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West Brom fans plan boycott of Bolton Wanderers game over ticket prices

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

A growing number of Albion fans are planning to boycott their Monday night trip to Bolton next month.

University of Bolton Stadium. Photo: BWFC

Online supporters’ group The Albion Fanatics have labelled Bolton’s ticket prices, which are £32 for adults and £26 for concessions, as ‘scandalous’ and ‘greedy’.

Fans believe the tickets, which went on sale this week, are priced unfairly considering Albion charge away fans £20 for adult tickets.

Although the group do not want to pressure anyone into not going, they said: “We’ll stand by anyone who wants to boycott Bolton away.

"Hit them in the pocket so the Sky money becomes irrelevant. £32 for a Monday night in January on Sky is scandalous.”

Their post has gone viral online, being retweeted more than 300 times and liked by more than 1,100 people.

Bolton are understood to be reviewing the prices, and it is hoped this threat could persuade them into a change.

Andy Gulch, a 34-year-old DJ from Wolverhampton and Smethwick End season-ticket holder who used to bang the drum at The Hawthorns, is from the Albion Fanatics group.

“The game is expensive as it is, without fixtures being moved to a Monday night so people have to have time off work,” he said.

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“And then to be hit with a price which is more than 50 per cent more than we charged them?

“That’s mainly the reason for it. We charged Bolton £20 on the opening day. I’m proud of the ticket pricing at Albion.

“It’s a game that not everyone can afford. Even in the Premier League, they’ve capped away tickets £30.

“It’s just greed, which seems to be the consensus from the Bolton fans, who are paying similar. It’s scandalous.

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“If it was £16 a ticket they’d get double the amount of fans in the away end and fans would spend more on food and drink.

“Someone said you (WBA) can charge £20 because we get parachute payments, and I get that.

“If it was a Saturday 3pm, there wouldn’t have been this reaction. But Bolton will get £100,000 from Sky and then we get given a high ticket price.

“If they’d have said it’s £20, people would have said ok. Sky TV relies on full stadiums and atmospheres.”

Albion have enjoyed big away followings this season when their fixtures have been 3pm on a Saturday.

They took more than 3,000 to Preston North End, around 3,500 to Wigan Athletic and have sold out their 2,500-seat allocation for this Saturday’s trip to Rotherham United.

But away followings have understandably taken a hit when games have been played in evening slots.

Just over 1,000 travelled to Ipswich Town and Sheffield United on a Friday night, and even fewer went to Middlesbrough and Swansea.

“The Ipswich game was the trigger,” said Gulch. “They charged a tenner. For Bolton to charge three times as much and over 50 per cent more than we charged them, it’s taking liberties.

“There will be the hardcore who will go whether it’s £60, £70 or £100, they’d still be there. I get that. But why should we pay that much?”

Dave Holloway runs Baggies Travel, the organisation that puts on the official away coaches. He said: “£32 is expensive for a TV night game. The usual 500 will be there.

“Swansea was £30 and we didn’t take many that night but I do think people get annoyed by all of the changes by Sky Sports and going to Bolton means booking a few hours off work to travel.

“Had they charged less, for example, £10 like Ipswich, more fans would put themselves out.”

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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