Premier League

PL won't intervene on pricing

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Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:03:00

Julien Faubert is desperate to return to Ligue 1 and claims four clubs have expressed an interest in signing him.

The former West Ham player has been released from his contract with Turkish side Elazigspor after only six months and is currently training with his former club Bordeaux to maintain his fitness.

The 29-year-old told L'Equipe: "I have always wanted to return, even after it did not happen last summer. I love Ligue 1.

"I have had contact with four clubs. No matter the prestige of the club, my priority is to play in France.

"I asked Girondins (de Bordeaux) to allow me to train with them, to keep the weight off and allow me to enjoy playing football, and they kindly accepted."

After starting his career at Cannes, Faubert spent three seasons with Bordeaux and went on to make over 100 appearances for the Hammers, a spell which included a short loan with Real Madrid.

He won one international cap in 2006, scoring a last-minute winner in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The former Chesterfield and Oldham boss replaced Carl Fletcher in the managerial hot seat this week, and is hoping the feel-good factor around his appointment this week can help inspire the Pilgrims to a vital three points.

"If we get three points on Saturday everyone's attitude will change," he said. "Winning football matches gives everyone a buzz and a lift and that is something we need to get quickly now.

"If we win games and win them quickly we'll turn the corner and have people in a positive manner thinking we can stay safe and that is all I'll be talking about.

"I think having a new manager is usually beneficial because when a new manager goes in (to a club) they usually get a positive result. I don't know why that is but I hope that works on Saturday."

After welcoming the Shrimps to Devon and travelling to Southend, two of Argyle's next three matches are also on home soil against Accrington and then Dagenham - a run of matches Sheridan believes can help them move from second-bottom in the Football League.

"I'll be looking at the next three or four games very strongly - they could be a big turning point in our season," he said.

"I have got a points tally in my head that I'd like to take from those games and I think we'll get it.

"It is a very evenly matched league and there is nothing stopping us going on a three or four-game winning streak and that is what I'll be telling the players."

Boyce, who had a spell at Werder Bremen earlier in his career, has been in superb form for Northern Ireland Premier League leaders Cliftonville, netting 19 goals so far this season.

The 21-year-old's performances have not gone unnoticed among clubs in England with a host of scouts flocking to Solitude to watch the Northern Ireland international in action.

The likes of Blackburn, Burnley and Wolves are all thought to have watched Boyce in action this season as they keep tabs on his progress.

Boyce's agent, Stephen Whelan, is aware of the rumoured interest in the free-scoring striker, but insists he has had no contact with any interested clubs.

"I am aware that clubs have been watching Liam this season as he done very well for Cliftonville," Whelan told Sky Sports.

"I have not had any official contact with any interested clubs and until that happens Liam will continue to give his all his Cliftonville.

"He is enjoying his football and he is just focusing on helping Cliftonville achieve their goals this season."

The league insists tickets are a matter for individual clubs although it does encourage 'stretch pricing', where a range of different prices are offered to cater for those on lower budgets.

The issue of prices resurfaced after Manchester City returned 912 unsold tickets to Arsenal, priced at ?62, for this weekend's match between the clubs at the Emirates.

The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) has called on top-flight clubs to pass on the benefit of next season's bumper new TV deal to fans by reducing ticket prices.

The FSF claims it is unfair that clubs such as Arsenal should charge away fans from the top clubs one figure, and those from less high-profile clubs half as much - Stoke fans will only have to pay ?35.50.

Other fans' groups have called for a cap of ?20-?25 for away fans' tickets.

A Premier League spokesman said: "Ticket pricing is a matter for individual clubs, many of which work hard to fill their stadiums with offers at different points during a season that make top-flight football accessible to large numbers of fans.

"We have always encouraged stretch pricing to help accessibility, and it is against Premier League rules to charge away fans more than home fans for the same standard of seats.

"The quality and safety of stadia is as a result of extensive and continued investment from the clubs.

"Fans clearly enjoy the environment in which they watch Premier League matches and the football on offer, with occupancy rates at grounds tracking at 95 per cent for this season and having been 90 per cent-plus for the last 15 seasons in a row."

FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke claimed there is no justification for such pricing structures, especially with the new three-year domestic and overseas TV deals likely to total ?5billion.

He said: "We estimate clubs could cut ?32 off the cost of every single ticket purely from the increase in the TV pot this time around.

"There are many ways of measuring what is the best league. But if you look at the Bundesliga, where fans can attend matches for 15 Euros, stand up, have a pint if they wish, and even get a ticket for the metrolink, it seems the Premier League is short-changing its own supporters.

"This business of categorising matches is blatantly unfair. Just because Manchester City have a lot of money doesn't mean their supporters have, and the same is true of the other teams who get charged the highest prices every time they play."

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