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Time To Tackle PSL Ticket Prices

A lot of this column space over the years has been dedicated to lambasting South African soccer for their lack of proper development initiatives. This is why the big announcement last week, which saw the PSL launch a legitimate U19 reserve league that will see PSL clubs pit their academy teams up against each other in a two-stream league, is very refreshing. What did catch me somewhat off-guard, though, was SAFA’s response to the announcement of the league. Instead of getting down on their knees and thanking the PSL for launching the league, which will clearly benefit South African soccer at all levels, it seems SAFA are disgruntled with the formation of the league. 
 
Evidently the bone of contention is that SAFA have suddenly remembered that it is actually their mandate to oversee that football is being developed in this country. I have to wonder if perhaps it is less to do with football and more to do with the fact that a possible advertising property has been sold by the PSL rather than by SAFA, but I’m sure we will get to the bottom of it all soon enough. 
 
In fact, with Varsity Sport taking care of SAFA’s soccer mandate at University level, and the PSL seemingly taking care of it at U19 level, perhaps SAFA can take care of school football in the country, which will cover the 5 to 17 age group, and maybe, just maybe, we might start to live up to our potential in the footballing world.
 
On a slightly different note, for those of you that have not yet heard, Soccer Laduma has launched the Soccer Laduma Supporters Club. It is essentially a Soccer Laduma initiative to give the soccer supporters in South Africa their power back – to have them recognised and have their voices heard, and to help make them a part of the soccer decisions taken in this country rather than the victims of them. Once the numbers start growing, the South African soccer fan is going to become a very powerful force.
 
For those of you who have not yet registered, simply go to www.soccerladuma.co.za and sign in and you can immediately start talking to the Soccer Laduma editors of the various platforms to give them feedback and help them improve Soccer Laduma. You’ll also be able to take part in the current discussions about those things that need fixing in South African soccer, with the goal of affecting real change in the future.
 
Currently, the hot topic being discussed is the lack of crowds at PSL soccer games, and more specifically the issue of ticket prices for PSL games.   
 
In most soccer loving countries around the world, when the defending champions come to town, even the stadiums that don’t usually fill up are packed to the rafters. People want to see the best of the best, even if it isn’t the club they support.
 
So why then was Cape Town Stadium empty last Wednesday night when Mamelodi Sundowns took on Ajax Cape Town? Are people not interested in seeing the defending champs? Is it because the football they play just doesn’t demand a crowd? What’s the deal?
 
I went to the game, and to be honest, I feel I was overcharged for my entrance… and I had a complimentary ticket! So I can only imagine what fans that paid to go and watch this football in the rain must have felt.
 
The game lacked urgency in the first half. Both teams seemed to be struggling to get out of second gear. It was only once Ajax CT scored that it seemed to demand a response and a bit of urgency from Sundowns. 
 
Now there are a myriad of reasons why people do not go and watch PSL games, but the one that Soccer Laduma wants to address for the fans and supporters first is the price of tickets.
 
There is a ‘right price’ for everything. If there is a bit of quality, if there is care with the product, and if there is a potential audience, at the right price a product will sell. This brings us to the pricing of PSL tickets. Before we put a survey out there on Supporters Club, we need you to give us some suggestions for ticket prices to PSL games. For a start, begin by telling us what would get you out of your house and into a PSL stadium, no matter the opposition.
 
Throw some numbers at us. Be it R100, R50 or R20 for a ticket - be honest and maybe even give some motivation as to how you come to the figure.
 
We look forward to getting this process underway.
 
Jump in and let’s get PSL stadiums full by simply making it affordable for all South African soccer fans. 
 
Remember to also get online and register to become part of what, with your help, will be the biggest Supporters Club on the continent!
 
Shapa, Clint

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