Video: Linesman gives Manchester City ticket protest official stamp of approval
Premier League linesman tells Manchester City players to thank fans who paid £62 for Arsenal ticket
Manchester City's protest over Premier League ticket prices was given the official stamp of approval yesterday after Mike Dean's assistant, John Brooks, was filmed telling the visiting players to thank fans who paid £62 for a ticket to watch them beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Much of the build-up prior to the Super Sunday clash was dominated by news that the reigning champions had failed to take up their full away allocation, due to the high cost of tickets.
Manchester City fans returned 912 unsold tickets for the match, and during the game sections of the away crowd held up banners protesting against the inflated prices, including one which read: "Don't price us out of our game or lose more fans".
The Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, had earlier sympathised with supporters, saying that clubs were "generally working hard" to keep tickets affordable.
"I think they are sending Arsenal Football Club a very clear message," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Arsenal have clearly made a judgment and I think the Man City fans, in fairness, have done what they should do if they think it is too much and not turned up.
"It does make people think again and that is actually what the market should do."
Asked whether, in light of record TV revenue, ticket prices should be lowered at all Premier League clubs, Scudamore added: "Absolutely top of our aims and objectives is to put on a show and keep attendances full.
"The clubs absolutely know where the Premier League stands on this. We want full stadia."
Following City's 2-0 victory, television footage showed linesman Brooks telling City's players, including Joe Hart and Joleon Lescott: "They've paid 62 quid over there, go and see them."
Of course some Manchester City fans will point to the fact they won at Arsenal for the first time since the 1970s as proof that the day out in London was worth the expense, but that hasn't stopped the Brooks from becoming an overnight internet hit.
You can watch a video of the brief exchange after the final whistle at the Emirates Stadium below…