Linesman tells players to thank fans

Linesman tells players to thank fans

Published Jan. 14, 2013 12:00 a.m. ET

Manchester City's pampered players were given a stark reminder of the lengths supporters go to follow the team when they were advised by a match official to thank fans for spending 62 pounds ($100) to watch the Premier League win at Arsenal.

As on-pitch cameras rolled after Sunday's 2-0 victory at Emirates Stadium, linesman John Brooks told City and England defender Joleon Lescott: ''They've paid 62 quid over there - go and see them.''

Brooks spoke as he and his other match officials shook hands with City players soon after the final whistle.

The increasing cost of ticket prices in the Premier League had been a major talking before the match, with City reported to have returned more than 900 of the club's 3,000 allocation in protest.


A string of chants by City fans throughout the game made reference to the prices at Arsenal, which charges as much as 126 pounds ($203) for a ticket to its home matches.

A banner reading: ''>62!! Where will it stop?'' was held up in the end housing City supporters, before being taken down following a request by police.

''Officers assisted stewards at Emirates Stadium in order to prevent a breach of the peace, after away supporters were asked by stewards to take down a banner,'' the Metropolitan Police said in a statement released Monday. No arrests were made.

A fans' group - the Football Supporters' Federation - launched a national campaign this week on the issue.

The Premier League will not intervene, saying ticket prices are a matter for individual clubs, although its chief executive Richard Scudamore has sympathy for City fans.

''They have clearly made a judgment and I think the Man City fans, in fairness, have done what they should do if they think it is too much and not turned up,'' Scudamore told the BBC on Sunday.

''As a top priority, we must keep away fans attending. Clearly it is for individual clubs to get that right.''