Sheffield United fans who travelled down to Wembley to watch the Blades’ huge clash against Manchester City on Saturday were left bewildered by the financial cost of their trip – with one fan shelling out hundreds of pounds.
Wembley Stadium, boasting a capacity of 90,000, played host to an attendance of just 69,602 during Saturday’s game – with both sets of fans failing to sell out their allocation.
Before Wembley became the host of the semi-finals in 2008, semi-final matches were played at neutral venues which were more accessible to both sets of fans. Many believe that this should be reintroduced to make it cheaper and easier for fans to attend.
Joe Fuller, a Blades fan living in Sheffield, said he paid £60 for an adult ticket in the upper tier of the ground, along with £75 on travel, £90 on accommodation for one night, and roughly £130 on food and drink for 2 people.
Mr Fuller said: “Lots of fans wanted to attend as going to see your team at Wembley is such a rarity for most clubs in England, but the price of the trip, alongside the season ticket release for next season back in March meant many couldn’t afford the trip.”
The argument regarding the location of semi-finals was again mentioned by thousands on social media after the eye-watering prices for tickets and travel down to London put many Blades fans off attending the match.
He added: “Many people who haven’t gone said that if it was played in a neutral stadium, at a reasonable distance away from each club, then it would’ve been more affordable for fans and a better experience for those in the ground.”
Most Blades fans travelled down to London in hope rather than expectation, as their team faced a formidable Manchester City side who went on to win 3-0.
A day out watching your football club at Wembley is something every football fan will remember, however as Mr Fuller puts it – “to be able to enjoy the day in the way most football fans want to, then having a small budget is almost impossible”.