bardell also made the point that ticket prices have of course risen solely because Aston Villa have reached an elite status as a club following qualification for the UEFA Champions League. However, results and fortunes can change quickly and what would happen to those prices if Villa had a big spiral in form and results and were back finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League or even the Championship?

However, the argument has also been made that the rise in ticket prices is inevitable and part of the cause if fans want Villa to keep improving as a team and club. Fans of course want to see the team winning matches at the highest level and reaching elite status but in order to do that the club surely needs to do something to increase the revenue? In order to buy better quality players, redevelop infrastructure and so forth requires greater income and therefore it is understandable that many believe ticket prices need to rise in order to maintain that elite quality product that Villa fans see on the pitch.

Many Villa fans have outlined their disappointment in the steep rise in prices to watch matches and will be hopeful that they are still able to afford to visit Villa Park on a matchday. It is likely that many will unfortunately miss out on the opportunity to watch their beloved Aston Villa play in both the Premier League and Champions League next season with the increase in demand for tickets and rise in cost.