Manchester City have never reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League before, yet their fans are so upset at ticket prices for the game against Paris-Saint Germain that they are considering walking out.
Tickets for the return leg at the Etihad Stadium are as much as £60, which City believe is a “fair reflection of the game,” per The Guardian.
Fans don’t agree, and a fan group called The 1894 Group has released a statement highlighting their concern. They even admitted they wouldn’t attend matches if the club signed superstars Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Neymar.
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The group has also been asked by some fans to organise a walkout, similar to the one carried out by Liverpool fans during the game against Sunderland last month.
The statement, brought to our attention by The Guardian, reads: “We have had a huge amount of correspondence from City supporters who feel the pricing policy for the PSG game has gone over a line. We have been asked to organise walkouts and to try and reverse the club’s decisions on ticket prices.
“The club have not shown any consistency on pricing for this competition, which has resulted in thousands of empty seats for games. The prices were too high for too long. Our view is that, even if the club signed Messi, Pogba and Neymar but the prices were too high, fans just would not go.
“The club didn’t listen to this advice on prices and of course attendances in the Champions League slumped to the point where the club sent out thousands of free tickets – a buy one, get one free offer – for the CSKA Moscow home game in November 2014. Nothing devalued the competition more than giving away free tickets.
“It’s likely that a lot of fans will wait and see what happens in the first leg [in Paris] before purchasing a ticket for the return – then there’s a concern of higher prices in the event of us reaching a semi-final. We feel the club need to really listen to the fans now on ticket prices.”
Read the full statement
Frequent price hikes
City increased prices for their knockout game against Dynamo Kiev to between £30 and £40, up from the £20-£40 price range for the group matches.
And they have defended their latest price hike.
“Pricing for each match is reviewed on an individual basis, based on factors such as the opposition and stage of competition,” said a club statement.
“As this match is the quarter-final of Europe’s biggest cup competition and the first time the club has progressed to this stage we believe the ticket prices are a fair reflection of the profile of the game.”