The Football Association has been accused of exploitation by fans of both clubs who face ticket hikes of more than 30 per cent to watch this year’s FA Cup Final.
Prices for an adult ticket start at £45 – a decrease of £1 on last year. However, the other three categories are priced at £80 (£65 last year), £115 (£85) and £145 (£115).
Manchester United and Chelsea fans must pay increased prices to attend the FA Cup final
A spokesman for the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) branded the prices ‘extortionate’.
He said: ‘The price increases further illustrate the longstanding issue we have with the FA as both the regulator of the game as well as the worst offender when it comes to extortionate ticket prices for fans.
‘Ordinary fans should not be punished for the FA’s previous poor financial decisions over the Wembley redevelopment. We are equally astonished and angered by the increases which are as much as 30 per cent.
‘This is not an ordinary competitive market. It is a captive audience and the FA – who have a monopoly – are trying to extract as much as they can from supporters.’
United made it through to the final with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham in the semi-finals
Chelsea beat Southampton 2-0 in the other semi-final with Alvaro Morata among the scorers
2018 FA CUP FINAL TICKET PRICES
Category A: £145 (£115 in 2017)
Category B: £115 (£85 in 2017)
Category C: £80 (£65 in 2017)
Category D: £45 (£46 in 2017)
The spokesman also pointed out the disparency between prices for the FA Cup Final and rugby league’s showcase Challenge Cup Final, where adult tickets range from £18 to £80 and where juniors can buy a seat for as little as £5.
‘The cost of putting on both events will be roughly the same,’ he said. ‘This is purely the FA’s choice to charge a lot more.’ Rory Jennings, from Chelsea Fan TV, described the increases as ‘a travesty’.
‘It’s not surprising,’ he added. ‘This is typical of the disgraceful way the FA operate. There is so much money in football and they will make so much, it’s such a shame that they still feel they have to take vast sums out of the pockets of fans.
‘And we are not talking about Club Wembley here, these are normal seats. You don’t even get a prawn sandwich.’
Jennings believes the ordinary supporter will be hit hard by the hikes. ‘The cheapest tickets will go first because, let’s face it, it’s Wembley and the view isn’t great wherever you sit.
When they’re gone you’ll have people with kids faced with paying £145. It is a travesty, but it is to be expected.’
The FA say this is the first time they have raised prices in three years and point out that the final is ‘one of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar’. They add that every penny of profit will be reinvested into the game.
A kick-off time is yet to be set for the May 19 although 5.30pm is thought to be likely. A late kick-off will create further problems for those attempting to return to the north on public transport following the match.