Two recent visits to Parc des Princes brought up the question about the pricing of tickets and the direct result of that as well as the causes for this. Certainly €40 for a Europa League match does sound okay if it doesn’t mean to be seated in the upper stands but in the better seats of the Tribunes Presidentielle or Paris. But paying that price for a seat high up in the stands seems a bit over the odds given that the attendance against Marseille only three days after the Dortmund game was 40000 and the prices being increased due to the category of the game as a top game of the league. PSG seem to be adamant to rid themselves of certain groups of fans who in the last years brought media attention for all the wrong reasons. Hooliganism and fan groups fighting each other which led to the death of a supporter and even shots were fired in the surroundings of the stadium; a scenario last associated with a football stadium during Pinochet’s rule in Chile.
Certainly the aim to the exclude those people from the ground is worth every effort in order to make football enjoyable again without fearing for your dear ones or your life. Abolishing the season ticket system too appeared to be a good idea to stop hooligans attending and being in a position to start trouble. If this really works, remains to be seen, as it is still possible for these people to get to games, although not to their traditional places in the Boulogne Kop or the Auteuil end. Whether or not it s good thing that they mix with the ordinary crowd is to be watched as ordinary football fans might feel threatened or harrassed by people looking for trouble. As a result the stadium appears to be quiet when PSG are playing. Football fans do’t seem to trust the new found peace at PSG and certainly want to see where this policy is going. If it works it will still need a few years to create what is to be called a fan scene that is mainly concerned with football and not fists. In the current climate this appears to be a difficult task at hand as football since last summer’s World Cup in South Africa and the mutiny of the players have certainly not helped the image of football, which isn’t by far the most popular sport as compared to England or Germany, and the people attending. The other reason being the economical situation which isn’t rosy either, which certainly affects many people who would otherwise not think twice and get a ticket. Thus demanding €40 for a group game in the Europa League appears to be a lot of money. If the aim is to make Parc des Princes a ground with a cracking atmosphere, wouldn’t it have been impossible to offer discounted tickets in order to draw more people in, maybe even convincing those who have become estranged over the last few years to return? I’m not asking for tickets to be thrown away cheaply for a fiver or a tenner but for special offers that don’t work on the basis first come first serve, such as those which have started at €12. Instead there should be a reasonable pricing policy for games that won’t be crowd teasers such as the Europa League game with Dortmund earlier this month. It is not too difficult to work out a plan in order to draw in spectators with affordable ticket prices to make the Parc des Princes an atmospheric ground to go to and attending a match a special occasion. Who knows, in a few years the shadows will no longer hover over the ground and this period in the club’s recent past will be confined to the history books.