After the Premier League set aside £12 million to help curb the spiralling cost of attending away fixtures, City have gone one step further by offering half-price entryBy Paul Clennam
Manchester City players and coaching staff have each contributed £1000 out of their own pockets to help cut the cost of away tickets for the club's supporters.
The Premier League has vowed to help shoulder the burden of expensive away days in recent months, with clubs agreeing to set aside a total of £12 million over the next three seasons in order to drive prices down.
Each club, including City, will contribute £200,000 per year, meaning Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool can lower away ticket prices by up to £4 each.
But the Etihad Stadium outfit have gone one step further than their on-pitch rivals, and will now be able to offer half-price tickets for selected matches this season thanks to the five-figure sum generated by staff.
Games which will qualify for these new low prices are those played furthest away from Manchester, as well as those scheduled within days of other fixtures.
Captain Vincent Kompany told the club's official website: "In my opinion, our away support is the best in the Premier League and we never take that for granted.
"Win, lose or draw, City supporters can always be heard throughout our games and I just hope that this initiative proves just how much we value this incredible following."
Elsewhere, Stoke City have used their £200,000 contribution to lay on free coach journeys to every away game for their club's supporters, while Aston Villa and Hull City have offered a similar service to their own fans.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters' Federation, who last season launched the campaign 'Twenty's Plenty' in a bid to curb the cost of attending away matches, told The Independent that although free travel is welcomed, lower prices are his main focus.
"The fact that we are making progress is likely only to encourage those campaigning, rather than distract them," he said.
"Subsidised travel is fine for those who choose to travel by coach – and we welcome it – though that is not much use to the people who live nearer the away ground than the home stadium.
"It is the question of ticket prices that we are keenest to see explored. We are watching with interest to see what clubs come up with."