The FA has ruled in Sunderland’s favour after a disagreement between Sunderland and Hartlepool over the proposed prices of tickets for their FA Cup third round game.
Sunderland wanted to price tickets at £15 and £7, rather than the usual prices of £23 and £12, but Hartlepool wanted tickets priced somewhere between the two levels, to give them some extra income – but Sunderland preferred the lower tiers. The two clubs had initially tried to resolve the matter between them but were unable to reach an agreement, so the FA was asked to intervene.
A spokesman for Hartlepool United said “The FA have made the ruling in favour of Sunderland and we fully support this substantial reduction in prices to give full benefit to our supporters – despite the fact that it is not in the best interests of this Club’s future financial stability. We once again question the ability of the football authorities to make good economic judgements.
“We are continually amazed by both the FA and the Football League whereby on the one hand they tell clubs to get their finances in order with the threat of a ten point penalty for going into administration, and on the other hand deny clubs the opportunity of raising additional revenue.”
However the Hartlepool United Supporters’ Association has welcomed the move. Pauline McSweenie, Secretary of the HUSA, said “In the long run, we may still raise more money the way Sunderland have done it. I sympathise with our club’s view, but I am sure Sunderland have done their maths.
“They probably need the money more than we do and this way it means an adult can take a child for what would normally be the cost of just an adult.”
Ms McSweenie praised Sunderland for cutting ticket prices so drastically for a match taking place little over a week after Christmas Day.