World of Sport

‘Epitome of greed’: Bournemouth fans fume at prices for Real Madrid friendly

World of Sport

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Bournemouth fans were initially overjoyed on Tuesday when the club announced that it had secured a pre-season friendly against Real Madrid.

But that joy quickly turned to astonishment as it emerged that the long-suffering Cherries fans are being asked to stump up an astonishing £60 for tickets to the match.

Club chairman Eddie Mitchell had described the fixture as, " a well-earned gift to our fans for their unwavering dedication to AFC Bournemouth," a reference to the years of financial turmoil which almost saw the side go out of existence just five years ago.

But it also appears to be an opportunistic chance for the club to rinse their supporters for a huge chunk of cash.

In fairness, we should point out that season ticket holders will be offered a whopping £5 discount (don't spend it all at once, girls and boys).

The £60 ticket price is three times the cost of the cheapest adult ticket for a Championship match next season, when the newly-promoted Bournemouth enter the second tier for the first time since 1990. It's also almost half as much again as the £42 (50 euro) price tag that Real Madrid charge even for Champions League matches.

Fans have been taking to social media and the AFCB Vital forum to vent their feelings, with some describing it as "absolutely disgusting", complaining that "£60 to see the Real reserves is "a joke", and calling it, "the epitome of greed."

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Mitchell was forced to go on the defensive, explaining himself to the Bournemouth Daily Echo.

"It is very difficult to see where to pitch prices but we have things to cover," he said, a reference to the estimated £1m pre-season friendly appearance fee that Real Madrid have apparently demanded.

"We appreciate it is hard times for people but we have to get revenue into the club and we have tried to be sensible about it."

It's not the first time that Mitchell has come to loggerheads with Cherries fans: this is a man who once challenged supporters to a fight on the pitch, told discontented fans they should go and support Southampton and went on a four-letter rant on BBC radio to defend the right of the owner's wife to do the half-time team talk when the side were losing.

"Most of the fans think he's an utter embarrassment and the latest move won't do anything to help this viewpoint," said Yahoo! news editor and lifelong Cherries fan Simon Garner.

What do you think? Should a club with such a recent history of financial disaster risk signing up to such an expensive pre-season game? Or should fans rejoice in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo playing at Dean Court? Have your say in the comments box below.

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