It has been reported that supporters in the United Arab Emirates are being paid up to $21 to go and cheer on the UAE Pro League.
The league’s vice-chairman, Abdullah Al Junaibi, said: "We need to realise the short history of football companies in the UAE. It was just four or five years ago that they transformed themselves into football companies. However, the mentality and mindset of their fans have perhaps not been transformed completely."
"Previously, as a social club, the football team was seen as part of the extended family of the fans. And in this case, especially in our culture, where we are known to be very hospitable and charitable to our families and relatives, clubs and fans alike do not think that it is right for fans to be paying for tickets."
I understand that football franchises in the UAE haven’t been around for long, but the sport has. Speaking from a fans perspective in England, I am personally for the idea, but how does this make any business sense? Why not offer free tickets instead?