Over the last thirty years the cost of attending football matches in the UK has risen by more than three and a half times the rate of inflation over the same period.
Despite this, the efforts by Everton Football Club to keep admission costs down has been admirable. The announcement by Everton FC in January 2017 that the prices of 2017/18 season tickets had been frozen and in some cases even reduced rightly earned the club praise from across the football world.
However, this progressive pricing policy is undermined by the club’s continued partnership with online secondary ticketing site StubHub.
This relationship has led to a situation where on one hand the club boasts of its progressive ticket pricing policy and on the other uses its website and social media presence to encourage fans to use a website in which tickets are advertised at may times more than the face value.
For example: a ticket with a face value of £40 for Everton’s last home game against Hull City was advertised on StubHub for £108. On April 15, Everton play Burnley, a fixture that is already sold out. However the Club is directing Evertonians to Stub Hub where tickets with a face value of £45 are being advertised for £125 rising to £149 once “service fees” are factored in. Earlier in the season, Everton Supporters Trust made Everton FC aware of various junior tickets for the home matches against Manchester United and Liverpool being listed for as high as £90.
To make matters worse the Club actively encourages Season Ticket holders to advertise their tickets via StubHub and in doing so provides no guidance on what season ticket holder should charge for their ticket.
Everton Supporters Trust 1878 believes that this situation leaves Everton FC open to the accusation that it is complicit in the exploitation of its supporters and that the partnership with StubHub is incompatible with clubs otherwise progressive ticket pricing policy.
Everton Supporters Trust 1878 therefore calls on Everton FC to bring to an end its partnership with StubHub and replace it with a service ran in house, in much the same way that Chelsea FC did after their deal with Viagogo came to an end or enter in a deal with an ethical secondary sales platform that does not allow tickets to be sold for more than their face value such as Twickets.
We also call on Evertonians who might consider using StubHub for whatever time remains of the clubs partnership with the company to respect their fellow Evertonians and only sell their tickets for the face value.
Everton Supporters Trust asks all Evertonians and Football fans alike to show their support of this campaign by using the hashtag #FaceValueOnly