Thursday 5th March
Since its inception, the Barclay End Projekt has focussed on a broad variety of issues; both on a local and national level.
We have been a vocal exponent of the campaign for safe-standing. We have extolled the virtues of greater fan engagement and recognition of the collective supporter voice. We also continue to seek improvements to the atmosphere at matches; both for the first team and through our initiatives involving the home under 21 matches.
As well as these facets of our output, we have always made issues surrounding ticket pricing a priority and in light of recent developments – with specific relation to the Derby County match – we feel it important to clarify our stance.
We are a Norwich City supporters’ group and so, clearly, our primary focus will always be on things pertinent to us and the club’s fans, but we also feel that many of these issues are ones experienced by supporters of many other clubs at all levels of the game.
Ticket price increases – often above the national rate of inflation – have been a constant and consistent issue for over two decades, and one that continually proves itself to be divisive among both a club’s own fan base and among supporters and the governing bodies of the game at a national level.
We at the Barclay End Projekt have previously distributed leaflets promoting the Football Supporter Federation’s ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign, along with engaging with representatives from the club over pricing structures for both home and away fans. This work, along with future planned action intended to inform and embolden supporters to achieve change, will continue in a focussed and concerted manner both in relation to Norwich matches and as part of coordinated national action surrounding the topic.
With regards to the planned protest and boycott by Derby County supporters relating to their forthcoming game at Carrow Road, we are in support of their aims and methods, but at the same time recognise the fact that many supporters are frustrated at national media stories which seek to scapegoat Norwich as the chief culprit with regards to charging exorbitant prices for fans.
Anyone aware of the cost of attending football matches will realise this is not the case, but that does not mean that we do not sympathise and offer solidarity with those supporters who do decide to protest and/or boycott the match. We are firm believers that fans supporting and coordinating action together against the price of attending football is the primary means to achieve any discernible change and feel that lending our voice to the collective call for a reduction in ticket prices can only ever be a positive move. We will not be boycotting the match in question, but we will be staging action on the day of the game and welcome involvement in this from supporters of all backgrounds.
We – as regular away travellers – recognise the imposition that the cost of following your team on the road can bring, but we are also staunch advocates for a review of ticket pricing and ticket pricing structures for home fans. We feel that a response to this issue that references principles of supply and demand – or manifests in a “don’t like it, don’t pay it” argument – misses the intrinsic socially inclusive aspect of attending live football and further moves the sport in to a preserve of the privileged and financially well-off.
We are most definitely not “against” Norwich City Football Club, but we do wish to challenge aspects of their decision making, processes and structure in order to benefit all Norwich supporters in both the short and long term. This will include concerted attempts to form a united fan culture, one that is better equipped to address issues such as ticket pricing, both at the club and across the entire professional game.
Over the course of this season and forward into the future, we welcome the support and assistance of Norwich supporters in seeking to achieve our aims. We strongly believe that a cohesive and unified fan base is more positive and likely to achieve change.
Together we are stronger. OTBC forever