STAR is very pleased to see Reading FC take the lead on ticket pricing in the Championship in 2016-17 with its £20 structure for fans in the Eamonn Dolan Stand and away fans. The initiative was commended at the national Football Supporters' Federation summit at the weekend, alongside the £30 cap on away ticket prices in the Premier League and Arsenal and Swansea subsidising their away fans ticket costs.
In October 2015 STAR organised a march around the Madejski Stadium behind the ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ banner and gathered a 300 signature strong petition backing the campaign. The subject of ticket pricing and reciprocal away ticket pricing has been raised by STAR in meetings with the Club senior management throughout last season (30th September, 9th November, 17th February, 11th April and 23rd May) and noted on this website. STAR’s sustained efforts will have had some influence on the decision.
STAR sincerely hopes that Reading’s £20 deal works both in terms of increasing numbers at home games and “inspiring” other Championship clubs to follow suit.
Winners of £500 Prize Fund in STAR Predictor Competition 2015-16 are...
As a STAR member did you make your free entry to this years Predictor Competition?
Congratulations to Alan Wellsteed for winning this seasons competition with 1203 points out of a possible maximum of 1333 to scoop the top prize of £300 ahead of 159 other entrants!
He was closely followed by David Jones with 1201 who wins £100, Pam Downing in third with 1198 winning £75 and Geoffrey Stevens with 1192 taking fourth place and £25.
The organisers will be in touch with the winners in due course to arrange collection of their prizes.
Thank you to all those who entered, you can download and check on your final positions here.
The STAR Predictor Competition simply involves using your judgement to select one team from each of 17 groups – 17 teams in all. You score the accumulated number of points which your teams end the season with.
Ali Al-Habsi voted supporters Player of the Season
Congratulations to Ali Al-Habsi who was awarded the 2015-16 Player of the Season ahead of the final home game against Preston on 30th April. Seen presented with the award from Sir John Madejski is STAR Board member Helen Bullen who organised and co-ordinated this year's award. Thanks go to all those volunteers who helped behind the scenes, especially with the distribution and counting of voting cards.
Reading Deaf Football Club League Winners
Congratulations to Reading Deaf FC who have become Southern Champions of the English Deaf League, an amazing feat given this is their first season in the league!
Having been formed in 2013 with support and sponsorship from within the community, the team have represented RFC Community Trust including a number of players who have gone on to represent England and Great Britain. STAR are pleased to have been able to provide kit sponsorship for the team this season.
STAR Statement on Hillsborough Inquest
The Hillsborough Inquest verdict exonerating the fans on the day comes as little surprise to those who attended matches in that era. The families are to be commended for their persistence in the face of the cover-ups by the authorities. Sad to say such attitudes towards football supporters and their side of the story have not entirely disappeared today.
You can read more comment on the FSF (Football Supporters' Federation) website.
STAR Secures ACV Listing For The Madejski Stadium
On 13th April STAR were informed that Reading Borough Council had granted our nomination to have the Madejski Stadium listed as an Asset of Community Value. This means that should the owners ever wish to sell it STAR has the right to be informed about this and to make or be part of a bid to purchase it. STAR believes there is no present danger whatsoever of such a sale happening.
Supporters Trusts and other bodies at other clubs have been granted ACVs, notably at Old Trafford, Anfield and St James’ Park (Newcastle). In Reading some of our finer pubs and King’s Meadow Pool are also listed as ACVs.
STAR’s ‘Reading FC Hall of Fame’
In front of a packed house of STAR members, vice-presidents and guests the first eleven names were inducted into STAR’s Reading FC Hall of Fame at its launch on Thursday 24 March at the Madejski Stadium.
Among those receiving their awards in person were former skipper Graeme Murty and former chairman Roger Smee who each said a few words to the audience. Also present was 87 year old Johnny Walker, a Reading captain of the 1960s and relatives of two other inductees, Gordon Neate and Allen Foster.
“The Hall of Fame is a major project for STAR,” said Deputy Chairman, Roger Titford, “and over the next few years we expect to get up to 150 people inducted from across the whole history of the club. At first the Hall of Fame will reside on-line at STAR’s website but we hope it will get a more ‘physical’ presence as the years go by.”
Among this year’s inductees are an England international (Edward Haygarth of the 1870s), a Scotland international (Murty) and a Wales international (Ady Williams). Also featured are a war hero (Allen Foster, 1910s), a celebrity supporter (John Arlott the cricket commentator), two players who became directors (Smee and Joey Warburton) and a centre forward who the Supporters’ Club helped to buy (Tommy Tait, 1930s). To see the full list of inductees and citations please visit our Hall of Fame page.
Reading FC Accounts 2014-15
Once again we thank STAR member Dave Hunt for his expertise in simplifying, for the benefit of fans, the information in the latest set of Reading FC accounts. His report can be downloaded and read here (pdf). STAR will be addressing the company structures in a soon-to-be forthcoming issue of Reading Matter.
Gary Deards’ Readibus
Players and management at Reading FC were at the launch of a new ReadiBus that will be enabling disabled fans to continue to attend home and away games. Disabled supporters have been able to travel to matches direct from their front door on ReadiBus for many years - the new bus replaces the existing one. The service to away games is provided courtesy of STAR and is for supporters with restricted mobility who cannot get to games by car or by other public transport.
The new bus is dedicated to the memory of Gary Deards, a former user of the service, board member of STAR and Vice-Chair of Level Playing Field, the national charity that campaigns for better access for disabled people in football. Gary Deards passed away in March 2014.
The bus has been given the fleet number 106 – a number known to Reading fans for the record points total in the 2005-6 championship winning season and is able to take up to five seated passengers plus three travelling in a wheelchair and will be driven to matches by volunteers who have been trained by ReadiBus staff.
Ian Maynard, Board Member of STAR commented, “It is a honour for STAR to be involved with this. Gary was well liked and he worked very hard and effectively on behalf of disabled football fans.” We look forward to the new bus being well used in this season and in the future.
Peter Absolon, General Manager of ReadiBus, added, “it is a great testament to Steve Clarke and the players that they took the time to come and join in and to meet some of the bus-users and Gary’s father.”
If you are a fan who would like to become involved as a volunteer to drive the minibus to home or away games or if you have restricted mobility and would like to use the bus to travel to home or away games, contact ReadiBus at www.readibus.org.uk. (Note that you need to join or be a member of STAR in order to book for travel to away games).
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Conservative MP Damian Collins' Football Governance Bill would let the Football Association block potential club owners it considered unsuitable.
The average price of the cheapest tickets across English football has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011. BBC Sport's Price of Football study analysed how much fans are charged at 207 clubs.