Over 20,000 empty seats for a competitive fixture. The novelty of Wembley has long worn off and charging £60 a ticket doesn’t encourage anyone, especially on a Tuesday night with the West London stadium’s dreadful transport links. The embarrassment of an empty top tier is surely a sign The FA should make some changes, not only reduce prices but move England games around the country once again.
During the period when the new Wembley as being built, England played internationals at 14 different grounds. From St. James’ Park to Portman Road, from Old Trafford to Pride Park, the attendances were always good. Why? The prospect of seeing the national team at their local ground was an opportunity not to be missed for supports. Continuously playing fixtures in one location that has lost the novelty of being new does not conjurer up the same excitement. Wembley is a wonderful place for a cup final, or even a major international, but not a midweek friendly.
The cost of tickets is an issue in the whole of football, not just at the highest level. A student ticket at Ipswich Town, a club in the second tier of English football don’t forget, costs the grand sum of £24. An adult ticket shouldn’t cost that much for that level of football. In most areas of the ground at Wembley, there is no cheaper ticket for children. A father and his son would be robbed of £120 even before transport, a programme and food are considered. The building of Wembley was a complete failure, and of course The FA are doing everything they can to make their money back, but they can’t make a profit when the cost of a game puts the punter well out of pocket.
There’s no thrill to England internationals in the current set up. Changes have to be made. It’s over to you FA.