Khaldoon Al Mubarak breaks three-month silence on major Man City fan issue & rejects ‘exploited’ claims

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The Manchester City chairman justified his reasons for increasing ticket costs.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has responded to claims from supporters that matchday fans are being ‘priced out’ of attending matches.

The club infuriated City supporters in March when they announced a five percent increase in season tickets for the 2024/25, despite posting a record-breaking £712m revenue in the latest annual financial records released in November, alongside an £80m profit.

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City fans objected to the the price rises and with four main supporters' group - the official supporters’ club, the 1894 Group, MCFC Fans Foodbank Support (FFS) and City Matters - all voicing their opposition to the hikes, while there were some calls to boycott City’s official ticket exchange platform.

The 1984 Group released a lengthy statement in which they claimed there was ‘no justification’ to the cost increases and claimed fans were being ‘priced out’ as the club look to ‘replace’ match-going regulars with a new global fanbase.

“Pep Guardiola often asks for more noise at the stadium. He needs to put this question to Ferran Soriano and Khaldoon Al Mubarak as they are the ones who implement the matchday prices,” said the fan group.

"It looks like the club want us to give up season tickets so that more tickets can go on sale via packages,” they added. It's more than price rises - it's about the heart and soul of the club.”

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Guardiola was even asked about the matter in a press conference, while a banner was unveiled at the Etihad in a game against Arsenal at the end of March which read: “Record profits but record prices. Stop exploiting our loyalty.”

However, those complaints ultimately fell on deaf ears, while in Tuesday’s explosive Times report, which revealed details of City’s legal case against the Premier League, there were claims that fans could be burdened with additional costs if the Associated Party Transactions laws aren’t overturned.

Speaking during his annual end-of-season interview, Al Mubarak finally addressed the ticket prices issues nearly three months on. He insisted the club need to find new ways to ‘generate capital’ but added he hopes to find a ‘solution’ for those frustrated fans.

“This is a very delicate issue for sure,” he said. “I appreciate the feelings of our fans when it comes to a very important aspect, which is the price of a ticket.

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“I want to try to explain this very difficult balance that there is always tension between investing, growing, meeting more demand, being sustainable and financially viable, and at the same time, taking care of our core fan base and making sure they have affordable tickets and they continue to enjoy their football in the way they always have.

“We need to find ways to generate capital and revenue,” he continued. “Every pound coming out from that revenue has been reinvested in the team and continues to be reinvested in the team. 

“So, we have to again, carefully tread. We're talking very closely to our fan base to make sure that we're able to strike that balance in an appropriate way. It's a balance. I recognize some of our fans obviously are not satisfied on the pricing side of it. We have to find solutions for them. That is our job. 

“We have to work this out, but we also have to grow and we have to find the right commercial avenues for the club to continue to grow and to generate revenue, which inevitably then comes back to support the team and support the success that you've seen and that you will continue to see.”

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