When Bournemouth announced that they were to be playing Real Madrid in pre season – yes, actual Real Madrid, not some strange lower league Argentinian side – the English footballing world all oooohed.
But when they announced it would cost you £60 to g0 and watch it, everyone quickly stopped oooohing. Indeed, many started booing. But is it fair?
Platform writers Simon Paice and James Lewer tackled the tricky subject.
When the news broke that Bournemouth would be hosting the mighty Real Madrid later this month, it’s fair to say us football fans on the south coast erupted with excitement.
The Cherries are used to facing the likes of Bury, Hartlepool and Scunthorpe, not players like Ronaldo, Ozil, Benzema and co.
It’s believed it has cost the club around one million pounds to get Madrid to the Goldsands Stadium. To get the top talent it costs the top money, and therefore the club needs to recoup as much of that money as possible.
With only a capacity of around 12,000, ticket prices were going to be naturally inflated. If they charged less, around £30-£40, it would have just resulted in the club losing a lot of money, which ultimately the fans wouldn’t want.
For many the prices may well be too high, but this is an once-in-a-lifetime match, a game that will live long in the memory and be a real “I was there” occasion. Judging by the comments on popular Bournemouth fans forums, the majority of fans are desperate to get tickets and the cost is an after-thought.
Yes, £60 is a lot of money, but as has been highly publicised this season, ticket prices for certain teams in the top flight are higher than that.
For a special game like this, I think the prices are fair. The game will be a sell-out, the atmosphere incredible and the memories endless.
Last season my hometown club AFC Bournemouth won promotion to the second tier of English football for only the second time in their history. Harry Redknapp was the only manager to previously guide us into the second division, winning the third division in 1987 and keeping the Cherries in the league for three years.
The club has been through many ups and downs over the last decade, from relegation into League 2 and now a jubilant step up into the Championship! The supporters have been the constant mainstay through thick and thin, and the reward for their outstanding support is a glamorous match against Spanish giants Real Madrid next month! Chairman Eddie Mitchell has told the media this is the opportunity to ‘thank loyal fans for their support’.
Despite the initial delight of Bournemouth fans in the town, news about the extortionate ticket prices have angered many. Mitchell described the match as a ‘reward’ for fans, but charging over double the amount for a standard league game next season will not be greeted with much appreciation. Mitchell says ‘it will showcase the club and that is priceless to us’ – as much as I agree with the former, supporters will not see £60 for an adult and £30 for an U16 as ‘priceless’. Some may argue that the star-studded names will justify the price, but there are question marks over whether all the big guns will play the match.