FA Cup v Scottish Cup: Which is cheaper?

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Are Scottish Cup tickets too expensive? (Photo credit: Hayden Barry)

As cup fixtures concluded in Scotland for the most part last weekend, they get back underway south of the border this weekend round.

You may think despite English football generally being the more expensive choice when it comes to their league football, it’ll be cheaper to attend a Scottish Cup fixture. Surely?

Well surprisingly it’s actually the other way round. Some fans last weekend put their money where their mouth is and refused to cash in for the inflated prices for tickets to Scotland’s oldest competition.

Scotland’s fourth round replays take place next week where for example Dundee travel to Palmerston Park to play Championship outfit, Queen of the South.

Whereas in England, the FA cup fourth round gets underway this weekend where teams like Newcastle United face familiar opposition when they take on fellow Premier League side Watford at St James’ park.

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Auchinleck’s win over Ayr United was one of the biggest wins during the fourth round of the Scottish Cup this season. (Photo credit: Auchinleck Talbot)

With all due respect to all clubs involved, if you had to choose between the two matches then you’d likely go for the English encounter due to the quality of the two sides on offer. And you could be saving a few quid while you do.

Queen of the South are charging a standard admission of £19 for all home supporters. However, season ticket holders at Newcastle United are unable to use their usual seats for FA cup ties so the club has set a fair price of £10 for a general admission. Given the noticeable difference in the standard of football, many Scottish fans have sparked an outcry claiming their clubs are ignorant in their pricing of tickets.

Last week, Hibernian entertained Elgin City at Easter Road who were greeted with a less than half full stadium, struggling to just bring in over 7000 supporters. This poor attendance, in an otherwise passionate stadium, has been heavily linked with overpriced tickets. Even in league games, Scotland has seen an overall increase in season ticket prices since 2016. On average, the cheapest season ticket has risen from £293 in 2016 to just over £302 and with many clubs suffering from a low turnout the price is only set to increase.

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You’ll be cheaper going to St James’ Park (above) over Palmerston Park for a fourth round tie. (Photo credit: Jimmy McIntyre)

Ex-Motherwell and Queen of the South goalkeeper, Ross Hyslop, is now a season ticket holder at St James’ Park and claims that “Scottish football could learn a thing or two from England.”

The former professional argued his case. He said: “Cup ties always struggle to bring fans along to games simply because a lot of people view the league as much more important and much more competitive. So, what you do is you set fares at a low price so more people come along. Then you’ve not got whole stands with empty seats and there’s more support for the team but Scottish clubs always fail to see that. As a player I always hated playing in an empty ground.”

Most English teams were close to filling their stadium during the third round of the FA Cup, with Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium generating a higher figure in their tie against Championship side, Rotherham, than their average Premier League attendance record in the past season.

Hyslop believes this is solely down to ticket pricing, with the cheapest adult admission staying as low as £10.

He added: “People want to come out and support their team but unfortunately what you have now in the Premier League and in Scotland are absurd ticket prices. If you drive the price down then more people are going to come, you’re going to have a much more packed ground and essentially you’re going to make more money.”

Scottish football fans aren’t oblivious to the fact that money is tight in the professional scene, but some may feel like this time, clubs have just went the one step too far.

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