Does extortionate ticket prices really give fans the right?

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It’s no secret that the gap between supporters and footballers is a widening chasm that continues to expand as the years pass and the financial aspects of the beautiful game continues to surge upwards. With the rapid increase in player wages maintaining a steady ascension ticket prices continue to rise in tandem with fans now having to shell out between £500 and £1000 for a premier seat and a view that doesn’t require frequent use of binoculars.

Anger over this increase is obviously justified although it appears those in the stands are directing their displeasure at the players on the field. Supporters are inclined to vent their annoyance over the performance of a player should they be playing to an inferior standard. After all they are paid exorbitant amounts of money to do a job that a great deal of people pay to play on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

They also dig deep into their wallets to purchase tickets to watch these players perform and show that they warrant their hefty pay cheque. But more often than not I’m seeing more supporters buying into the mentality that they have the right to taunt players due to the fact they have agreed to obtaining a ticket that costs an arm and a leg.  But does that give them legitimate grounds to abuse players?

The logic applied by supporters who agree to buy these tickets at sky-high rates is feeble and nonsensical. It’s understandable with the country in a harsh recession and ticket prices climbing to absurd levels that supporters hold some deep-rooted resentment towards footballers who earn more money in a week than they will make in a lifetime.

It still doesn’t give the fans, who are coughing up for a top bracket ticket, the right to assume they have valid grounds to abuse players. I’m not going to recite a mass of sanctimonious platitudes over how admonishing players is wrong but as a fan myself it’s difficult not to be rubbed up the wrong way at times and let your mind wander into stormy waters.

I’m culpable of having a go at certain members of Newcastle United’s playing staff when they are strolling around the St James’ Park pitch without a care in the world. I’ve screamed till I’m blue in the face at Obafemi Martins, lost my voice screeching at Titus Bramble and sent my blood pressure through the roof yelling at Michael Owen many a time. But that was always based on performance and never on a personal level. Although I will confess my resolve over this issue has been tested to the limits by certain individuals over the years.

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