Premier League clubs have agreed to spend £12million in order to try to boost dwindling away attendances in the top flight.
Last year Premier League clubs sold 477,000 season tickets, but fewer and fewer fans are starting to attend away matches, chief executive Richard Scudamore has revealed.
The league has seen a five per cent drop in away attendance over the last five years as fans struggle to afford high ticket prices and travel costs.
The Premier League have sought to remedy the problem by persuading the clubs to agree to spend £4million between them over the next three years on away attendance initiatives.
All 20 clubs must report back to the Premier League in the coming weeks with detailed plans about how they are going to invest the money, which comes from their own budgets.
It is anticipated many clubs will follow the lead of Stoke, who paid for their away fans to travel to Liverpool for their opening match of the campaign on Saturday.
”During the last six months the clubs have been putting a lot of effort into trying to help improve away attendance,” Scudamore said.
”The clubs are now committed to investing £4million a season over three years in specific away attendance initiatives to make the away fan experience a better one.
”That’s either to help their own fans go away or to encourage other teams’ away fans to come to them.
”The early declarers are fascinating. Stoke are going to pay for away travel.”That’s why for the Liverpool game all 3,000 tickets were taken. It was the first time ever that Stoke have taken more than 1,500 people.”It’s a very important part of what the clubs are doing.”