Former Premier League chief executive Rick Parry feels that top-flight clubs in England could work together to standardise the cost of tickets for away supporters.
The issue of ticket prices hit the headlines again this week after a group of Liverpool fans boycotted Tuesday’s game at Hull City because they were being charged up to £50 per ticket, while Stoke City supporters paid £16 at the KC Stadium earlier in the season.
Parry, who was the Premier League’s first chief executive before going on to fulfil the same role at Liverpool between 1998 and 2009, believes that while it is important for clubs to retain the right to set their own pricing structures, there is room for “collective responsibility” when it comes to away fans.
“The Premier League is owned by the clubs – the philosophy has always been that ticket pricing is down to individual clubs, and rightly so,” Parry told Perform at the Sporting Directors’ Summit at the Etihad Stadium.
“You look at what is going on here [at the Etihad], Arsenal have built a fantastic new stadium…all that has to be paid for.
“Prices, for me, have to be a club-by-club decision. I think where there is scope for collective responsibility is with visiting supporters. That is the issue with Liverpool fans being charged £50 at Hull.
“Visiting supporters are the lifeblood of the game.”
Anger at ticket prices has grown since the Premier League announced its new record £5.1billion UK television deal, which comes into effect from the 2016-17 season, in February.
That figure comfortably eclipses the current £3bn deal, but Parry does not expect the sums to keep on rising at such a rapid rate.
“There is probably a ceiling,” he added.
“At the end of the day, it follows technology and it follows the competition. Who knows what the next innovation will be?
“There will probably be one in the next five to 10 years but, equally, if the population is satisfied and they’re paying £1,000 a year for their packages – how much higher can that go?
“Logically, it cannot go on forever.”